Kwita Izina: The names of the newborn gorillas

It was pomp as thousands of people, including conservationists, celebrities, and citizens gathered in Kinigi to witness the naming of the newborn mountain gorillas.

25 babies were named by soccer legends, those in show business, conservationists, and leaders from different fields from across the world.

The 15 edition was graced by President Paul Kagame as the guest of honor and was characterized by a series of entertainment to celebrate the newborn babies.

Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), described the idea of gorilla naming as an utmost value given to the endangered species.

"By giving a name to these majestic animals, we give them the highest value - a value they undoubtedly deserve," she said.

Below are the names of the newborn gorillas and the people who named them:

Jeremy Jauncey, Founder of Beautiful Destinations and advocate for conservation, chose to name a baby gorilla from the Isimbi family, 'Ingando'. 

"She represents hope and a chance for sustainable tourism," he said. 

Madeleine Nyiratuza, responsible for the conservation and restoration of the Gishwati Forest Reserve that led to the creation of Rwanda’s newest national park chose to name a baby from the Amahoro family, 'Isanzure'.

"The name means that gorillas should roam freely," she noted.

Ron Adams, first Israel residence ambassador to Rwanda, named a baby from the Sabyinyo family, Igihango, which is a "covenant symbolizing the connection between humans and God and the unbreakable bond between the gorillas and their guardians."

Tony Adams, the English football manager, and Arsenal legend picked the name 'Sura u Rwanda' for a baby gorilla from the Mafunzo family. 

The name translates to 'Visit Rwanda' symbolizing the partnership Rwanda has with Arsenal as its official tourism partner. 

Niklas Adalberth, founder of Norrsken Foundation gave a baby gorilla 'Irembo' meaning a gateway symbolizing the gateway Norrsken is creating for Rwandan entrepreneurs for their innovations that will lead to a better world.  

Meddy, the Rwanda artist selected the name 'Inkoramutima' for one of the newborn gorillas from the Musirikare family.

Inkoramutima is also the name of one of the singer's early career but popular songs in Rwanda.

Otara Gunewardene: Philanthropist and founder of the Otara Foundation, chose the name “Kira” which translates to “bless you” in Kinyarwanda. 

She picked to name the baby gorilla after her two sons Kiran and Rakhil. 

Louis Van Gaal: Dutch former football manager and a player named a newborn baby gorilla, 'Ingogozi', as a tribute to the remarkable recovery Rwanda's made thanks to the country's influential leadership that's promoted unity and peace since 1994. 

Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia chose the name 'Umukuru' for a baby gorilla from the Pablo family as a tribute to the oldest elephant, Mutware in Akagera National Park that died in 2018. 

Ronan Donovan: National Geographic recently let the world get in on the Kwita Izina naming ceremony. 

The name chosen for Icyamamare’s baby from the Kwitonda family group is 'Intego' meaning purpose. 

Princess Basma Bint Ali, a passionate advocate of biodiversity conservation, chose the name 'Uhiriwe' for a baby mountain gorilla, meaning 'the lucky one'.  

Emmanuel Niringiyimana, an exemplary young Rwandan man who built a road on his own to facilitate movements of people and goods in his community, chose the name 'Mugwire' for one of the 25 newborn baby gorillas.

Paul Milton & Luke Bailes chose to name one of the gorillas from the Pablo family, 'Inararibonye' which means 'wise and experienced' and commitment that they are partnering with Rwanda in its conservation efforts for the long term. 

Dame Louise Martin, DBE: President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and Patricia Scotland chose to name one of the baby gorillas from the Igisha family, 'Uruti' which translates as the highest recognition of heroism. 

Naomi Campbell, humanitarian, businesswoman and international supermodel, named a baby gorilla from the Muhoza family, 'Intarutwa'.

IIntarutwa means excellence.

Joseph Areruya, award-winning Professional cyclist named a baby gorilla from the Amahoro family, 'Ingangi' meaning long life.  

Marco Lambertini: World Wide Fund for Nature Director General, has always had a strong passion for the diversity of life. 

He named one of the baby gorillas from the Kwitonda family, 'Ikirenga' which means 'exceptional'. 

Sherrie Silver, award winning choreographer, actress, and humanitarian chose the name 'Ibirori' for the only baby gorilla from the Susa family. 

Ibirori means celebrations. 

Anthony Nzuki, one of the exceptional rangers at AAkagera National Park named a baby gorilla from the Korea family, 'Karame'. 

Wilfred Kiboro, Kenyan entrepreneur and philanthropist, named one of the new baby gorillas from the Sabyinyo family, 'Ituze' which translates to stability in Kinyarwanda and 'take care of it' in Swahili. 

Jean-Nepo Musekura, one of the incredible park rangers from Volcanoes  Park who play a huge role in mountain gorilla conservation chose the name 'Bisoke' for one of the new baby gorillas from the Ntambara family.  

Amina Mohammed, the UN Deputy Secretary-General and former Federal Minister of Environment of Nigeria named one of the baby gorillas from the Umubano family, 'Ingoga' which translates to courage. 

Karén Chalyan, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Rwanda chose the name 'Umwihariko' which means 'exception' for one of the baby gorillas from the Ntambara family.  

Robert Twibaze, a senior tour guide with over 12 years' experience in Rwanda chose the name 'Inzobere' which means 'expert' for a baby gorilla from the Agashya family. 

Ne-Yo, Grammy award-winning singer, and songwriter whose first trip to Rwanda has been so exceptional that he plans to return named a baby gorilla from the Kuryama family 'Biracyaza' which means great things are coming.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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