Following the launch of our exciting new campaign, Mkango: Pride of Malawi, our campaigns team visited the village of Benjiman village in Kasungu district, to find out from the residents what they thought about lions.
From the moment of arrival, the team was greeted with warm smiles and inquisitive faces. There was no doubt that our new friends were more than curious about we were doing there. Without wasting a single moment, the team quickly introduced themselves before setting up the pedal power cinema in the local community hall.
With over a 120 people flooding into the arena and a volunteer pedaling away, we observed their reactions and heard the animated whispers as we played two short films highlighting what makes lions unique and important to our eco-systems.
Once our short cinema session was done, we invited our watchers to share what they had learnt and ask us any question about what we had just shared.
One of the first questions asked, was posed by a young man in the audience who wanted to know difference in weight between adult lions and lionesses.
Without hesitation Ralph, one of our community coordinators in the environmental education team, explained to him that adult males could weigh anything between 150 and 250kg, while females weighed between 120 and 180kg. Ralph then asked the audience what likenesses they saw between themselves and the lions.
One audience member raised their hand and said: “Just like me, lions are part of nature and because we are all created by God, lions are equally important and must be protected in our environment.”
Another audience member followed the sentiment by stating that lions lived together in communities just like they did in their village. They hunted for food in the same way they tilled the earth to eat and they protected each other just as each one of them protected their own families.
It was in this spirit that the discussions around lion conservation continued during our group sessions with the people of Benjiman. Needless to say we are excited about our follow up activities in this community and look forward to sharing them with you.