Rwandan President Paul Kagame has presided over a ceremony at which 22 baby mountain gorillas were given names. The annual function code-named Kwita Izina (Gorilla naming ceremony) was also graced by senior government officials, diplomats, international dignitaries, stakeholders in conservation and Rwandan citizens at the base of the Volcanoes National Park.
The names for young gorillas include names attached to characters, bravery, strength, gratefulness and excellence among others.
The following are the names and their meanings
- 1. Umuhate: Bravery
- 2. Icyemezo: Decision
- 3. Mafubo: Excellent character
- 4. Ntamupaka: No Borders
- 5. Ireme: Of Great Eminence
- 6. Ntibisanzwe: Extraordinary
- 7. Ifatizo: The foundation
- 8. Kwigira: Self-sufficiency
- 9. Umuhuza: Intermediary
- 10. Kura: Grow
- 11. Ishimwe: Gratefulness
- 12. Nyampinga: a very good-looking girl
- 13. Tunganirwa: Succeed
- 14. Ingemwe: Seeds
- 15. Umwiza: The Beautiful one
- 16. Ndizihiwe: I’m Cheerful
- 17. Ndi Umunyarwanda: I’m a Rwandan
- 18. Mashami: This baby was born on Palm Sunday
- 19. Igikombe: Prize
- 20. Ukwiyunga: Reconciliation
- 21. Hobe: Embracing
- 22. Inshungu: Replacement or Blessing
The 2016 event marked the 12th Gorilla Naming Ceremony that started in 2005. And the named young ones bring the total number of mountain gorillas to 283 since 2005.
At present, Rwanda is estimated to have 304 Mountain gorillas, representing 35% of the all-inclusive world’s population. The endangered apes attract hundreds of tourists every year in Rwanda who come for gorilla trekking activities.
All the 304 mountain gorillas inhabit in the Volcanoes National Park at whose foothills the naming ceremony is he in the Northern Province.
Addressing the guests at the annual ritual President Kagame emphasized that Kwita Izina was more to remind all the development stakeholders that their role should be focused on conserving and preserving the country’s environment.
“There is no tradeoff between economic growth and preserving our environment as they supplement each other. When we protect the environment, we are at the same time taking care of ourselves,” said Kagame.
He said further efforts are prerequisite for the conservation to ensure that the communities neighboring national parks benefit more from the country’s tourism industry.
“The more we put our energies in conservation, the more benefits we accumulate, meaning communities will even profit more,” Kagame asserted.
Since the beginning of the Gorilla Naming Ceremony, the government of Rwanda has embraced a tourism revenue-sharing system under which populations nearby national parks acquire a five percent share of yearly proceeds made from the parks.
In a related development, Kagame also suggested naming of lions as the next stride for the country’s tourism segment.