Twenty Two baby mountain gorillas were given names at the 12th Kwita Izina held at Musanze on the foothills of the Virunga. The annual ceremony involved dignitaries, locals, tourists and conservationists giving the baby gorillas names of their choice.
From September 2015 to September 2016, a total of 23 baby gorillas were born. Unfortunately one baby died leading to the total number of baby gorillas to 22.
The 6 hour colorful ceremony was the climax of a series of events that marked the whole week. A total of 22 mountain gorilla babies received their official names from a range of dignitaries such as Sir David Attenborough, who were invited to be esteemed ‘Namers’ for their valuable contribution to Rwanda’s conservation successes.
Kwita Izina is inspired by the ancient Rwandan tradition of naming babies soon after they are born.
“Today is not only about Kwita Izina, it is about remembering that development must be founded on protecting our environment. When we protect our environment, we are also taking care of ourselves. There is no trade-off between economic growths and protecting our environment, they complement each other,” said President Paul Kagame
Below are the names of the gorillas named during the ceremony;
- Ntamupaka = No Borders
- Ireme = Of High Quality
- Ntibisanzwe = Remarkable
- Ifatizo = The foundation
- Kwigira = self-reliance
- Umuhuza = Mediator
- Kura= Grow
- Ishimwe = Gratitude
- Tunganirwa = Prosper
- Ingemwe = Seeds
- Umwiza = The Beautiful one
- Ndizihiwe = I’m Happy
- Ndi Umunyarwanda = I’m Rwandan
- Mashami= owing to the fact the baby was born on Palm Sunday
- Igikombe = Award
- Ukwiyunga = Reconciliation
- Inshungu = Replacement or Blessing
- Umuhate= Bravery
- Icyemezo: Decision