Jack Kilongo

Gidahuyda is Jack’s traditional name, which means “finisher”. He was given this name by his father to honor of one famous elders who died the same day when Jack was born. He is working in “Zone C –Idodi” and one side of Mwira, He started to work since 2013. Jack is married with two wives. Jack is a middle age Barbaig warrior and previously led lions hunts in Ruaha National Park and in the village land. His main motiviation to hunt was not cultural, though it’s typically believed amon the Barabaig that to acquire manhood and get status and respect among the warriors and girls is by killing lions, buffaloes and elephants. Rather, he believed that economic status and family stability is the criteria to prove the manhood and respect among the society which is why Jack said he stopped participating in lion hunts even before becoming the Lion Defender.

“I participated and led many lion hunts and I killed various animals such as lions, elephants and buffaloes before I stopped after I discovered that I was risking my life fighting to get respect and girls plus livestock while I can do other things and still I can be respected and get status like others who were participating in lion hunts,” said Jack.

“I believed in my own theory but then RCP came to support what I was thinking and believed, although on my side it was something that seemed impossible without support. I admire what RCP is doing and I wish even our government would use the same method with my society and we would peruse to accept the changes rather than to force us to abandon our old roots.”

Jack believes that the problem is not necessarily that the Barbaig are strong upholders of their traditions and customs but there is another contributing factor which he said is lack of awareness about conservation. He thinks suggested that it is the governments responsibility and along with many other stakeholders.

“I like my job and wish the project will extend the borders to Pawaga (north of our current work area) which is another reason why the Idodi warriors seems to compete so as they cannot seen as inferior compare to those in the nearby vilages that haven’t yet had education and awareness.”

Small political slight but I think it’s okay…