Which celebrities visited Rwanda this year?

Ne-Yo at the Kwita Izina ceremony.

Rwanda is increasingly becoming a destination for visitors from across the world. The profile of visitors includes high net worth public figures and celebrities in various fields. The New Times’ James Peter Nkurunziza looks at the celebrities who visited Rwanda this year. 

Louis Van Gaal


Born August 8 1951 in the Netherlands, Van Gaal is a former Dutch soccer player and coach. He was a player at Royal Antwarp, SC Telsar as well as AZ Alkmaar before becoming a manager. During his coaching career, he managed big clubs in the world that include Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, as well as Ajax and had two runs as coach of his country’s national team. He was in Rwanda for his first time in September for the annual Kwita Izina and named a baby gorilla Ingogozi. He has an estimated net worth of $16m.


Aki and Pawpaw


Born Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme respectively, the two are Nigerian comedians and actors who have over the years gotten to become one of the most loved acting duos in Africa. Aki is 41 years old whereas Pawpaw is 37. They were both in the country in February where they had a comedy show at Camp Kigali alongside local comedians Clapton Kibonge, Babu as well as Joshua. They also held a two-day training with people in the movie industry in the country in order to boost the field.  They are said to have a net worth of $3.5 million each.

Tony Alexander Adams 

The 53-year-old English man is known mainly for his work with England’s national team and Arsenal where he spent 22 years (1980 to 2002). He is one of the few players that were captains both at national and club level. The former Arsenal defender was also in the country for his first time for Kwita Izina where he named a baby gorilla Sura u Rwanda which translates as ‘Visit Rwanda’.  His net worth is estimated at $5m.


Born Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, the 29-year-old Nigerian superstar has been to Rwanda twice. Arguably one of the biggest artistes on the entire continent, Patoranking first came during the New Year celebrations and returned in October during the Youth Connekt Africa Summit, where he also held a concert. He is valued at $1m.

Naomi Eliane Campbell

She is a 49-year-old English actress, model, and businesswoman who ventured into the modeling industry at the early age of 15 and went on to become one of the most recognized faces in the world. She is also involved in charity works such as the Fashion Relief that raised over $1m for victims of Hurricane Katrina as well as We love Brazil aimed at fighting poverty through supporting local artisans. 

She was in the country for “Kwita Izina” where she named a baby gorilla “Intarutwa’” and she is valued at a $60m.

David Luiz 

Born David Luiz Moeira Marinho, he is known for his role as a center-back for the Brazilian National team as well as the big names he has played for at club level. David Luiz started out at home club Vitória before joining Portuguese giants Benfica. It was from there that he was signed by Chelsea where he had two spells one after he returned from French side Paris Saint-Germain. He currently plays for England side at the moment as a center-back and was currently in the country as part of the #VisitRwanda campaign. He has a net worth estimated at $62m.

Burna Boy

Born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, the 29-year-old Nigerian is without a doubt one of the biggest artistes on the African continent. He rose to fame in 2012 after the release of hit single Like to Party off his debut album Life and is signed to Warner Music Group internationally and Bad Habit/ Atlantic Records in the USA. He was in the country in late March where he had a sold-out concert at the Intare Conference Arena in Rusororo. His net worth is said to be $3.5m. 

Didier Drogba

Didier Yves Drogba Tebily is a retired soccer player who played for Marseille, Le Mans and Chelsea for two spells where he won the champions league as well as Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua and Montreal Impact. He is the all-time goal scorer for his national team and one of the legends at Chelsea having been the first African to score 100 goals in the English Premier League. He was currently in the country for the just-concluded Youth Connekt Africa Summit. His net worth is reportedly $90m. 


Shaffer Chemere Smith, popularly known as Ne-Yo is an American singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, the record producer who has been on the scene since 1998 and released songs such as Miss Independent, So Sick, Sexy Love and written a couple of big songs such as Let me love you by Mario. He is also one of the judges on ‘World of Dance’ a very popular show in the US. He was in the country for Kwita Izina where he named a gorilla ‘Biracyaza’ and has a net worth of $16m. 

Diamond Platnumz

Born Nasibu Abdul Juma in Tanzania, he is arguably the biggest East African artiste at the moment. He has recorded hit songs with a number of American superstars including Neyo, Rick Ross, Omarion, featured big African names including Davido and Burna Boy, and held a number of sold-out concerts in and outside Africa. The Tanzanian superstar also owns and manages Wasafi Records that has produced some of the region’s finest artists such as Harmonize who just left the record label. 

He was in the country in August to headline the Iwacu Muzika Festival that was held at the Amahoro Stadium. His net worth is estimated at $5m. 

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