A Royal burial took place on 5th December, and was attended by the traditional leadership and traditional healers of Maria Khosa’s shamanic lion tradition, who placed their lion mantels over the great King, to protect him on his onward journey.
It is fitting that his timing coincided with the departure of the other great LionHearted King, Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5th December exactly two years ago.
b. July 18, 1918 – d. Dec. 5, 2013
In the ancient African and Egyptian traditions, a great King becomes a Lion in death and returns to the Stars. So, it comes as no surprise that Mandla’s departure coincides with powerful astrological alignments with the Royal Star and the Lion Star Mbube rising with the Sun at the East – correspondences identified by our leading astrologer, Maurice Fernandez, who has tracked the star charts of the royal lions in our project with deep interest over the years.
Linda pledges freedom to serious-faced Aslan in year 2000.
After this noble soul’s harrowing early years held hostage in South Africa’s most notorious canned hunting operation (“Bethlehem”) – when appallingly he was given the name of ‘Rambo’, and offered on the internet as a hunter’s trophy – Mandla made history alongside our founder lioness Marah in a Long Walk to Freedom. Against all odds, we finally succeeded in releasing him back into the White Lion’s ancestral homelands, as was his birthright. To protect his identity, we changed his name from that given by the trophy hunters to his official public title, Mandla.
With his grace and infinite wisdom, he became a father not only to his own cubs born in the wild of their endemic territories, but a father figure to so many, loved by all.
Jason and I spent so many star-spangled nights tracking his mighty form patrolling his bushveld territories under African skies, and so many days tracking at sunrise only to find the King under a tree feasting on a kill he and his pride brought down overnight.
In Jason’s words:
“Mandla had nearly 10 years of freedom at Tsau and Shidolo, and achieved so much that will never be forgotten, making his first kill the day he walked out of the boma, shattering misperceptions that a captive-raised white lion cannot hunt, and facing off the Kapama black-maned male at the mature age of 13 years old. His roar, with an unprecedented 65 earth-rumbling ‘back roars’, will never be forgotten, particularly by his rivals at the neighboring Kapama and Thornybush wildlife regions.”
In the words of our highly competent wildlife vet, not a religious man: “He was freed from a life of Hell to live out his days in grace and freedom, finding Peace and Heaven on Earth, literally.”
Our entire pride (lions and humans) are deeply shaken after Mandla’s departure, however timely.
His regal face and luminous solar mane graces the cover of my first book, Mystery of the White Lions, first published in 2001. And his innate qualities of courage and determination against impossible odds, dignity, wisdom and justice in the face of humanity’s appalling injustices, were the inspiration behind the 12 Laws of LionHearted Leadership™ which define our Leadership Academy. Through this enlightened leadership training, Mandla’s message of good governance has guided emerging leadership from as far afield as Africa, The States, UK, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Mongolia, Canada, Japan and Alaska.
Final portrait of Mandla at 19 years old.
With fondest devotion and deepest reverence, always,
Linda, Jason and the whole White Lion family