Sauti Sol! Gilberto Silva! Naomi Schiff! Youssou Ndour! Didier Drogba!… Here are some names of the personalities who took part this Friday, September 2, 2022 at the 18th Edition of Kwita Izina. After two years of Covid-induced halving, the Kwita Izina ceremony is back in full swing. Celebrities from the world of sport, music and the arts have gathered in Rwanda for a major baptism ceremony. In the space of a few days, 20 baby gorillas received names from the mouths of our stars. This gorilla baptism ceremony is an opportunity for the country to show its commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism.
Rwanda has an impressive biodiversity. It is full of extraordinary wildlife. Its National Park, famous for the diversity of mountain gorillas and golden monkeys (1064) that live there, is very popular with tourists. Rwanda is home to a third of the world’s mountain gorillas. It is an opportunity for the country to invite international celebrities every year to Kinigi, in the district of Musanze. This year, all the personalities present (20) gave a name to a baby gorilla. Youssou N’dour, the mbalax king, gave the name Ihuriro – which means music hub. Drogba Didier, the Ivorian football star, gave the name ‘Ishami’ which means offspring. The former football international was very moved: “This action to protect animals is an example to follow,” said Ivorian Drogba.
In the last 17 years, 354 mountain gorillas have been baptized. Rwandan authorities have issued complaints. According to them, mountain gorillas need more space and “Investors are welcome”. This is a call to the protectors of nature. Kwita Izina was born in 2005. It is a ceremony that has its roots in a centuries-old Rwandan tradition of giving that takes place after the birth of a new one. At first, it was just an opportunity for the government to thank the communities living near the Volcanoes National Park, the rangers, the people who are killing themselves for the survival of their animals. The country is beginning to give names to mountain gorillas. This national ceremony will gain notoriety to become a global celebration of nature. Why give names to animals? Perhaps this is a way to make people aware that these animals are an integral part of our common history: that we are brothers and that as such they deserve greater consideration.
This ceremony represents a true idea of genius of the Rwandan people. By initiating such a ceremony and involving sports and cultural celebrities, the country is drawing the international community’s attention to Rwandan culture and the importance of protecting animals and their habitats. This Sunday, September 4, 2022, the Senegalese star Youssou N’Dour will give a memorable evening with a beautiful live performance.