His name was Mufasa, apparently meaning “King” in the Manazoto language…and what a king he was. He exuded greatness. This magnificent male lion lived at Schotia Safaris, an Eastern Cape game farm belonging to the Bean family, who have owned the original farm, Orlando, since the early 1800’s. It’s run by Peter, Dave’s friend from childhood, together with his wife Jenny, children and team.
If you’re ever in the vicinity of Port Elizabeth, look Schotia Safaris up. You won’t be disappointed, least of all by their trademark lion sightings. There’s plenty of other wildlife, including a variety of buck, hippo’s, crocodiles, giraffe and lots more, but the lions are special.
We were privileged to know Mufasa – Big Daddy of them all – in his prime. His massive mane was permanently coiffed as if by design, dignity radiating from his every pore. In the face of such greatness it was odd to imagine him as a cub, although he had doubtless been full of attitude, like this one of his:
The tragedy came later, when he was forced to leave the farm by his young sons, who overcame their father in a ferocious fight, after growing into their own greatness.
Makes one wonder: where does greatness come from, and where does it go? Perhaps it doesn’t at all. Maybe it’s always around, hanging out in the ether, just waiting for someone to try it on for size.
How about you?
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble” – Helen Keller
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” – Hebbel
“Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“I’ve often said, the only thing standing between me and greatness is me” – Woody Allen
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of ‘A Course in Miracles’
The last quote is sometimes attributed to Nelson Mandela and said to have been included in his 1994 inaugural speech. This is debated on the net, but seems inconclusive. Do any of you know?
I’ll leave you with more of Dave’s wildlife photography, because I simply must 🙂