Though they are gone, they are not forgotten. The memories of some of Djuma’s iconic and heart-stealing characters live on in our hearts and the legacies they left behind.
The most notable and powerful is Queen Kurhula.
Originally, she was known as ‘Karula’, meaning ‘Peace’, but the correct spelling of the Shangane word is ‘Kurhula’.
Kurhula’s legacy continues to dominate Djuma, just as she had once before.
Born in March of 2004, Queen Kurhula was a fierce leader of the safari and an exceptional mother who bore six litters, that we know of, and raised eight cubs to independence. Her final litter was orphaned and forced into independence after her disappearance in March 2017, where she was last spotted in the northwestern Sabi Sand.
Her offspring adopted her fame and quickly became vibrant characters at Djuma. Particularly, the late Hosana and Thandi.
Hosana, meaning “Little Prince”, was born into the illustrious Djuma royal lineage on the 2nd of February 2016.
His father was the late Duke of Djuma, Tingana. The Little Prince was a remarkable cat. Viewers across the world fell in love with Hosana’s playful and clownish nature, a contrast to his more reserved and mature littermate and sister, Xongile. Sometimes, his games were fun for him… but not so much for his playmates.
Hosana was unusually social and spent an unusual amount of time with his father after Kurhula’s disappearance. Tingana fell ill for a time and Hosana spent extended periods with him as he recovered.
When Hosana stepped into adolescence, he slowly drifted away from Djuma and set up in a vacant territory on the Sand River to start his own legacy.
Tragically, we lost Hosana in the autumn of 2022. He was just six years old.
Hosana’s only son, Mzemba, remains in the Sabi Sand. Though not confirmed with DNA, Hosana mated with Mzemba’s mother and they lived in his territory, so his fatherhood is a strong possibility.
Kurhula’s Djuma estate fell into the safe paws of her eldest daughter, Thandi. The feisty, new Queen wasted no time claiming her late mother’s domain. Thandi, meaning ‘beloved’, ensured a lasting legacy by producing her own heirs.
Thandi mated with Tingana and gave birth to Tlalamba, the Playful Princess, three months after Kurhula’s passing in November 2017.
Tlalamba was a rambunctious and fiercely independent cub who often left her mother, heedless of danger, to investigate her surroundings. The Princess flourished under the protection of the new Queen and her father.
Sadly, Thandi succumbed to severe injuries by an unknown cause and died on the 4th of April. Tlalamba and Thandi’s other cubs, Kuchava and Maribye, roam the area to this day.
In the end, Queen Kurhula’s legacy is a force to be reckoned with. Her grandchildren make us proud by continuing their lineage’s stronghold in Djuma. Hosana and Thandi made an impression on Djuma and the hearts of those who watched them. Her grandchildren, Tlalamba, Kuchava, and Maribye, still grace the Djuma Woodlands and carry Queen Kurhula’s legacy forward.