Yesterday, twenty Two baby gorillas were given names at the 2016 Kwita Izina. The 12th Kwita Izina was held at the Kinigi Grounds in Muzanze District (Ruhengeri). The 6 hour event attracted a good number of guests including conservationists, tourists, tourism officials and the local people living in the Northern province of Rwanda.
The colourful ceremony was based on a theme “Celebrating 12 Years of Gorilla Conservation” and it indeed involved celebrations, praises and sharing the sucess story of mountain gorilla conservation. The Chief Tourism Officer (CTO) of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) passed the attendants through the history of protecting the endangered mountain gorillas to the current status of gorilla conservation.
The naming ceremony, the main highlight of Kwita Izina started at around 11.00AM and 22 baby gorillas were given different names by different people including conservationists, local artists, local people and tourists.
The Guest of Honour at the Event, President Paul Kagame closed the ceremony with remarks concerning promoting conservation in Rwanda. He asked the Rwanda Development Board to even extend the naming to the lions that were reintroduced in Akagera National Park in 2015. He called upon the local communities to continue with their support towards the protection of the country’s natural resources.
This year’s gorilla naming ceremony attracted guests from 28 countries of Africa, America; Asia, Australia and Europe. Among guests who named baby gorillas include Mary Ann MacDonald-an American renowned tourist, who has gone gorilla trekking 91 times. She is targeting to track the great apes atleast 100 times and so far she is about to make it. She named a baby gorilla which she last photographed last year when it was just 7 days old. She gave it a name ‘Ntamupaka meaning“no border” given that the gorillas live in the Virunga Region freely and cross the borders without any interference.
Many notable conservationist attended the event and hailed the country for strengthening environment conservation policies. Peter Fearnhead, the CEO of African Parks also named a baby gorilla and he remarked that “Rwanda is the continental leader in conservation.”
Here are the names of the baby gorillas;
Ntamupaka = No Borders
Ireme = Of High Quality
Ntibisanzwe = Remarkable
Ifatizo = The foundation
Kwigira = self-reliance
Umuhuza = Mediator
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