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Ma Tembo
Ma Tembo
Ma Tembo.png
Physical information




Skin color

Gray, pink, and purple

Eye color


Distinguishing features

   Broken tusk
   Dark spots on forehead

Biographical information



Pride Lands


   Ma Tembo's herd
   Pride Landers


Leader of Ma Tembo's herd

Relationship information

Aminifu (father)


Baboon leader, Beshte, Bunga, Bupu, Chama, Fuli, Kiara, Kion, Laini, Makini, Makuu, Mbeya, Mtoto, Mtoto's mother, Nala, Ono, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Simba, Timon, Twiga, Uroho, Vuruga Vuruga, Zazu, Zigo, Zito


Scar, Shupavu, Ushari, Cheezi (formerly), Chungu (formerly), Janja (formerly), Kiburi (formerly), Mzingo (formerly), Reirei (formerly)

I look forward to having our land back. But as for home... We're already here.
―Ma Tembo, after Kilio Valley burns down[src]

Ma Tembo is a female elephant. She is the leader of a herd of elephants in the Pride Lands.

When the spirit of Scar gathered an army against the Pride Lands, Ma Tembo joined her fellow Pride Landers in fighting them off and eventually defeating them altogether with an invasion of the Outlands.


Early life

When I was little, we had the Ukumbusho every year. So many wonderful memories.
―Ma Tembo[src]

Ma Tembo was born to Aminifu. She lived in the Pride Lands.[1]

As a calf, Me Tembo celebrated Ukumbusho every year with her herd. She came to greatly admire and enjoy the holiday.[2]

Aminifu's funeral

Simba: Well, he...he had good on him, too.
Ma Tembo: He did. He truly had good on him. But more poop!
—Ma Tembo and Simba on Aminifu[src]

Following the death of her father, Aminifu, Ma Tembo became the leader of her herd. When Simba arrived at Kilio Valley with Nala and Zazu, he saw members of Aminifu's herd leaving flowers on the old elephant's body while Ma Tembo stood watch. Saddened by the sight, Simba led Nala and Zazu down into the valley.

Ma Tembo thanks Simba for his tribute to her father, Aminifu.

After the flower ceremony, Simba gathered the herd to give his tribute. Ma Tembo announced the king, and Simba started by recounting his friendship with Aminifu and how he would always remember the old elephant fondly. He attempted to give the standard elephantese tribute of "He had good on him," but accidentally said, "He had poop on him."

Though horrified at this turn of events, Simba began to smile as the herd broke into laughter. Ma Tembo explained that her father had always had poop on him and that it had made them laugh. She fondly added that he had always made them laugh. When Simba still looked unsure, Ma Tembo thanked him for the tribute, and Simba commented that Aminifu had certainly had good on him. Ma Tembo agreed and laughingly added that he had had more poop on him.[1]


Happy Kupatana, Beshte!
―Ma Tembo[src]

Ma Tembo bathed in a water hole during Beshte and Bunga's patrol through the Pride Lands. They wished her a happy Kupatana, and she returned the greeting.[3]

Elephant concert

We would be honored to hear your song, Your Majesty.
―Ma Tembo to Simba[src]

Ma Tembo bows to the royal family.

When the elephants held their first concert of the season, Simba and his family resolved to be in attendance. Along the way, Simba got trapped in a sinkhole, and Kiara and Nala were forced to go on without him. They witnessed the concert and praised the elephants after their song. Just then, Simba arrived with the Lion Guard, Timon, and Pumbaa. He apologized to Ma Tembo for being late. Together, the group performed "Hakuna Matata".[4]

Savannah Summit

I'm on my way to Pride Rock...
―Ma Tembo, before the Savannah Summit[src]

Ma Tembo attended Simba's Savannah Summit at Mizimu Grove.[5]

Traveling Baboon Show

It means there's a food thief in the Pride Lands!
―Ma Tembo, after she notices food missing[src]

While patrolling the Pride Lands, the Lion Guard noticed several animals taking off in the same direction, including Ma Tembo. They followed the commotion to where Ma Tembo and a large group of Pride Landers had gathered beneath a tree. Mbeya the rhinoceros explained that the animals had gathered to see a troop of performing baboons. Uroho, Mwevi, and Mwizi appeared and performed for Ma Tembo and the rest of the audience. After the show, Ma Tembo left.

Ma Tembo declares that there is a food thief in the Pride Lands.

