15 Best Rafiki Quotes You Will Love

Rafiki and Simba” by Steven Miller licensed under CC BY 2.0

From raising Simba up on pride rock to helping him find out who he truly is, Rafiki (the wise baboon) is always available for wisdom and guidance. But have you ever really listened to the advice that Rafiki offers? Well, below we’re taking a look at the best Rafiki quotes from The Lion King movies to help enlighten you!

The Best Rafiki Quotes

Rafiki” by Chris Harrison licensed under CC BY 2.0

“The question is, who are you?” – The Lion King (1994)

Rafiki is well-known for his wisdom when it comes to helping those around him reflect on themselves. In this scene, Simba is walking through the pride land, being followed by a curious character, and feeling like he didn’t truly know his father or himself. 

He eventually gets annoyed and asks Rafiki (the curious character) who he is. Rafiki, with his eccentric wisdom, reverses the question onto Simba, asking him who he is instead. This causes Simba to reflect on himself (and take a look at his actual reflection in the water!). 

This quote resonates with me because it helps me remember to keep in mind who I am and to not worry about who others might be, because in the grand scheme of things, that’s the most important thing to remember.

“A life without worry – you seek ‘Hakuna Matata’.” – The Lion King ½ (2004)

Do you remember that Rafiki was the one who introduced Timon and Pumbaa to the idea of Hakuna Matata? Well, he did! As we can see in the movie, upon meeting Timon, Rafiki lets him know that if he wants to live a life without worry (for the rest of his days!) he is looking for Hakuna Matata! 

The Swahili term meaning “no worries” was implemented into the movies after being discovered in a phrasebook, and thanks to Rafiki introducing us to it, it’s now a household phrase!

“Everybody is somebody, even a nobody.” – The Lion King (2019) 

Rafiki is just as all-knowing in the live-action remake as he is in the original movie. While Simba is feeling down on his luck and tells Rafiki that he’s just a “nobody”, Rafiki counteracts it by saying this quote. Not only is it important for Simba to remember Rafiki’s words, but it’s also important for us as humans. 

Sometimes we might feel like we are “nobody” or that we are not important in this world, at least I know I have. But, as Rafiki tells us, this is just not true! Everybody has importance in our world, no matter who they are! Rafiki wants you to know that!

“Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” – The Lion King ½ (2004) 

Adapted from a Chinese proverb, Rafiki tells Ma (Timon’s mother) this quote after Timon leaves their colony. While Ma didn’t quite understand Rafiki’s eccentricity and his somewhat wacky way of giving advice, she does understand this quote. 

If Ma were just to take one first step into finding out where Timon went, she would be able to eventually find him. She just needed to take that first step. And, after hearing Rafiki’s advice, she did! 

This quote especially resonates with me, because it was hard for me to take the first step in my dream of writing, but after doing it, I feel a lot better about where life is heading! 

“Any story is worth telling twice.” – The Lion King ½ (2004)

Another great quote from the third installment in The Lion King series. This time, as Timon and Pumbaa are watching their experiences in the movie and commenting on it, they rewind the movie back to the beginning. 

Rafiki swings in on a vine and tells them this quote. He shares the wisdom with Timon and Pumbaa that their story (the one told throughout the movie) is worth rewatching or retelling over again.

We can relate this quote to our own lives by thinking about memories and stories that we hold dear. The stories that are most worth it are the ones that can be told twice (or more!) without getting old.

Mufasa Simba Rafiki” by Andres Alvarado licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“The better question is, where are you going?” – The Lion King (1994)

Right after saying the previous quote, Rafiki questions Simba once again, asking where he’s going as he’s walking through the grass, seemingly with an unknown destination in mind. Rafiki wanted to imply to Simba that he needed to have a place to go and needed to know what path he was on. 

While this is one of Rafiki’s “simpler” quotes, it’s still a wise one. Remembering where we are going and what path we are on is important as it dictates how we go about our life and, like the previous quote, tells us who we are. Thinking of this quote to ourselves helps us to remember where we are going, in terms of our path in life. 

“I’m not the one who’s confused – you don’t even know who you are!” – The Lion King (1994)

In this quote, Rafiki tells Simba that he is not confused about who he, himself, is. Rafiki knows just who he is – an intelligent, eccentric, wacky baboon who lives in the pride land and gives advice to his friends. 

We know the best of all who we are. Nobody else can tell us who we are! Rafiki is letting us know through this quote that only we can dictate who we are and what we do, and he’s telling Simba that he is confused because he doesn’t know who he is, when he really needs to reflect and make sure he does.

At times in life, we might feel like we don’t truly know who we are. If we’ve had a tough time or just don’t feel like ourselves lately, we might find it hard to know exactly who we are anymore. But by keeping this Rafiki quote in mind, we can remember to be our authentic self and remember who we are no matter what.

