RWANSIGAZI - SILVERBACK
Meaning of name: Rwansigazi is a Rukiga word meaning a-young-boy-displaying-leadership qualities. He got this name as the trackers noticed he showed strong leadership qualities even when his father was alive.
Age: Estimated to be about 25 years as he was already a silverback during habiutation.
Who’s yo daddy? Mukurusi
Who’s yo mama? Mother unknown
Rwansigazi is a typical, full-grown silverback – very big in size. He was the dominant male of the Habinynja group until February 2009, when he was ousted from his position by a younger siverback – Makara.
This is not uncommon among mountain gorillas. It must be that the younger silverback did not fancy the thought of waiting in line to a relatively young, strong, silverback, to live out his years before he could take over; and was also not keen on striking out by himself to steal (or woo) females from other families in the hope of starting out his own family.
Now Rwansigazi roams the forest alone, planning his next move. What are his options? He could bid his time and wait for an opportunity to take back his rightful position as head of the Habinyanja family by challenging Makara.
He could also try to start a new family by challenging other silverbacks for some females. Or he could try and join another gorilla family as a subordinate silverback whose value would be in the security he could provide for the dominant male of the group; not a pleasant prospect even by gorilla standards.
Or he could simply lead the life of a lonely bachelor for the rest of his days.
Whatever his next move will be he has enough time to reflect on the mistakes he made as a silverback. He could be making resolutions on how to be a reformed leader, gentler with the females and children, and also handling the males in a shrewder manner as he has learnt the lesson that might is not always guarantee a gorilla leadership rights.