Later, the Lion Guard heard Ma Tembo crying for help, and they followed her voice to where a tree had been completely stripped of its flowers and leaves. Ma Tembo declared that there was a food thief in the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard resolved to find the thief and restore order to the Pride Lands. Meanwhile, Ma Tembo left to let the Lion Guard inspect the tree further.

After Uroho, Mwevi, and Mwizi were discovered to be the food thieves, Ma Tembo and several other Pride Landers lined up to receive their food back. Uroho handed Ma Tembo a fruit, which she gratefully accepted. After all the food had been returned, the baboons put on another show for Ma Tembo and the other animals.[6]

Finding water

It's my responsibility. My role in the Circle of Life. And as soon as I hear the new water source, everything will be fine...
―Ma Tembo[src]

Ma Tembo flees from Janja's clan.

In the Pride Lands, the dry season had started, and the Lion Guard was busier than ever. During their patrol, Ono informed his friends that Janja's clan was attacking Ma Tembo and her herd. The Lion Guard arrived at the scene to see Janja and his minions attacking the elephants.

The team drove the hyenas away, and Ma Tembo explained that the hyenas had been desperate because of the dry season. She also told them that she was trying to find a new water source for her herd. Kion sympathized with Ma Tembo and assured her that he knew how difficult it could be to serve as a new leader. Ma Tembo and her herd then departed to continue the search for water.

Ma Tembo locates a new water source.

Later, Ono told Kion that Janja and his crew were causing trouble again. This time, they were attacking the baboons who had started following Ma Tembo's herd. The Lion Guard arrived and had the elephants run into a rocky gorge. Kion then blasted the hyenas away with the Roar of the Elders.

With the hyenas gone, the baboons revealed that they were following Ma Tembo to a new water source. Ma Tembo resumed her search for a new water source while a concerned Kion decided to talk to his father.

Later, Rafiki's new apprentice, Makini, ordered the crowd of Pride Landers to be silent so Ma Tembo could hear. Ma Tembo at last heard and located a new water source, much to everyone's relief.[7]

Conflict with Chama

Chama, you are welcome to return if you promise to behave as part of the herd. But this is your last chance.
―Ma Tembo[src]

When Chama proved to be too much of a handful for her herd, Ma Tembo kicked him out.

Later, Kion and Bunga accompanied Chama back to his herd, where Ma Tembo explained that Chama was a disruption to the other elephants. Kion encouraged Ma Tembo to give Chama another chance, and she begrudgingly agreed. However, when Chama could not fit in, he left.[8]

Ukumbusho Tradition

Just be sure you have time to paint the sunbursts on the elephants, Makini. The performance won't look right without them. This is King Simba's first Ukumbusho, so it has to be perfect.
―Ma Tembo[src]

Ma Tembo directs her herd in preparing for the Ukumbusho Tradition.

In Mizimu Grove, Ma Tembo directed her herd in preparing for the Ukumbusho Tradition, a celebration that honored the peace established between the elephants and lions of the Pride Lands. In the midst of the preparations, Makini arrived to paint the elephants for the ceremony.

Under Ma Tembo's direction, the Lion Guard began practicing their lines. Just then, Timon and Pumbaa arrived to help the Lion Guard with their lines. However, before they could start, Ma Tembo pointed out that the Lion Guard was traditionally composed of lions only, which prompted Makini to suggest that she paint each Lion Guard member to resemble a lion.

Ma Tembo participates in the Ukumbusho Tradition.

Later, Makini was painting sunbursts on the elephants' foreheads when she suddenly ran out of yellow paint. In a panic, she related to Ma Tembo how she had used all her paint on the Lion Guard, and Ma Tembo suggested that she collect more yellow fruit from the nearby forest. Makini did as she was told, clearing a hive of bees from a clump of yellow flowers in order to bring the plants before the elephants.

Presently, Simba arrived with his mate, Nala, and daughter, Kiara, as well as the lionesses of his pride. The Lion Guard began to sing "May There Be Peace", during which they commemorated the peace established between the elephants and lions of the Pride Lands. After the song, Kion and Ma Tembo described how Askari, the first leader of the Lion Guard, had made peace with the elephants in order to keep the Circle of Life in balance.

Ma Tembo panics when a horde of bees attacks the herd.

However, in the midst of the ceremony, a horde of bees attacked the elephants, chasing them from the grove. Kion ordered his team to chase down the elephants before they could hurt anyone, and the Lion Guard took off to halt the stampede.

