The Lion King — My Side Of The Story


I wonder what you were thinking when you saw the title. Well, moi, the writer does not even know what to write on. The only fun part of this story is that I have a confession to make. I have never seen “Lion King” until last Friday, July 19th, 2019.

When I told my kids, they laughed hard. I wondered why. They said “Daddy, how can you say you’ve not seen Lion King?” Well, I had no answer for them. I felt like asking the cinema folks to refund my money. How can these children be laughing at their father? Lol. Me sef I cannot laugh at my father? I will faint at the thought of it. Lol.

Well, they sang along with their favourite songs. The folks in the cinema seem to have watched the movie before and so songs like “Circle of Life” was a hit. They all sang it like a choir in there. Beautiful. The song was lost on me. Though I love it when fellas sing in unison. It was melodic harmony made in heaven though pelted with doses of cacophony here and there. But I loved it.

***

My favourite character was Zazu. He was loyal, cheeky and lovely. John Oliver as Zazu was fantastic. He delivered the lines with the right tone, voice inflexion and panache. Such elegance is uncommon. James Earl Jones as Mufasa; what do you expect from Akeem’s father in Coming To America? Of course, he delivered with his once-in-an-aeon vocals. You cannot miss that voice even when you are in the middle of Times Square, Ojuelegba, Euston Station, or Kubwa. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar was a mix that went well though I’ve never “seen” him as a bad guy. The aggression in his voice mixed with the darkness of his heart was sublime. How can you love a bad thing? Seth Rogen as Pumbaa was a natural. He was born for that role.

***

The Economics

Made with a budget of $260 million, the movie was theatrically released in the United States on July 19, 2019, and has grossed $564 million worldwide, becoming the 7th highest-grossing film of 2019. This is just a week after its release. The hope is that it might gross about $ 2billion.

From the table below, you can see that Disney is not doing bad this year. Man like Disney!!!

***

Lessons

Though my kids were reliving each scene of the movie and were sure happy, I was trying to listen. Epic movies are those that I learn from and this was one of those. Now I see why everyone is shocked that I have never seen it. One of the lessons Mufasa taught Simba was that “while others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what He can give”. This is leadership 101 right there. A leader gives. A leader brings value to the table.

In one of their dialogues, father-son time out, Mufasa told Simba about the kingdom. Simba was enthralled by the grandeur of the kingdom but his father reminded him that it was a responsibility to undertake and preserve and not just a place to savour. Here is the line…….

It is not all yours to keep.
It is all yours to protect.

  • Husbands, she is not all yours to keep. She is all yours to protect.
  • Politicians — Nigeria is not all yours to take but all yours to protect and hand over to the next generations.
  • Guys — she is not all yours to take advantage of, she is all yours to protect.

The list goes on. I am sure you get my drift.

I also remember the scene where Mufasa had to deliver Simba from the hyenas. Simba did the very thing a child does — do the exact opposite of what you have been told not to do. He almost got killed but his father rescued him. Simba was impressed with his dad’s bravery and grand roar. He told his father how brave and fearless he was. Mufasa responded:

I am only brave when I have to be; when there is no choice.

In essence, he was saying, a great leader only uses his powers when he has to. With great powers comes great responsibility. He was basically saying, “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone but if must prove myself then I will”

Something of note that stood out in the movie was the power of choice. Who you chose to listen to will make or mar you. As long as Simba listened to his dad, he was okay. He only got into danger when he listened to the suggestions of Scar. As a young person, it is good to follow who know road. If you don’t, there are many that will take advantage of you. There are principles to follow that may not make sense but they will protect you from evil and corruption. As you know, Simba was the pawn that Scar used to eliminate Mufasa.

Who are you listening to?

Then Simba leaves the kingdom and meets up with the good and go-lucky fellas, Pumbaa and Timon. Good fellas. Good company. But they had no sense of responsibility. They lived for nothing; maybe to kill one of the vultures they hated … someday. That is why Hakuna Matata can be their motto. Actually, there were no expectations from their lives and as such, they can afford to live without responsibility.

But Simba was different. He was born for a purpose. And that purpose could not be achieved with the Hakuna Matata philosophy. Not all tools are useful.

Evil communication corrupts good manner. Simba was now fellowshipping with Pumbaa and Timon. That is why he could be comfortable eating grasses and bugs. Yes, a lion was eating that. Oh, he had to descend to the level of his friends. You are the average of your three best friends. Friendship is a celebration of values. With his newfound friends, Simba changed his philosophy of the circle of life to life is a straight line. Who you hang out with matters. My piece on friendship is still valid.

It took Nala to remind him who he was. In life, you need the Nalas of this world. They know you from home. They are not impressed with either your success or failures. They can tell you stuff to your face. Nala helped Simba to discover himself. C’mon Simba you cannot be eating grasses, you are a Lion for God’s sake.

Who are you?
Discovery is important.
Discovery leads to recovery

My mum told me long ago, when bullies tormented me in primary school, “Lions do not birth goats”. #Selah. Go figure. Those words birthed a fire in me to stand my ground. It worked. When you discover who you are, you will recover your lost ground. I am too young to be philosophizing about life. I will leave it there. I hope I have been of help today.

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