“It doesn’t matter! It’s in the past!” – The Lion King (1994) 

A wise quote once again from good ‘ol Rafiki! 

Rafiki tells Simba this after knocking him upside the head with his trusty staff, letting Simba know that he doesn’t need to think about things from old times because they are meaningless.

This quote especially resonates with me, and I’m sure others as well, because it can be difficult to move on from things in the past, but in order to be free of the past and move on from it, you have to let it go, just as Rafiki tells Simba.

“Look beyond what you see..” – The Lion King (1994)

Rafiki likes to be insightful in how he chooses to share his wisdom. He doesn’t come right out and tell you his advice, but instead, he says a quote that makes you think deeply about what he’s saying, such as this quote. 

Rafiki tells Simba to look at his reflection in the water to see his father, but when Simba doesn’t see his father and only sees himself, Rafiki tells him to look beyond his reflection. This means that Simba would have to look inside himself in order to truly feel and see his father’s influence on him and his life. 

We can take this quote to heart in our own life because we shouldn’t judge things, people, or places based just on face-value, but we should make sure to look beyond what we see in order to see what they truly are. We should even do this with ourselves, as we are different people on the inside than we are on the outside, sometimes.

“Look harder.” – The Lion King (1994) 

The companion quote to the previous one, Rafiki tells Simba to look harder at himself in his reflection. This time, Simba sees his father, Mufasa, in the water instead of his own reflection. 

Rafiki is telling Simba to look harder at his reflection, but we can take this into our own lives by remembering to look hard at ourselves to see who we truly are and who has inspired and influenced us to be who we want to be.

I feel this quote is an important one to keep in mind. It can help us to remember to look harder at ourselves and those around us. This can make us see ourselves and others for who they really are, regardless of their outer appearance or behavior. 

“He lives in you.” – The Lion King (1994) 

Again, a quote that goes along with the previous two. As Simba sees Mufasa’s reflection in the water and hears his voice speaking to him, Rafiki lets Simba know that Mufasa lives inside of him, even though he is gone.

I feel that this is an important quote to keep in mind for those of us who have lost someone important; someone who had a big effect on ourselves and in our lives. I know for me, this quote, even though it’s about Mufasa, makes me think of my grandmother. 

She was someone who had a huge effect on me and the person that I am today, and for that reason, I like to remember that a little piece of her soul lives on inside me even though she is gone from this planet, just as Simba now feels with Mufasa. I’m sure you can think of someone like this in your own life!

“Change is good.” – The Lion King (1994) 

When Simba left the pride land due to Scar expelling him from it, he felt as though he couldn’t return to the pride land ever again. Rafiki lets Simba know that, even though things would be different, change is good. Simba can return to the pride land and make it his home once again, even though things were different now. 

This is a really great quote to remember because in life, change can be good for us. A lot of people, including me, don’t like change, but it can be a blessing to us if we take it in a positive way. There are some things we just have to adapt to and by accepting change, we can see things in new ways. 

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – The Lion King (1994)

In my opinion, this is one of the best Rafiki quotes of all of them. Rafiki says it to Simba as they are speaking about the past, and how Simba feels that if he returns to the pride land, he’ll have to face the ghosts and people of his past. 

This quote is such a great one and relates to a lot of us. Oftentimes, the past is a place that many people either want to remember or want to forget and move on from with every ounce of their being, and Rafiki encompasses both sides of the spectrum. We can either choose to run from our past and abandon all the knowledge that comes along with mistakes we make, or we can decide to use the past as a learning experience. The latter being the best choice, of course!

“The Roar is a very powerful gift. It can be used for great good, but it can also lead to terrible evil.” – The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015)

A longer, lesser-known quote from the Disney TV Movie, Rafiki tells the lion pride that their roar is powerful but can be used for evil. We can recognize the evil that the roar has within it when we think about Scar. He used his “roar” (and just his own self) for evil rather than good like Mufasa, Sarabi, Simba, and Nala. 

Although we humans don’t really roar (I mean, we can, but it’s not the same…) we can take this quote as a reminder to use our words (and actions) for good and not evil. Our actions and words can hurt, and we need to remember that before we say something that could potentially hurt someone else.

“You follow ‘ol Rafiki, he knows the way!” – The Lion King (1994) 

A classic quote for a classic Disney character. Rafiki tells Simba to follow him in order to find his way to his father, even though he is gone. Simba catches up to Rafiki, who then shows Simba his father in the water of a pond, who speaks to Simba to let him know he is there with him still. 

While we can’t necessarily follow “good ‘ol Rafiki” in real life, we can always take his quotes to heart and watch The Lion King movies that he makes an appearance in. Rafiki gives a lot of great advice that we can apply to our own lives, even if he is a fictional character! 

This article was written by Abbie and edited by Michael.

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