Just then, the Lion Guard ran into a group of elephants that had stopped being chased by the bees, and Kion, Fuli, and Ono pieced together that the bees were attracted to Makini's yellow paint. The team continued chasing down the stampede, and Fuli caught up to Mtoto, suggesting that he try to spray off the paint. Mtoto did as he was told, and the paint disappeared, prompting the bees to fly away. Seeing Mtoto's success, the Lion Guard resolved to use the same trick on the other elephants.

Ma Tembo apologizes to Simba for panicking.

From above, Ono reported that the elephants were racing into Sehemu Pass, where they could get stuck between the rocks. Kion declared that this was a good development. The Lion Guard then gathered at the entrance of the pass, and when each elephant got stuck, Mtoto sprayed their foreheads with dust, clearing away the paint and effectively warding off the bees.

Back at Mizimu Grove, Ma Tembo apologized to Simba for panicking and explained that bee strings in the trunk could be very painful. Makini rushed over and apologized for causing the chaos, to which Ma Tembo assured her that she had not known. When Makini volunteered to collect more yellow fruit for the paint, Kion suggested continuing the ceremony without any paint. Ma Tembo protested that it was difficult for elephants to break with tradition, but Simba told her that this could simply be a new tradition for the elephants of the Pride Lands. Ma Tembo then agreed to the new plan, and the Ukumbusho Tradition continued in a new way.[2]


We elephants would be delighted to be in your Christmas performance.
―Ma Tembo to Bunga[src]

Ma Tembo agrees to let her herd perform at Bunga's Christmas celebration.

Bunga asked Ma Tembo to involve her herd in his Christmas celebration. Though she was hesitant, Mtoto expressed interest in the performance, which ultimately persuaded Ma Tembo to acquiesce to the Lion Guard's wishes.

That night, Ma Tembo and her herd attended Bunga's rehearsal. Things went well until the next morning, when everyone was leaning toward abandoning the project. Before the animals could depart, Bunga desperately explained the importance of the performance to himself and Timon, which prompted Ma Tembo to change her mind.

The next day, Ma Tembo and her herd performed for the Christmas celebration.[9]


Ma Tembo attended Simba's Kumbuka celebration at Pride Rock.[10]

Kilio Valley fire

Our valley will return and so will we. But in the meantime, we elephants need a new place to live. Somewhere we can all be together.
―Ma Tembo, after a fire devastates Kilio Valley[src]

Ma Tembo defends her herd from an Outlander attack.

In Kilio Valley, the Lion Guard struggled to put out a widespread brush fire. At first, the team believed the fire to have been put out, but then embers began falling from the sky, which reignited the valley. The Lion Guard spread out, accepting help from several of Ma Tembo's herd members, while Ma Tembo led the rest of the herd out of the valley. However, she was cornered among the flames by Janja, Kiburi, Reirei, and their respective followers.

Ono overheard Janja's cackling and reported what he had heard to Kion, who suspected Scar of having caused the trouble. He then ordered his team to protect the elephants, which left Kilio Valley to the mercy of the fire.

Ma Tembo mourns the loss of Kilio Valley.

Just in time, the Lion Guard arrived to protect the elephants. The Lion Guard then led Ma Tembo and her herd out of the blazing valley. Once to safety, Ma Tembo mourned her destroyed home. She turned to Kion for help in finding a temporary home, and he resolved to help the elephants.

Kion led the elephants to Ndefu Grove, the home of the galagos. At first, Laini was receptive to the elephants staying in her home. However, once their heavy plods started making the ground shake and causing galagos to fall out of trees, she appealed to Kion to take them elsewhere. Kion made two more attempts to find the elephants a home – once with Twiga and her giraffes and again with Bupu and his sable antelope – but both ended in the herd leaders refusing to put up with the elephants' behavior.

Ma Tembo resolves to lead her herd out of the Pride Lands.

Frustrated, Kion ordered Bupu to be patient with the elephants until the Lion Guard could come up with another solution. He then asked Ono for a report on Kilio Valley. The Lion Guard discovered that Ma Tembo had been forcibly outed by Bupu. Kion approached the herd and assured Ma Tembo that he would find them a new home, but Ma Tembo insisted that they must leave the Pride Lands, as no one else wanted them.

Just then, Ono alerted Kion to a new fire that had broken out at Ndefu Grove. The Lion Guard rushed to the grove, where Laini begged them to save her galagos. Kion resolved to find help, while the rest of the Lion Guard stayed behind to combat the fire.

Ma Tembo and her herd help to extinguish a fire in Ndefu Grove.

