Kijani

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Kijani (born February 24, 1986) is a lion fur and fursuiter currently living in Bothell, Washington, U.S.A. His fursona name of Kijani translates to "warrior" in the Swahili language, representing his character's ability to fight through any of life's challenges.

Originally from Kirkland, Washington, Kijani joined the furry fandom in April of 2008. He was a guest of honor at Biggest Little Fur Con 2014.[1]

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

Contents

[edit] Bio/Furry history

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 970 items in his collection, which won a People's Choice award at the Western Washington (Puyallup) Fair in 2006 and is unofficially the largest in the United States.

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 an active member of FurLife: Seattle Area Furries and takes the official video of the meets he is able to attend. He has attended a total of 12 conventions: RainFurrest 2008-2012; All Fur Fun 2009, Further Confusion 2011 and 2012, and Anthrocon 2010-2013.

[edit] Fursuits

Kijani currently owns two fursuits: Kijani, his fursona suit, built by the Furducers Semjay and Taren Nauxen.

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 www.bycats4cats.com. 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.

[edit] Fursuiting Ambassador

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 5,200 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 50,000 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

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 2nd edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 3rd edition

Fursuiting: For the Kids - 4th 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. Among the many events he fursuits to every year are Bothell Riverfest, Issaquah Salmon Days, and an assortment of summer parades including Bothell's Grand Parade.

Kijani has also co-hosted several panels, at Rainfurrest 2010-2012, on the topics of performing in fursuit and fursuiting outside of a convention environment.

[edit] When Furballs Strike

Fursuit group photo from When Furballs Strike 12, featuring a record 62 fursuiters and 194 total attendees. Kijani founded the meet in December 2008 and has been organizing it ever since

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.

Since then, there have been a total of 13 WFS meets - held three to four times a year - with attendance rates steadily rising. When Furballs Strike 12, held on March 23, 2013, had a meet-record 194 attendees including 62 fursuiters and 127 bowlers from all over Western Washington as well as some guests that drove hundreds of miles from Canada, Oregon and Idaho.

When Furballs Strike features a prize raffle that gives away hundreds of dollars in gifts to meet attendees, and an after-bowling dinner party at a local Old Country Buffet restaurant.

VIDEO:

When Furballs Strike 10

When Furballs Strike 11

When Furballs Strike 12

When Furballs Strike 13

[edit] Furry News Network

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

He contributes 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

[edit] Hobbies

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.

Kijani 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 fourteen times in seven different cities (Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Jose, CA; New York; Orlando, FL; Tempe, AZ and Shanghai, China) around the world.

[edit] Bowling

Known as one of the furry fandom's top bowlers, Kijani has bowled eight perfect 300 games and two 800 series, and most recently recorded a 219 league average. 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 120, with a high game of 155.

Kijani bowling at the Kenmore Lanes West Coast Tournaments (WCT) tour stop in 2010

[edit] References

  1. Tweet on the Biggest Little Fur Con account on Twitter. Dated September 16, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.

[edit] External links

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