Samwel is an RCP Lion Defender working at “Zone A –Tungamalenga and Namelok” side. He started to work since 2014. Samwel, like other Barbaig warriors never attended the school and he had been a lion hunter with the experience of spearing four lions and 24 elephants before he joined the project. Samwel is 25 years old and has married two wives and he has one child.
“I heard about RCP first from my brother (Stephano the Community Liason Officer) who was working with the project and and first I felt shame to leave my fellow warriors and start to be their opponent in stopping them conducting traditional lion hunts instead of joining them as before. It was something I never thought I could do before and I refused sometimes and continued to lead some lion hunts before I made a decision to became an LD”.
“I found very difficult to work with my community whilst I abandoned the traditional ways of living but together with my fellow LDs we successfully used our influence and ability to change their minds about leaving behind the old fashion life which is outdated. We tried to encourage them that they have to change according to the time and environment. It is not a simple work for real but I can see now some positive impacts of the LD work as they now listen to us when we talk to them to stop traditional lion hunt. The retaliatory lion hunts are normally more challenging to stop especially when the lions are there eating/attacking the livestock but I hope things will change. One day maybe we will live with the Barbaig society from which there will be no lion hunt if RCP continues to work in Ruaha landscape.”
“My life is good and am capable to afford my family needs and I use my wage to buy more livestock and pay my kids their school requirements as I don’t want them to be like me and their mothers”.