Kion raced across the Pride Lands to where Ma Tembo and her herd were still en route to another kingdom. He explained the situation to her, and she agreed to help the galagos, as she considered the other Pride Landers to be her family. With Kion and Ma Tembo in the lead, the elephants arrived in Ndefu Grove, where they promptly put out the fire.

After the fire was put out, Laini thanked the elephants for their help and offered them a place at Ndefu Grove. Ma Tembo gratefully accepted but lamented the loss of Kilio Valley. Kion promised her that they would retake her home, to which Ma Tembo stated that while Kilio Valley was just land, the Pride Lands was home.[11]

Scar's attacks

This is such an honor. Who better then the elephants to help defend the Pride Lands? What? Bupu, what are you doing here? I didn't realize that Kion had asked other animals to help defend the Pride Lands.
―Ma Tembo, shortly before the Pride Landers begin training[src]

Ma Tembo complains about Makuu's training methods.

The Lion Guard concluded that the Pride Landers must unite against the threat of the Outlanders. They gathered together Bupu's herd, Laini's group, Ma Tembo's herd, and Mbeya's crash. At first, the Pride Landers were tense, but Kion worked to defuse the tension. He instructed the animals to race toward Bunga. However, the event soon got out of hand, for the animals tripped over the galagos and ended up in a heap. Kion then got the idea to call Makuu the crocodile for help. Makuu begrudgingly agreed to help, but his training was too rigorous and ruthless for the other Pride Landers to master.

Later, after Makuu left, the Army of Scar besieged his float. Ono witnessed the battle and reported his findings to Kion. Together, the Lion Guard and their Pride Lander allies stormed the watering hole and fought off the Army of Scar. After the fight, Makuu thanked Ma Tembo and her herd for the help and vowed to do the same for them should the need ever arise.[12]

Ma Tembo defends Makuu's watering hole from the Army of Scar.

Later, Ma Tembo was present when Dhahabu arrived at Pride Rock to arrange a water treaty with Simba.[13]

At Mizimu Grove, Rafiki and Simba announced Makini's mpando mpaya. In the midst of the celebration, the Army of Scar attacked, and the Pride Landers rose up to defend themselves. The battle paused when Scar appeared in the flames and threatened to overtake the entirety of the Pride Lands. Frightened by Scar's unexpected appearance, the remaining Pride Landers, including Ma Tembo and her herd, fled Mizimu Grove.

Ma Tembo and her herd deliberate whether they should leave the Pride Lands.

Kion used the Roar of the Elders to defeat the Outlanders, while Simba deliberated what to do with Ma Tembo. Simba then approached the Pride Landers once the Lion Guard had calmed them and admitted that he had had knowledge of Scar's return for some time. Ma Tembo noted that she understood why he had kept it a secret. The herds deliberated whether they should leave the Pride Lands, and Simba told them to inform him of their decision the following morning at Pride Rock.

At Pride Rock, Kion implored Ma Tembo and her herd to follow him to Mizimu Grove before they decided to leave the kingdom. The herds followed Kion to Pride Rock, where Makini's baobab tree seed had survived the fire. This inspired the Pride Landers to remain in the kingdom and work together to defeat Scar.[14]

Battle for the Pride Lands

Pride Landers, unite!
―Ma Tembo[src]

Ma Tembo charges into battle alongside her fellow Pride Landers.

Ma Tembo helped drive out the Army of Scar when they tried to invade the Pride Lands. Later, she gathered with her fellow Pride Landers at Pride Rock to train for coming battles with the army. She witnessed Scar's spirit appearing in the flames. Afterward, she expressed concern that Scar knew what the Pride Landers were planning, but Kion convinced the Pride Landers to remain optimistic.

The next morning, Ma Tembo assembled with the Pride Landers to invade the Outlands. She participated in the battle, which the Pride Landers ultimately won. Afterward, she watched as Jasiri was made the queen of the Outlands.[15]

Lion Guard's trip to the Tree of Life

Ma Tembo gathered with other Pride Landers at Pride Rock to bid farewell to the Lion Guard, who were departing for the Tree of Life.[15] When Beshte returned to Big Springs from his journey, Ma Tembo and her herd arrived to welcome him back.[16]

Battle of the Lion Guards

Beshte, you're getting sunburned. You need to protect your skin.
―Ma Tembo, during Beshte's competition[src]

Ma Tembo serves as a weight during the competition between the Strongest members of the Lion Guards.

