Champion eagerly awaits the Lion Guardian Games

It was a normal day like any other for Lion Guardian Mingati Makarot form Olbili zone. He woke-up early enough to see the tracks of different wildlife species before they were destroyed by passing cattle. Before long, he saw tracks of 2 big male lions. He suspected who they might belong to, but wanted to be sure of their identity. After a few kilometers, he saw 2 lions basking in the sun and immediately identified them as Kasayo and Lormanie, the inseparable pair that patrols part of his zone and was impressed by the size of their manes.

Mingati using radio telemetry to look for lions
Mingati using radio telemetry to look for lions

When he retreated back to the main road from the bush, we met and as any Maasai do, we started exchanging news. He briefed me about his work, lion movement patterns, and community issues from his area and I did the same. I then informed him that this year, we might move the annual Lion Guardian Games forward and inquired whether he was ready to defend his title as the spear throwing champion. He immediately became animated and laughed, vowing to destroy his competitors early on with the first throw and leave them to play catch-up while watching their every move, and then finish them off with the second and final throw. He talks more forcefully and says ‘last year, because of my age and size, I was afraid of the bigger Morans, but now, I fear no one’. He thanked me for informing him of this and vowed to start practicing.

Though he is small in stature, Mingati poses as a fierce competitor
Though he is small in stature, Mingati is a fierce competitor


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