Mwinyi Hababa is a Lion Defender working at “Zone E –Kitumbuka” with his partner Samora. He has been working with the project since 2016. Mwinyi is a Barbaig warrior and he has one wife. He received primary education up to his completion of Standard 7. After finishing his primary education he had no other opportunities and he joined other warriors and started to conduct traditional lion hunts. Mwinyi has been a famous lion hunter and organizer of almost all hunts at Malinzanga side before he joined the project.
“Since I started to hunt I had managed to spear and kills many animals,” said Mwinyi. He also added that although he attended school he had never been taught the importance and the direct benefits of the wildlife to the pastoralist community. Hence he saw and regarded them as the major problem for the pastorilists but since Ruaha Carnivore Project started to launch the direct community benefits is when he realized that there is the need to keep these species. “I believe in changes because even there are lots of Barbaig traditions which are no longer exist simply because they are outdated and some are illegal so even I believe that the traditional lion killings will remain the story one day,” insisted Mwinyi.
“The work was difficult when I started to work as most of my fellow warriors discouraged me and wanted even to go so far as to reject me because I went against our traditional ways and I was going to became an obstacle to them but we cooperated with other LDs to explain to them and some had understand while others are kind of still blaming us, but we keep trying to work with them. The only problem is Pawaga side (north of our current work area) as there are more Barbaig pastoralists residing there and there are lots of lions at that side hence more ongoing conflicts.”