Last week, Rwanda held the eighth Kwita Izina, an annual ceremony where the baby mountain gorillas born over the past 12 months in Rwanda are officially given their names. The atmosphere of the event was great and so many people came from across the world celebrate the arrival of these precious babies and learn more about Rwandan culture.
This year on june 16th, 19 newborn gorillas were given names in Kinigi, the Northern Province of Rwanda. The event was chaired by Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, Prime Minister of Rwanda and I was one of thousands who looked on with joy as selected dignitaries gave the infants their names.
Some of the given names for this year’s newborns were “Icyeza” which means extreme beauty, “Ishimwe” meaning gratitude, “Itazaba” that can be translated into English as light, “Duhirwe” that means let us be lucky and “Kungahara” which means prosperous. Also, this year twins from the Susa group were born, their names “Impeta” and “Umudende” make reference of a very important and high valuable medal in Rwandan culture.
“The giving of the names for newborns remains an occasion of joy and worth celebrating” declared Ms. Rica Rwigamba, head of conservation within Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and boy was she right! There was singing and dancing and then even more dancing well into the night.
About 161 baby gorillas have been named at the Kwita Izina ceremony in Rwanda since the first festival was held back in 2005, and The Gorilla Organization has been a proud supporter of each one.