MISHAYA - SILVERBACK
Meaning of name: He was named this because he has mishaya milongo which means long cheeks in Rukiga. Mishaya happens to have distinctly long cheekbones.
Age: He’s estimated to be about 35 years old.
Who’s yo daddy? Father unknown
Who’s yo mama? Mother unknown
In addition to his long cheekbones he also has a scar on his left cheek. Mishaya has a peaceful disposition. Unlike Nshongi, he wasn’t keen to charge at trackers during habituation, adopting a more wait-and-see approach. He caught on quickly to the fact that the two-legged creatures, who insisted on tagging along with the family, must be harmless, and his acceptance must have helped in the quick habituation of the group.
His easy nature has endeared him to all the members in the group and in him, the blackbacks find they have an ally and a friend, unlike Nshongi, who harbours a silverback’s typical resentment of the young bachelors of his family.
It is likely that Mishaya is the elder brother of Nshongi and on the death of their father Mishaya took over the leadership but was quick to give up his role to Nshongi’s more domineering personality, rather than be usurped and kicked out of the family, and thereby suffer the fate of solitary bachelorhood for the rest of his days.
It is also likely that he joined the group as a younger blackback or silverback after having been hounded from his family by a jealous male. This may have happened in the time when Nshongi’s father led the family and when the old silverback died, and his son – Nshongi - took over. Mishaya’s peaceful disposition presented no threat to Nshongi’s dominance and he was not only allowed to stay on as part of the family but was allowed to enjoy full breeding rights with the family’s females.
It could also be that Mishaya is Nshongi’s father and the younger silverback has ascended the throne without having to wait for his father’s demise. This would of course make him much older than the estimated 35 years.
Whatever circumstances surround this interesting relationship between these two silverbacks, the family is secure in having two strong males they can rely on for protection.
Among the ladies, Mishaya’s favourites are Bukozo, Mize and Bwiruka.