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Tumaini as depicted by Aspi-Galou
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General information
Name meaning Swahili for "Hope"
Species African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus), "strawberry" variant
Gender Male
Age Nine years (at death)
Birthplace unknown
Current residence Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Fate Deceased (Killed by lions)
Peculiar traits Three scars on his face

Tuft of hair on the top of the head and neck

First appearance Does not appear in Africa
Allies Nadira, Giza (temporarily), Chuki (sort of), wild dogs (temporarily)
Rivals Tofauti, Giza, Chuki
Enemies wild dogs, lions
Relatives Simulizi (mother),
Zito (father),
Nafasi (sister),
unnamed mates,
Giza (mate),
unnamed offsprings,
Africa (daughter), Chuki (son)
Mosi, Binti (grandchildren)
unnamed nephews/nieces
Voiced by

Tumaini was a lithe, yet well-muscled and sturdy male African leopard, a resident of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. He was Africa's father. This character was created by Aspi-Galou on DevaintART.

Physical appearance[]


Tumaini is what you might call a unique character. Because of his fur, unusually colored, but also by his behavior.

Early on, he showed an insatiable curiosity about everything around him, especially other animals inhabiting the crater. And without his mother's word and philosophy, he would never have become the open minded and loyal leopard he is today. Whereas leopards mix only with other leopards, he is interested in other animals inhabiting the crater and even managed to have a kind of friendship/alliance with some. With unusual sensitivity, and an open mind, he is not insensitive to slow changes that occur on lands where he was born.

For other leopards, he is quite jovial, strange, but a sparkling male, a little arrogant sometimes, especially to seduce a female. But well, he's a male...


Before the events of the comic[]

Tumaini was born in a small den dug in the ground and covered up by a dead tree trunk. He was the second born after his sister Nafasi. They both lived like any self-respecting leopard, with their mother Simulizi teaching them all they had to know about their future life alone. The sage female leopard used to tell him and his sister wonderfull stories. Legends, stories of their breed, other felids on the crater, other animals...She'd teach them how precious life is, and so they should respect every single thing they'll encounter and to learn from what they'll see. From the smallest ant to the gigantic elephant. Because anyone has its place and role in this environment. Because this delicate balance must be preserved, some things should not change. But sometimes in order to survive, changes must be made...  

Tumaini never forgot his mother's words. They were the trigger for the open minded leopard he'll become. And his curiosity never faded with time. Sometimes he managed to bring his sister by his side, although she was less interested. But Tumaini was a pretty open minded cub, getting to know how other carnivores interacted with each other and their peaceful prey. Tumaini and Nafasi stayed with their mother for a year and a half before the desire to see new horizons seized. They then said their goodbyes to their mother, who was soon to be busy with another litter, and left. 

The brother and sister separated when each found a respective territory, but, curiously, remained close although the complicity of their childhood had fainted. Their territories overlapped, each sharing at least one border. But Nafasi never considered her brother as an enemy and tolerated its presence, seldom showing fangs, betraying her desire to be alone. Tumaini followed his sister's beginning of motherhood and witnessed with horror at the loss of her first litter. Her lack of experience he had brought her bad luck. But for the rest of his days, the male never would forget his sister's huge grief over the lifeless bodies of the little ones she strove to keep alive. Nafasi found herself completely changed. She refused to let any male approach her, even her own brother, who continued to love her anyway. Even if he was just a male, he learned how motherhood was something intense for a female. Through his sister, a lesson was learned. But it left a bitter aftertaste in his mouth...Tumaini, however, had some victories and failures, learning the hard life to be a leopard. Nevertheless, he was proud to be able to mate with some females, thus allowing its lineage through time. He was happy, had a territory where he could live without starving. 

On the eve of Tumaini's eight years, a stranger arrived in his territory, without warning, triggering the fight immediately. A muscular and energetic leopard, electric blue eyes full of emotion that never Tumaini had seen in his old rivals. And what began as a fight for territory was transformed dramatically.

The new male was hunting. And Tumaini was his prey.

Oddly enough, the stranger leopard relaxed, but it was only to catch him better. He scratched Tumaini, but just in order to see him bleed and feel pain. It was crazy. And that was what was glowing in the blue eyes of this male named Tofauti: Madness. Tumaini escaped him by pure luck. With a vicious swipe, he scratched the stranger's right eye, leaving a nasty wound, rendering him permanently blind. The pain made him mad and blinded by fury and so Tumaini could escape. Seriously injured, he left his territory, leaving it to his strange and maniac rival.

