Kwita Izina | Rwanda’s Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony
The nineteenth edition of Kwita Izina, the annual baby gorilla naming ceremony is here and happening once again on Friday, 1 September 2023 at Kiningi in Musanze district. Kwita Izina in Rwandan local local language (Kinyarwanda) means “to give a name” and in ancient times in Rwanda Kwita Izina was an old tradition where members of a community gathered to give a new born baby in the community a name. Rwanda introduced this special annual event in 2005 that attracts thousands of locals, conservationists, visitors from across the world to participate in naming of the amazing baby gorillas in Rwanda.
The 19th edition of Kwita Izina will see the naming of 23 baby gorillas of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Rwanda began the tradition of Kwita Izina in 2005 and over the years the annual event has been an opportunity for Rwanda to celebrate the conservation efforts of key conservation partners, local communities, rangers, trackers and vets who are all doing commendable efforts to conserve the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. More than 350 mountain gorillas have been named in Rwanda over the last fifteen years.
In 2023 alone Rwanda has received new births and this is testament to the great conservation efforts of all partners involved. New births include Inyenyeri’s child born in the Agashya Family, Intango’s son born in the Muhoza Family, Akarabo’s child born in the Hirwa Family and other births that have been registered by Volcanoes national park Rwanda. All the baby gorillas that have been birthed in the different gorilla families will be named during Kwita Izina and this makes it such a special occasion for all that will be in attendance. Gorilla Trekking tours in Rwanda bring you close and face to face with these amazing gorillas in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
On the foothills of Virunga Mountains in Kinigi locals and international visitors have gathered over the years to witness the naming of Rwanda’s baby gorillas and attendees are seen dubbed in Kwita Izina branded shirts and apparel. The event is also graced by media and press documenting one of the world’s important conservation event, during which local musicians and visiting musicians perform for the audience. Kwiti Izina is truly a moment for joy and celebration just like it was in the old times where the naming of a baby was not only a moment for celebration of new birth but also a moment of great joy for the parents and community. The naming ceremony is usually done by international and local distinguished celebrities and they are allowed to select names from the suggested group of names that the Kwita Izina team has provided, in instances where one suggests their own name it is then translated to local Rwandan language (Kinyarwanda).
Kwita Izina in Rwanda is an incredible conservation ceremony that has garnered publicity both locally and internationally and contributed heavily to conservation of mountain gorillas in the world. Key conservationists that have been promoting conservation of wildlife and mountain gorillas in the past and the present would be and are proud of what Rwanda’s conservation efforts. Kwita Izina has also been a great way for Rwanda to involve the locals in conservation as them participating in the ceremony helps them to appreciate the mountain gorillas and also feel part of the conservation efforts going on. Kwita Izina is also a celebration of mountain gorilla tourism which has been a source of livelihood for the Rwandan locals who work as lodge staff, park staff and tour guides in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda.
Kwita Izina in Rwanda will be a day of celebration of nature and conservation in Kinigi, The Kwita Izina celebrations will include the the Rhino Velo Race in Akagera national park located in the eastern part of Rwanda, a concert and familiarisation trips for international tour operators. If interested in attending this annual famous celebration in Rwanda you can register to attend on 1st September, 2023 through contacting the Rwanda Development Board here – https://rdb.rw/