Lithe and willowy, Zembe's muscles are lean and hard, clinging tightly to his bones. He is thin and sharp-featured, with a long face and a prominent muzzle. However, there is still a certain elegance to his movements and bearing, despite the boniness of his legs and drooping quality of his whiskers. He is generally regarded as handsome, though leopardesses can sometimes be turned away by his lack of brute strength. His eyes are a clear turquoise blue and slightly large than average, though not so that they appear to bulge. He has a strikingly colored coat; it is dark, rich gold, a shade rarely spotted on his kind. The round markings that cover it are black. His nose is pinkish tan, and his muzzle and underbelly are white. His long tail also fades to white at the tip.
Zembe looks out for himself and no other. He neglects to think about how his excessive hunting might affect Maisha Urari. He is instinctively tense, but has learned to project a relaxed, easygoing manner. However, his instincts are well-honed, and he is quick to sense trouble. He is a patient, skilled hunter who never speaks of his talents, but uses them to attract mates- and of course, sustain himself. Though usually brisk and curt, he can be quite charming and elegant if he wants to. His intelligence is above average, though he only applies it to the three things he cares about: finding food, shelter, and mates. He prefers to stay out of a fight, though he can and will if he is cornered.
Zembe's life varies little from that of an average leopard. He was raised and taught by his mother, a friendly leopardess, who, unless her son, respected Maisha Urari. He left slightly earlier than leopard cubs usually do, and found himself a home in the Drylands.
When he sighted Salama for the first time, he instantly was attracted to her. He flirted with her for some time, smugly pleased when she returned his interest. They were mates for a short time, and during this time Salama gave birth to two cubs. Zembe, with no interest in being a father, then left.