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Kijani (Swahili for "Warrior", born February 24, 1986) is a lion fur and fursuiter currently[when?] living in Bothell, Washington, U.S.A.

Originally from Kirkland, Washington, Kijani joined the furry fandom in April of 2008. In December of 2008, Kijani organized the first major fursuit bowling meet in the greater Seattle area, When Furballs Strike (WFS), at Kenmore Lanes in Kenmore, Washington, with 40 attendees.

Kijani was a guest of honor at Biggest Little Fur Con 2014,[1] and is to be one at Anthro Northwest 2019.[2]

In real life, Kijani graduated from the University of Washington in December 2007 with a B.A. degree in Journalism. He currently works as a casino dealer after spending five years in the community newspaper industry as a sports writer and newspaper editor.

Kijani's lion fursuit commissioned by the Furducers of Tempe, Arizona
The 2.0 version of Kijani, created by Beastcub Creations, features 3-D "follow me" eyes, moveable jaw, a sewn-in tail and silicone pawpads

Bio/Furry history[edit]

Kijani has a deep affection for lions that began in 2004 when he watched The Lion King to write a college English essay. Many years later, after re-watching the film, he felt a strong connection to the leonine characters, and the story of Simba in particular. Soon thereafter, he started collecting various merchandise and memorabilia from the film, and currently owns over 1,000 items in his collection, which won a People's Choice award at the Western Washington (Puyallup) Fair in 2006.

As the years passed, Kijani’s love for TLK soon translated into a strong connection to African lions as animals. In early 2008, he began researching the furry fandom after watching videos of fursuiters performing and various furry conventions on YouTube, and on April 12, 2008, made the decision to join the fandom. Kijani believes that the furry fandom is a wonderful creative outlet, while allowing the ability to brighten the lives of those around you, whether they are friends, family, children, or others in the fandom.

Kijani is the Lead Organizer of Furlife: Pacific Northwest Furries and takes the official video of the meets he is able to attend. He has attended a total of 19 conventions: RainFurrest 2008-2015; All Fur Fun 2009, Further Confusion 2011 and 2012,Anthrocon 2010-2015, and Biggest Little Fur Con 2014-15.


Kijani owns two fursuits: Kijani, (based off of his fursona), and Kato.

Kijani's first commissioned lion suit features long-pile light brown body fur, a balaclava-style head with moveable jaw, and also represents the Furducers' first attempt at making digitigrade-style legs. In August 2013, Kijani 2.0 was completed, created by Beastcub Creations. The new costume features 3-D "follow me" eyes, a sewn-in tail and moveable hinged jaw.

Kijani's second suit, Kato, is also a lion and made by Snap_E._Tiger of Kato is the mutated twin brother of another one of Snap's suits, Marf Lion, and was born with a genetic defect that gave him green eyes and dyed streaks of green into his mane.

Kato features a static jaw and digitigrade legs sewn into the body suit. He debuted at Rainfurrest in 2009.

Fursuiting Ambassador[edit]

Kijani, as Kato Lion, interacts with a youngster during Issaquah's Salmon Days festival in 2011

Since he joined the furry fandom primarily through the fursuiting aspect, Kijani always seeks to give back to the furry fandom and the local community through fursuit performance.

With over 14,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, Kijani's public fursuiting videos have inspired and touched the hearts of many in the furry fandom and beyond.

Along with documenting each of his public fursuiting experiences through video, Kijani has also produced a compilation video series, called "Fursuiting: For the Kids, and the Kid in all of us" that has over 80,000 combined views, and a special short film series called "The Magic of Fursuiting" which contains quotes from members of his local public fursuiting group.

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 3rd edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 4th edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 5th edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 6th edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 7th edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - Convention edition

The Magic of Fursuiting

The Magic of Fursuiting II

Since 2010, Kijani has been performing in fursuit at local community functions, charity events and parades. He has also hosted or co-hosted several panels at Rainfurrest and Biggest Little Fur Con on the topics of performing in fursuit and fursuiting outside of a convention environment.

In August 2013, he founded Emerald City Critters, a nonprofit organization based in the Seattle, Washington area specializing in character performance for community and charity events, festivals and parades. Some of the events the Critters have attended include one of the state's largest festivals, Issaquah Salmon Days, and the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure.

Furry News Network[edit]

Putting his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism to good use, Kijani was also a volunteer staff writer for the Furry News Network.

From 2011-2013, he contributed a bi-monthly (formerly monthly) feature called "Featured Fursuiter of the Month" for which he writes an article detailing a well-known fursuiting personality in the furry fandom, offering a "behind-the-mask" look at their characters and their contributions to the world of fursuiting, how they got involved with the furry fandom, and their lives outside of the fandom.

Featured fursuiters


Kijani’s hobbies and interests include collecting memorabilia from The Lion King (film and musical), anything related to African lions, bowling, racquet sports, Dance Dance Revolution/In the Groove, wildlife photography, poker, and game shows.

He owns one of the largest Lion King merchandise and memorabilia collections in the world, comprised of over 1,000 individual items.

He appeared on the American game show Wheel of Fortune in October of 2004 and won $36,830 in cash and prizes, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

He is also a huge fan of The Lion King on Broadway stage musical and has seen the show in a total of 18 times in seven different cities (Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Jose, CA; New York; Orlando, FL; Tempe, AZ and Shanghai, China) around the world.


Known as one of the furry fandom's top bowlers, Kijani has bowled 10 perfect 300 games and one USBC-sanctioned 800 series, and has recorded a high league average of 219. He won a collegiate singles bowling title competing for the University of Washington at the Aggie Bowl Invitational in Utah in 2005, and most recently won the Greater Seattle USBC Oktoberfest tournament in October 2011.

In fursuit, Kijani averages around 130, with a high game of 177.

Kijani bowling at the Kenmore Lanes West Coast Tournaments (WCT) tour stop in 2013


  1. Tweet on the Biggest Little Fur Con account on Twitter. Dated September 16, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  2. "Congratulations to @kijani_lion and @kitwanalion for being selected as the 2019 Anthro Northwest Guests of Honor!" - Anthro Northwest, Twitter (February 13, 2019)

External links[edit]

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