The Story Behind My Name

Some of you may be wondering about my name. Here is the story behind it:

Motsumi was a real person—for all animals who think and experience are persons—a lioness from Savuti, in Botswana. Part of her life story is told in the film Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas. I chose her name as mine for both personal and philosophical reasons: personally, she had an immense influence on the person I am today, and I still see her as a role model. Philosophically, she represents the Natural way of living, thinking, and seeing the world. She represents in many ways the Natural model for how we as a race should be.

Growing up I spent much of my time watching wildlife documentaries. I did not watch fictional movies, and grew up in a world of heroes and heroines from the wild. No Disney princesses here; I looked up to lionesses and other men and women of the wild. It is from my exposure to the Natural system in this way that I came to my view of the world. With Hugo Van Lawick I can say that “many animals taught me many things. But there was one story. . .I will never forget.”[1]

Of all the stories I loved growing up, this one was perhaps my favorite. I was watching this film from before I was old enough to remember. And Motsumi, the central character, was perhaps the most prominent heroine in my life. She, and others like her, children of the wild, have taught me about what it means to live Naturally, to live a righteous and good life, and how to see the world correctly. They taught me to love strength. They taught me the code of life. And I think, as such a strong influence, and as a life and example to whom I still look up for inspiration, Motsumi in particular, deserves some credit.

“but we know that she is resilient”

~ Deryk and Beverly Joubert, speaking in Eternal Enemies about Motsumi

I always longed for the dignity and respect that Montsumi had. I wanted people to look at me and say, “We know she can make it. She doesn’t need help; she doesn’t need protection. . .because we know that she is resilient.” And I always knew that no matter what others did or didn’t say, that was the truth about me. I was strong. I could access that strength. And I could survive. I too, was resilient.

Montsumi is gone now, but she lived a full life. She taught me so many things about how to be a woman and a good person; so many things about life—everything, insofar as she modeled the Natural way. I could never list them all. She taught me to be strong. To put up a fight even when you are weakened and alone. To never give in, give up, or give out. To remember your duties, but to go on when you alone have made it through. To always learn, but to never be bitter. To be self-reliant, but not independent. To be subordinate to one’s mate and to fight for him. To know that relationships are what is important in life, not things. To be a part of a pair, and a part of team, and a part of a race: to be conscious of your racial identity, and to live it and stand up for it. To love your own, but never to hate others. And. . .to always live your life as if the world was watching, because you never know when they will be.

I hope that I can impart some of the strength of wild creatures here. I hope that the spirit of Motsumi can fill other lives with as much strength, courage and identity as it has filled mine with.

As someone with something to teach all of us, I think her legacy is well worthy of being remembered here. More importantly perhaps, I believe that it is in Natural living that we can find how we as a race are supposed to live. While looking to other races is never ideal, the wild races of mammals offer the best examples of what Natural living looks like. For us as White people to survive and thrive we will need to know how to live as we were meant to live Naturally. It is in this that Motsumi and others like her, though not one of us, can be a model worthy of looking to and learning from.

Strange as it might seem to some, I have drawn a strong White identity from a lioness with a strong identity as a lion, and from myriad others like her, each strong in their own racial identities. And I think that as a people, we must return to Nature to truly regain our racial pride and dignity, and to grasp survival. It is within our reach, for I know we are resilient, and only the strong survive.

[1] Hugo Van Lawick, The Leopard Son (1996).