U.W • The Lion King Effect •

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

This was an article I wrote for Urbanista Writes on BuzzFeed, where I compared my life in the present to one of my favourite film, The Lion King.

Part 1

For as long as I could remember, The Lion King has always been one of my favourite films. I couldn’t figure out why I loved it so much, until I analysed it and realised that the story they are showing in this film, which talks about love, loss and the true meaning of life. These are all life lessons, that we all face every day of our lives and how my life has has The Lion King Effect on it.
Let’s start from the beginning of the film, where we have young Simba, an ambitious lion cub, who wants to rule his fathers kingdom, when he gets older. I remember, when I was young, my dream was to be an artist or a designer. But the difference between me and Simba is he is fearless and heroic character, where as, I am more shy and humble, who knows that one day, that dream can happen through hard work and determination. This was one life lesson I learnt from watching my dad work everyday helping people, as a GP Doctor.
On his discovery to the kingdom, Mufasa introduces “The Circle of Life” mentality to Simba. This is where he explains to him about equality and the fact that, we all go through the same things in life; love, loss and the true meaning of life. So whether you are a child, teenager or adult, black, brown or white, female or male, we are all equal and we should all respect each other and live in a peaceful world.
“Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures….And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” - Mufasa

Part 2

It then moves on to the part where Simba’s uncle, Scar, who is manipulating him into visiting an elephant graveyard, knowing that place is off limits to him. This scenario is due to the manipulation from his uncle and bad decision made by Simba, to prove that he is as brave as his father is. When this happened, Mufasa (Simba’s dad) shows that his biggest fear was loosing his son and that you only have to be brave, when its necessary.
I’m sure we have all been in situations at school or at home, where a family member or a school mate has used peer pressure or manipulation to make us do something we don’t wan’t to do and at first, it may seem like a great idea, but then it ends up being a bad decision, which we could regret for the rest of our lives.

Part 3

Loss and how to overcome it defiantly takes a big part in “ The Lion King Effect.” The concept of death is first introduced, when Mufasa is having a heart to heart conversation with Simba about his legacy of becoming the next king and how there will be a time, where he will have step down or die and Simba will have to take over as the future king.
For any child watching this film, the most memorable part and toughest part to watch is when (SPOILER ALERT) Mufasa dies in the stampede. This whole situation all comes back to manipulation again from Scar ( Simba’s Uncle) telling Simba he has a surprise for him in the Canyon. This ends up as a giant stampede in the canyon and Mufasa is alerted and is risking his own life to save his son’s. As he does this, Scar is overseeing this whole situation and when Mufasa is pleading for help from his own brother, he refuses and allows his brother to get killed by the stampede. After seeing this whole event happen with his very own eyes, Simba is brainwashed into thinking that this whole situation was his fault and is banished to the outlands, which is yet another, manipulative tactic from his uncle, a bad influence in his life. I’m sure we have all had those days where we make a bad decision or a mistake and we have taken the time to re think our options. So when Simba is banished, it reminded me of when I moved back to the UK last year, after being in Dubai for 5 years. In that time, I attended a fashion university and got my degree and started my job search. For anyone, who has experienced loss or a change in life, its not easy to overcome. It takes time and a new perspective on life to change that mentality, In Simba’s case, he made new friends and learnt a whole new meaning of life.
“ Hakuna Matata. It means no worries.”
“..This is the great life. No rules, no responsibilities….And best of all, no worries.” - Timon and Pumba

Part 4

When Simba finally discovers that his dream of being king is behind him and is in the past, he has allowed himself to be open to new opportunities. But he is then reminded of it, when his best friend Nala is in the vicinity looking for help. Nala has been Simba’s friend from the beginning of the film and what they don’t realise is that along the way, they will fall in love and live happily ever after. I value Nala because she can see Simba’s true potential and bravery, that no one else sees. However, having her there, triggers all thoughts and emotions that he has been blocking out for a while and she reminds him that he has some unresolved responsibilities and decisions to make. Heres an example, the pain and emotions I went through, when I moved back to UK was a roller coaster ride. I couldn’t understand why we were leaving so soon?, what I was going to do when I came home?… Too many unanswered questions were going through my head for a whole year which eventually allowed me to be depressed and different person. But over time, I began to accept the situation and see what I could do to move forward and how I can be a better person. Now, when Simba takes this time to think about his situation and responsibilities , he is approached by Rafiki, a wise relative, who reminds him of who he is and showing him with the help of his father’s spirit that he his the king and discovers, who he really is on the inside.

BuzzFeed Link

It also includes this sketch that I created inspired by the film;

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim)
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)

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