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The Lion King Wiki
Rafiki (2019 film)
"Do you see any other big, lovable chunk of warthog here?"
This article is about the character from the 2019 film.
You may be looking for the character from the 1994 film.

Rafiki (2019 film)
Rafiki 2019.png
Physical information




Skin color

Blue and red

Hair color

Black, brown, and gray

Eye color


Biographical information



Pride Lands


   Pride Landers
   Pride Lands monarchy

Relationship information

Mufasa, Nala, Sarabi, Simba, Simba and Nala's cub


Azizi, Kamari, Scar, Shenzi

Everybody is somebody. Even a nobody.
―Rafiki to Simba[src]

Rafiki is a male mandrill.

When Simba, the prince heir of Pride Rock, was born, Rafiki christened him and presented him to the animals of the Pride Lands. Once Simba was a young cub, Scar drove him from the Pride Lands but lied to the pride that both he and his father, Mufasa, had perished in a stampede. Rafiki watched Scar's coronation from afar and mourned the purported deaths of Mufasa and Simba.

Seasons later, Rafiki found a tuft of fur that belonged to Simba. Realizing that the young prince was in fact still alive, Rafiki set out in search of him and found him in self-exile in the jungle. Upon meeting Simba, Rafiki encouraged him to reclaim his birthright and facilitated his communion with Mufasa's spirit.

After the encounter, Simba returned to the Pride Lands, and Rafiki joined Simba's allies in battle against Scar and his hyena army. Eventually, the Pride Landers emerged victorious, and Rafiki looked on as Simba took his place as the rightful king of the Pride Lands. After the coronation, Simba took on Nala as his mate, and the two had a cub, whom Rafiki presented to the Pride Landers.


Early life

Rafiki lived in the Pride Lands. He worked closely with the Pride Lands monarchy and befriended its reigning king, Mufasa.[1]

Simba's presentation

I held the son of Mufasa.
―Rafiki on Simba[src]

At Pride Rock, Rafiki presented the newborn prince, Simba, to the animals of the Pride Lands. After the ceremony, he drew a painting of Simba on his tree.[1]

Mufasa's death

Seasons later, Mufasa and Simba were allegedly killed in a stampede. As the next in line for the throne, Scar assumed the mantle of king and allowed the hyenas to take over the Pride Lands. Rafiki and Zazu watched the coronation from a distance in disapproval, and Rafiki sadly wiped away his painting of Simba.[1]

Simba's return to the Pride Lands

Rafiki: Come. Your father is waiting. Do you see him?
Simba: I don't see anything.
Rafiki: Look closer. You see? He lives in you.
—Rafiki shows Simba his reflection[src]

Rafiki shows Simba his reflection.

Once Simba was full-grown, a piece of his mane reached Rafiki's tree, and the mandrill realized that Simba was alive. He promptly journeyed to the jungle, where he found Simba distressed over the prospect of returning home. Rafiki revealed that he had known Simba’s father, Mufasa, then implored the young prince to follow him so that he could see his father again.

Rafiki led Simba on a chase through the jungle until they reached a pool of water, where Rafiki instructed Simba to look at his reflection. Though at first doubtful, Simba did as he was told and saw Mufasa's face in the water. He then encountered the spirit of his father, who implored him to return home. Moved by the experience, Simba agreed to return to the Pride Lands, and Rafiki cheered for him as he departed the jungle.[1]

Battle of Pride Rock

Before the confrontation between Scar and Simba, Rafiki retrieved his staff from a secret place in the branches of his tree. He hastened to Pride Rock and used the staff to fend off Scar's hyena allies.[1]

Simba's coronation

It is time.
―Rafiki, shortly before Simba's coronation[src]

After Simba's allies achieved victory, Rafiki affirmed Simba's coronation and watched him ascend Pride Rock. Under Simba's reign, the Pride Lands was restored to its former glory. One morning, Rafiki presented Simba and Nala's newborn cub to the Pride Landers.[1]

Physical appearance

Rafiki is an elderly mandrill who is covered in wiry gray hair. He has a short tail, brown eyes, and a long, narrow face that is marked by patches of blue and red skin. He has a thick mane of white hair that covers his head and extends down to his chin, where it forms a short goatee. Occasionally, he carries a staff of twisted wood.[1]

Personality and traits

Simba: Yeah, I think you're confused.
Rafiki: I am confused? You don't even know who you are.
—Rafiki confronts Simba[src]

Rafiki fought fiercely during the battle of Pride Rock.

Rafiki is wise and solemn. He rarely speaks and only interferes with the doings of the Pride Lands if matters are dire. Despite his old age, he is strong-willed, stubborn, and adamant, and will assert his opinions in the face of doubts, such as when he urged a reluctant Simba to reclaim his birthright. As evidenced by his quiet tolerance of Scar's tyrannical reign, Rafiki knows his limits and elects to choose his battles rather than throw himself headlong into conflicts. However, when he does fight, he is fearless, ruthless, and more than physically capable.[1]



  • Rafiki's name means "friend" in Swahili.[3]
  • Rafiki frequently mutters to himself in Xhosa.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (2019). Written by Jeff Nathanson, and directed by Jon Favreau. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
  2. John Kani. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on September 27, 2020.
  3. Online Swahili - English Dictionary. African Languages. Retrieved on September 27, 2020.
  4. Revealed in Bad Omens from Wild Schemes and Catastrophes. Written by John Jackson Miller, pencilled by Alexandra Fastovets, and inked by Julia Zhuravleva. Published on June 4, 2019.