RUKARA - SILVERBACK
Meaning of name: Rukiga word for a single piece of charcoal. As you can imagine he is particularly dark.
Age: 16 years
Who’s yo daddy? Father unknown
Who’s yo mama? Mother unknown
Mirror mirror in the jungle who’s the strongest of us all?
Even with his tender years Rukara is bigger than the dominant silverback Ndahura and all the other silverbacks in the family. This makes him the biggest in the family and as he’s still young, he is going to get bigger still.
Just like Snow-White’s step-mother, Rukara’s step-brother, Ndahura is an unhappy gorilla when he beholds the younger gorilla coming of age. While the two elderly silverbacks pose no threat whatsoever to his dominance, Rukara, whom he quite likely shares paternal genes with, is considered a real threat by Ndahura.
Not that Rukara poses a threat to Ndahura. He is too scared to dare and cowers and cringes in Ndahura’s presence when they meet unexpectedly in the forest paths. Rukara has not the mental wherewithal to challenge Ndahura to a game of poker (or its equivalent in the forest) let alone to a physical show-down for the family throne.
The poor gorilla is shunned by all the family members and it doesn’t take a political analyst to trace Ndahura’s malevolent scheming behind this dastardly state of affairs. Since Ndahura isn’t guaranteed victory in a physical bout twixt the two, the plan is to totally ignore Rukara and hope that will go away. Rukara eats alone, wanders alone, makes his bed away from the other family members and woe is Rukara if he even tries to play with the young ones, let alone cast a way-ward glance at an eligible female. Ndahura has brow-beaten Rukara to the point that he cannot break away from the inferiority complex Ndahura has cultivated in him over the years.
It’s quite likely that Rukara is fated to leave his family and either join another family as a subordinate silverback, or lead a solitary life in the forest, for despite his strength he won’t be fighting any gorillas for females in a hurry.
If only he could read, you would send your friend a self-help book or two to help him build his confidence.