Kapande is one of the humblest of the Lion Guardians. His ability to manage others when discussing tough issues, and to resolve conflicts is astounding. Kapande has been on many lion hunts and was successful in killing a male lion. For this he was given the ‘lion name’ Meitiaki. Lion names are given to any murran who kills a lion. Now Kapande conserves lions instead.
He is from a poor background and working as a Lion Guardian has helped him considerably. He used to herd cows for a wealthy man, and his only wage for such tough work was one heifer at the end of the year. His employer was unhappy when he volunteered for four months to become a Guardian, as was his father. This meant that he did not receive any support from them.
His favourite type of work is tracking lions. The collared lions that are often in his area at the moment are Nemasi, who has three young cubs, and Kesayou, a male. Kapande tracks these lions and any other carnivores and elephants that he comes across, and informs herders of their proximity to grazing fields.
The community he works for has great respect for him because he often helps young herders in the grazing fields. Kapande’s especially good relationship with other murrans has helped him to thwart lion hunts by murrans who were not local to his area. This has won him the heart of his community.
A few months ago KapandeÂ was very ill with appendicitis, but has now recovered and has returned to working full time as a Lion Guardian again. He is married to one wife and has two young children;Â his daughterÂ was born just a few months ago.
Listen to Kapande talking about his life and his family (this interview was recorded before the birth of his second child)!
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Listen to Kapande talking about being a Lion Guardian:
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