The lost and found parable of Mangalatana

Oppressed animals unite to drive out corrupt, greedy and deceitful ruler.

In Summary
  • A cunning and selfish lion named Kip had managed to become the self-proclaimed leader of the animal country, despite his dishonest ways.
  • The old wily lion, caught off guard by the sudden extraordinary unity of the millions of animals, had no choice but to step down from power.
A lion at Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary on April 26, 2010
A lion at Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary on April 26, 2010

In the land of Engoro, animals call it Mangalatana, a wise old elephant named X was known for her kind and gentle nature. She was respected by all the animals, who often sought her advice. However, Republique de Mangalatana was not without its troubles.

A cunning and selfish lion named Kip had managed to become the self-proclaimed leader of the animal country, despite his dishonest ways. One day, a young and hopeful colobus monkey named Bwocha approached X, distraught by the crooked leadership of Kip.

He questioned whether there was any hope for a just and fair wilderness. X, with a warm smile, told Bwocha a story. “In a dark chapter of this land, there lived a timeless firefly named Ra. He was small and fragile, but he shone his light as brightly as he could every night, illuminating the darkness. The other animals often laughed at him, saying that his light couldn't change anything in this jungle ruled by Kip’s mentor.”

Bwocha looked intrigued. X continued, “But Ra never lost hope. He believed that his light could make a difference. He illuminated the path for others, and slowly, other fireflies joined him. Soon, their combined light grew brighter and brighter, catching the attention of animals near and far.”

Bwocha’s eyes sparkled with understanding. “So, even in the darkest of times, there’s hope in unity and determination?”

X nodded, “Exactly, Bwocha. The crooked leaders may come and go, but our hope, determination and the unity of good-hearted animals will always shine brighter. Despair never takes us anywhere, but focusing on what’s right and working together can bring about positive change.”

Bwocha left X with newfound hope, determined to be a part of the light that would eventually drive away the darkness of deceit and corruption from their beloved black and wild land of Mangalatana.


Over the course of the following months, Bwocha began spreading the word about unity and hope in Mangalatana. He gathered like-minded animals who were tired of Kip’s oppressive regime, and together they formed a secret alliance called the Fellowship of the Light. Their symbol was Ra, the timeless firefly, signifying their determination to bring light into the darkness that had enveloped their land.

Elephant at the Samburu Game Reserve .
Elephant at the Samburu Game Reserve .

Kip, the cunning lion, was well aware of the growing discontent among his subjects. To maintain his grip on power, he used a well-worn playbook of dividing and conquering. He stoked the flames of discord among various animal groups, exploiting their differences and encouraging rivalry.

He bribed animal leaders with loot obtained from the taxes, from time to time, and planted them as his spies among the others. By doing so, he kept the animals from uniting against him for a very long time.

Furthermore, Kip raised taxes on every basic commodity to unbearable standards, forcing many families into hopeless poverty. He imposed heavy tariffs on the import of essential goods, crippling the economy and leaving millions of workers and hawkers in massive, widespread despair. To make matters worse, he justified these actions by invoking religion, claiming that it was the divine will for the wealthy to prosper and the poor to suffer.

The youths of Mangalatana bore the brunt of Kip’s oppressive policies. High unemployment rates, coupled with wanton disillusionment, left them feeling lost and without hope for a brighter future. The once-thriving marketplace was now barren. Hawkers who had once traded with glee now moved about, wrecked by debts, mendicants at the doorways of mosques and chapels, bowed under the weight of their financial tribulations.

As the Fellowship of the Light grew, the animals of Mangalatana began to see the importance of unity and determination. Bwocha and his allies worked tirelessly to bridge the gaps between different animal groups, emphasising that they all shared a common goal: to bring an end to Kip’s tyrannical rule and create a more just and fair society.


One day, during a clandestine gathering of the Fellowship, Bwocha introduced a new member to the group - a wise and elderly tortoise named Nasive. Nasive had been a close advisor to Kip in his early days as a leader but had grown disillusioned with the lion’s corrupt ways. He now believed in the ideals of unity and hope, and he brought with him invaluable knowledge of the inner workings of Kip’s government.

Colobus monkey
Colobus monkey

Nasive revealed that Kip had a weakness, a secret tunnel that he used to sneak in and out of his humongous castle built from gold, glass, prayers and smokies unnoticed. This information was a game-changer for the Fellowship. They saw an opportunity to expose Kip’s duplicity and rally the animals against him.

Under the cover of darkness, Bwocha, Nasive the Old, and a group of brave animals entered the secret tunnel and discovered incriminating documents that exposed the extent of Kip’s rampant corruption. They also found the evidence of his hidden wealth, in foreign accounts on faraway islands, which had been siphoned for over a decade from the pockets of the suffering animals.

With this information in their possession, Bwocha and the Fellowship hatched a plan. They used the evidence to mobilise the tired animals of Mangalatana, revealing the truth about Kip’s greed and deceit. The once-divided animal groups came together in a powerful show of unity, determined to end Kip’s oppressive rule.

As the animals gathered outside the national palace, they demanded his resignation and the return of their stolen wealth. Kip, the old wily lion, caught off guard by the sudden extraordinary unity of the millions of animals of the wilderness of Mangalatana, had no choice but to step down from power. The animals chose Nasive Siheuda as their interim leader, a symbol of their newfound unity.

Under Nasive’s leadership, Mangalatana began to heal. Taxes were reduced to fair and reasonable levels, the marketplace flourished once more, and the young animals found job opportunities that gave them hope for a brighter future. The animals of Mangalatana had learnt a valuable lesson. Which one?

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