MOHATU by Reji Joseph
Acrylics on canvas / 4 feet X 5 feet

Mohatu is the first named king of the Pride Lands. His succession right is unknown.

He is a wise king. He harbors a deep affection and loyalty toward his subjects, which was most prominent when he willingly leaves his homeland in search of a new water source for the Pride Lands. He was a peacemaker, but could also be firm in his decisions and orders. Many animals look up to him for his bravery and strength, but will occasionally overlook him because of his peaceful nature. He was ultimately selfless and quite intelligent in his own regard.

During Mohatu’s rule, a drought grips the Pride Lands, which prompts him to put in a place a law that limits how much each animal can drink from the waterhole as well as what order the animals can drink in. Since lions could survive the longest without it, Mohatu decrees that they drink last. For a while, this law works, but not everyone is happy with is. One lion in particular (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Scar,) completely blows the king off and drinks from the waterhole whenever he wants, attacking the other animals when they come near. Not wanting to resort to violence, Mohatu searches for another source of water and comes across what is widely believe to be the same oasis that Timon and Pumbaa would take residence in later on down the generations.

Mohatu was a wise and gentle king. He could’ve easily chased off the smaller, scrawnier self lion, but preferred a peaceful alternative, even if it required more effort.

“Good night, great-grandfather. I hope I grow up to be just like you.”
―Simba to Mohatu’s star

In the beginning of The Brightest Star, Simba spots a particularly big and bright star in the night sky. Mufasa tells Simba that it was Mohatu, a king of the past, the lion who ruled before Ahadi.


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