Nevertheless, he made a hook to the territory of his sister, to see if she was okay. He was terrified to see her unconscious, surrounded by strange hairless monkeys who were doing absolutely incomprehensible things. However, his sister was visibly alive. He saw his flanks rise. Relieved, he went away and never came back.  His wounds, however, were slowing him down, so he was forced to stop in a occupied part of the crater with a small pack of wild dogs. Although threatening at first, they finally left him alone when they saw that he could still defend himself and he was not trying to hunt down the pups. Then, while his wounds were healing and he regained his shape, Tumaini watched and learned things: some carnivores managed to live together to better preserve their species. He learned that by helping each other, survival could stretch to the most vulnerable individuals. He learned that hunting in group reaped a better chance of success. He grew stronger by these observations, but nevertheless left them the day he felt better, and turned his back on his "hosts". He didn't know the fate that waited for this pack. 

Finally, after some weeks of travel and research, during which he mated with a young female, he finally found himself a new territory. Delighted, he began to visit cheerfully, marking his territory while observing the flora and fauna of the area.  

It was during his observations that he met Giza for the first time.  

At first, she was far from friendly, for he had, unfortunately, passed through her territory. He had been so delighted by his luck that he had paid little attention to the existing markings. Nevertheless, he took the time to observe: she was a beautiful black female, the first he had ever met. So beautiful despite her obvious emaciation. Before her righteous anger, Tumaini withdrew without fighting back, delighted to see that his territory was not far from a female's one. By the time she was in heat, she wouldn't be as aggressive. While he waited for her, he met a gazelle, and they discussed calmly. The gazelle told him the name of the female leopard, Giza, and they continued discussing until they exchanged their names: she was called Nadira. Although a bit surprised to see that she wasn't afraid of him, Tumaini couldn't help but find the conversation interesting, shares her philosophy in part. 

A few months later, he returned to see Giza, this time responding to the call of hormones. Finally in heat, Giza became suddenly more affectionate and pleasant. Delighted, Tumaini began the courtship that would allow him to show her how strong he, and consequently his cubs, could be. He used his charms to gain acceptance by the female who would be able to push him away. However, a rival suddenly stopped his courtship and faced Tumaini to win the heart of the black female. His defeat with Tofauti and his observation of the wild dogs were fruitful. Tumaini surprised his opponent by using his teeth instead of his claws, like he knew from the dogs' canine behavior. His wits allowed him to win, and gave him the right to conquer Giza, with whom he mated when the lady gave him permission. During the time that Giza was receptive, the couple shared the same territory and hunted together while learning more about each other. Tumaini immediately noticed that she had been a mother, but she had lost her youngs. When he pointed this out to her, he thought about his sister. Her immense pain. Although he was a male who knew nothing about motherhood and the powerful bond between mother and babies, he could not forget Nafasi's poignant anguish and despair and her considerable hardening in personality. He also learned that Giza's bad luck was due to her skin color, which prevented her from satisfying her hunger and thus feed her young. Giza was so weak and thin, but extremely beautiful in her uniqueness. And in her endless struggle to survive and leave her mark on this world, she had hardened, like his sister, showing a strength of character that few leopards had. Tumaini himself was different, and he was all the more seduced by her beauty and strength, praising her courage, telling her not to lose hope and that every fight draws to an end, even if it takes terribly long. 

After that, Tumaini helped her.

He hunted for her, bringing her meat, like the wild dogs did when they supported their pack. He told Giza: "You're going to raise them, but these youngs share my blood too, my lineage. They are important for me as well, for my pride as a male. And you have to feed them, raise them. And you need strengh to do all those things. So I give you that meat. It's that simple."  He went on this ride until Giza ultimately sent him off, and the couple split up naturally. Tumaini therefore withdrew without a fuss, but not without giving her one last gift: when Giza had just given birth, he brought her a dead hare for her to regain her strengths, and he proudly watched his daughter, his only daughter, so sturdy and strong, and wished both of them good luck.

From his territory, he observed the two females from. He noted the curious behavior of the cub, named Africa by Giza. A strong name, worthy of her. Tumaini was proud, however, age was taking its toll and he was becoming less efficient. He started to worry about his future. And so, when a young male, full of life and strengh, started to wander around his territory, he recognized him as someone of his lineage. Although in his eyes he was a rival, Tumaini could not help, just like wild dogs, to spend his philosophy, to complete his training. Both males saw to share a strange relationship. Based on respect for one another.

Soon, an injury to the leg struck his end a few months later. He died suddenly, violently, killed by a pride of lions against whom he was arguing over prey. He was unable to easily escape because of his injured leg. Nevertheless, he had left behind a daughter and a son who carried his blood and his lineage. He died proudly and in peace.



Tumaini's philosophy is "Everyone can learn from each other". He has learned a lot about the world surrounding him by observing the nature and animals living in it, including his own preys. His philosophy places halfway through between Giza and Nadira's.



Read more[]

The Characters
Leopards Africa GizaChuiSaharaMosiBintiBotswanaKalahariKenyaNamibiaOkavango
Gazelles NadiraPaaPembe
Zebras AbasiKafilHazina
Fan characters TumainiTofautiJuaSimuliziZitoHasiraChukiKwanza