Later, Ma Tembo and Zito served as props for the Battle of the Lion Guards, during which Kion's and Vitani's Lion Guards faced off. Each elephant stood on a boulder while the contestants for the Strongest member of the Lion Guard, Beshte and Imara, pushed their rock toward the finishing line. The competition began, and Beshte pushed Ma Tembo's rock across the plains. However, Ma Tembo noticed that he was sunburning, so Beshte abandoned the contest to roll in some mud, which cost him his victory.

Later, Ma Tembo watched both Fuli's and Anga's competitions. She witnessed the final mashindano between Kion and Vitani, and reacted with awe when Askari's spirit appeared in the sky and when Kion used the Roar of the Elders to lift Pride Rock.[16]

Kion's coronation

Ma Tembo attended Kion's coronation and wedding to Rani at the Tree of Life.[16]

Physical appearance

A side-profile view of Ma Tembo.

Ma Tembo has the characteristic large and rounded frame of the elephant, with floppy ears, thick legs, and a winding trunk. Unlike the other members of her herd, who are blue and gray in color, she is pale gray tinged with pink, with a lighter gray chest, toenails, and trunk tip. Her inner ears are a deeper shade of pink than her main body, and her eyelids are rimmed with dark gray. Like her father, Aminifu, she bears spots on her back. She also has three markings on her forehead. A patch of stunt brown hairs sticks up from her head, and one of her tusks is broken at the tip. Her eyes are dark blue.[1]

Personality and traits

Ma Tembo: It's difficult for elephants to break with tradition.
Simba: Then why not think of it as starting a new tradition?
Ma Tembo: I like the sound of that.
—Ma Tembo and Simba, when the Ukumbusho Tradition is altered[src]

Ma Tembo happily creates a new version of the Ukumbusho Tradition with Kion.

Ma Tembo is always game for a laugh. Even when Simba made a mistake at her father Aminifu's funeral, she was gracious and kind, and made light of the situation by dwelling on the good.[1] She is similarly gracious to Nala and Kiara when they were the only members of their family to attend the elephant concert.[4]

As a leader, Ma Tembo is strong-willed and dutiful. She takes her responsibilities seriously and strives to protect her herd at all costs. Despite her position, she is humble and takes instruction well from those in authority, such as Simba.[5] She is also brave and ready to serve her kingdom in battle.[15] Like most elephants, Ma Tembo reveres tradition and likes for ceremonies such as the Ukumbusho Tradition to be executed perfectly and respectfully. Even so, she is open to creating new traditions.[2]



  • The first part of Ma Tembo's name ("ma") means "mother," while the latter part ("tembo") means "elephant" in Swahili.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in "Can't Wait to be Queen" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 4, Season 1. Written by John Loy, Jack Monaco, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 29, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in "The Ukumbusho Tradition" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 10, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired October 27, 2017.
  3. Revealed in "The Kupatana Celebration" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 6, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen, John Loy, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired February 12, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in "Bunga and the King" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 13, Season 1. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired April 29, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in "The Savannah Summit" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 2, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Tom Derosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 7, 2017.
  6. Revealed in "The Traveling Baboon Show" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 3, Season 2. Written by John Loy and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 14, 2017.
  7. Revealed in "The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 5, Season 2. Written by Ford Riley. Originally aired July 29, 2017.
  8. Revealed in "Rafiki's New Neighbors" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 8, Season 2. Written by Laura Sreenby and Krista Tucker, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired September 22, 2017.
  9. Revealed in "Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 12, Season 2. Written by John Loy and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired December 8, 2017.
  10. Revealed in "The Scorpion's Sting" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 17, Season 2. Written by Krista Tucker and directed by Tom Derosier. Originally aired April 2, 2018.
  11. Revealed in "The Kilio Valley Fire" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 19, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired April 4, 2018.
  12. Revealed in "Pride Landers Unite!" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 26, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 21, 2019.
  13. Revealed in "The Queen's Visit" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 27, Season 2. Written by Don Gillies and directed by Tom De Rosier. Originally aired February 18, 2019.
  14. Revealed in "The Fall of Mizimu Grove" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 28, Season 2. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired March 25, 2019.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Revealed in "Battle for the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 1, Season 3. Written by Ford Riley and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired August 3, 2019.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Revealed in "Return to the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 19, Season 3. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and Ford Riley, and directed by Tom De Rosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired November 3, 2019.
  17. Lynette Dupree. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on September 15, 2020.
  18. Online Swahili - English Dictionary. African Languages. Retrieved on September 15, 2020.