Every year during the Gorilla naming ceremony, locally known as Kwita Izina, residents of the Northern Province, along with the thousands who trek to the foot of the volcanoes, brace themselves for a musical treat.
Video: #KwitaIzina 2015: What inspires Man Martin to compose Baby Gorilla song. Source: The New Times/YouTube
Kwita Izina is a celebration in itself and in the African tradition, there is no celebration without music. The annual event is usually spiced up with ecstatic musical performances from a select group of local and international artistes.
This year’s main event was spiced up by performances from local stars who were given an opportunity to grace the event.
Urban Boys, Rafiki Mazimpaka of the famous Coga style and Mani Martin were selected to perform at the 11th edition of Kwita Izina which was graced by President Paul Kagame as the Guest of Honour.
The 2015 Primus GumaGuma Super Star winner Knowless Butera attended, this time not to sing, but to name a baby gorilla, while the National Ballet “Urukerereza” also did its bit to mesmerise the crowd with epic traditional Rwandan dances.
Video: #KwitaIzina 2015: "We are baby gorillas too," Urban Boys. Source: The New Times/YouTube
Urban Boys were the most revered on the day, managing to get residents of the Northern Province and guests from over 24 countries on their feet.
Mani Martin fittingly got a nod to perform thanks to his new song Baby Gorilla, a song in awe of the much prized baby gorillas which attract people from countries thousands of miles away.
Rafiki on the other hand, is considered every year because of his strong links to the Northern Province where he hails from and his Coga style which relates much to the people of the province.
As usual, the musicians played their role, getting the crowds in the mood ahead of the naming ritual. Perhaps one would say that picking Knowless, a young and dynamic modern musician, to be one of the ‘namers’ was in recognition of how far the Rwandan music industry has come from and the role music plays in the Rwandan society.