Tens of thousands of people flocked Kinigi on Friday, September 2, to witness the 18th edition of the annual conservation event dubbed “Kwita Izina “, a baby gorilla naming ceremony.
The New Times journalist Gloria Iribagiza reports that twenty babies gorilla were named in the annual conservation event that is held at the foot of the Volcano National Park in the district of Musanze bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Below are profiles of distinguished guests who were chosen by the Rwanda Development Board to name the baby’s gorillas.
Prince Charles of WalEs
Charles, Prince of Wales named a male baby gorilla who was born on April 29, 2022, in the family of Muhoza to his mother called Agasaro.
He named the baby Ubwuzuzanye which means harmony in Kinyarwanda.
This name was chosen to raise awareness of the need for humanity to come together as one to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.
Salima Mukansanga, Rwandan International Football Referee named a female baby gorilla who was born on September 15, 2021. Her mother is called Ubuntu from the Igisha family.
Mukansanga named the baby Kwibohora which means liberation in Kinyarwanda.
This name was chosen to highlight the role liberation has played in conservation as a sustainable tourism and development foundation.
Stewart Maginnis, Deputy Director General, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) named a female baby gorilla born into the Musirikare family on January 21, 2022. Her mother is called Bukima.
He named the baby Nyirindekwe, which means protector. This name was chosen to celebrate the mountain gorillas’ protective nature and their role as guardians of their forest habitat.
Naomi Schiff, Professional Racing Driver, and Presenter named a female gorilla Imbaduko, which means vivacity in Kinyarwanda.
This name was chosen to celebrate the unwavering commitment of the Rwandan people to the protection of the mountain gorillas.
Imbaduko was born to Akamaro, a member of the Kureba family.
Ian Clark Wood
Ian Clark Wood, Chairman of the Wood Foundation named a male baby gorilla born into the Pablo family on December 9, 2021.
He named him Ubusugire, which means integrity in Kinyarwanda.
This name was chosen to celebrate the efforts of communities and conservationists to protect and ensure the integrity of Rwanda’s biodiverse national parks.
Itzhak Fisher, Chairman, Rwanda Development Board, and his wife named a baby gorilla from the Hirwa family Intare. His mother is called Umuteguro.
Intare was born on August 1, 2022, and his name means lion in Kinyarwanda.
He was named after Fisher’s father-in-law, a Holocaust survivor who was called Leo, which also means lion.
It was also chosen to recognize an important conservation milestone in Rwanda, the successful reintroduction of lions in Akagera National Park.
Cindy Descari Pereira
Cindy Descalzi Pereira, Philanthropist, and Chairperson of Global Events Africa named a male gorilla who was born on August 28, 2021, into the Ntambara family.
She named her Ubwitange, which means sacrifice in Kinyarwanda.
The name was chosen to recognize the selflessness and dedication of park staff, local communities, and conservation partners to the conservation of biodiversity.
Ubwitange’s mother is called Nsanganira.
Thomas Milz, Board Director, Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen Group South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa named a baby gorilla Ruragendwa, which means hospitable in Kinyarwanda.
The name was chosen to recognize the welcoming nature of Rwandans, and the famous Rwandan hospitality visitors enjoy when visiting the country.
Ruragendwa is from the Noheli family and was born to Ruhuka on June 10, 2022.
Youssou N’Dour, a Senegalese musician named a baby gorilla from the Amahoro family, was born on May 31, 2022.
The baby was named Ihuriro, which means hub in Kinyarwanda.
The name was chosen to showcase Rwanda as a vibrant hub for music, fashion, and culture, as well as eco-tourism and investment.
Juan Pablo Sorin
Juan Pablo Sorin, Paris Saint-Germain Legend named a baby gorilla Ikuzo, which means admirable in Kinyarwanda.
The name was chosen to recognize the admirable and noble nature of the mountain gorillas.
Ikuzo was born to the Noheli family, to Umwe, on December 13, 2021.
Kaddu Sebunya, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation named Igitangaza’s daughter Indatezuka, a name that means resilient in Kinyarwanda, which was chosen to highlight the resilience of the Rwandan people and the protection of the country’s biodiversity.
Indatezuka was born in the Mutobo family on September 13, 2021.
Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie named Urahirwa’s son Turikumwe, which means ‘we are together in Kinyarwanda and translates to ‘on est ensemble’ in French, a popular saying in Rwanda.
The name was chosen to highlight the importance of working together to achieve successful conservation outcomes and to recognize the many partners who contribute to protecting the mountain gorillas.
Turikumwe is part of Ntambara’s family and was born on April 8, 2022.
Evan Antin, a renowned veterinarian, and television presenter named a baby gorilla from the Susa family who was born on September 14, 2021, to Ingufu.
He named the baby Igicumbi, which means sanctuary in Kinyarwanda. The name was chosen to celebrate Rwanda’s protected areas as sanctuaries of rich and unique biodiversity, and as a call to protect wild places all around the world.
Neri Bukspan, Managing Director, Standard & Poor’s Credit Market Service, and his wife named a baby gorilla from the Musirikare family, who was born on August 15, 2021.
They named her Indangagaciro, which means values in Kinyarwanda. The name was chosen to highlight the value Rwanda attaches to preservation and conservation.
Indangagaciro was born to Ubufatanye.
Lauren Powell Jobs
Lauren Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective named a baby gorilla Muganga Mwiza, the good doctor in Kinyarwanda, a name that was chosen to honor the late Dr. Paul Farmer and recognize the skills and dedication of those involved in the protection of human and wildlife health.
Muganga Mwiza was born to Umwali on October 4, 2021, in the Susa family.
Frank I. Luntz
Frank I. Luntz, Founder, and President, of Luntz Global, also named a baby gorilla from the Susa family, but a female born to Tamu on January 10, 2022.
He named her Baho, which means living in Kinyarwanda. The name was chosen to celebrate the sustained life of mountain gorillas, and their bright future thanks to conservation efforts.
Uzoamaka Aduba, an American actress and three-time Emmy Award winner named a baby gorilla Imararungu, which means cheerful in Kinyarwanda, a name that was chosen to represent the joyful and entertaining nature of gorillas.
Imararungu is from the Noheli family and was born in Umuco on August 4, 2021.
Gilberto Silva, Arsenal Football Club Legend named a baby from the Sabyinyo family, who was born on April 26, 2022, to Umutungo.
He named him Impanda, which means trumpet in Kinyarwanda. The name was chosen to serve as a call to action for everyone to play their part in protecting and restoring biodiversity.
Moses Turahirwa, Founder and Creative Director of Moshions named Izihirwa’s son Kwanda, Kinyarwanda for expansion. The name was chosen to highlight Rwanda’s continued growth, the growth of the gorilla population, and the expansion of their natural habitat.
Kwanda was born on October 12, 2021, in the Musirikare family.
Didier Drogba, Chelsea Football Club Legend named a baby gorilla Ishami, Kinyarwanda for offspring, a name chosen to showcase the importance of the newborn gorillas as “offsprings” that symbolize expansion and growth.
Ishani is Twiyubake’s son, who was born on July 28, 2022, in the Muhoza family.
Sauti Sol, the Musical Band, named a gorilla family Kwisanga, which means “feel at home” in Kinyarwanda, as a celebration of the peaceful splitting of the Kwitonda group that left both groups equally sharing members.
Since Kwisanga and Kwitonda were formed in May 2021, the groups have met several times without any aggressive interactions, allowing memos from the two families to meet and socialize.