ON Friday, thousands of Rwandans gathered at the footsteps of the Volcanoes national park in Musanze district to witness 23 baby mountain gorillas getting named at the annual event
Despite unpredictable rains around this time of the year, the weather was perfect and friendly allowing a massive attendance at Kinigi site.
From Chief Executives of global firms, Hollywood stars, envoys, conservationists, high level personalities, sports stars, envoys and selected government officials were part of those given a chance to name each of the 23 baby Mountain gorillas.
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi named a baby gorilla NAYOMBI, (from Agashya Family) which means Exceptional customer care.
Michael Wale a Canadian cinematographer and director named a baby gorilla PARADIZO, (from Muhoza Family) which means Paradise.
Strive Masiyiwa – The Executive Chairman and Founder of the Econet Group named a baby gorilla ISHUSHO, (from Kwitonda Family) which means Image.
US envoy to Rwanda H.E. Peter H. Vrooman was also part of the team, he named a baby gorilla INTARUTWA (from Susa Family), which means “The paramount”.
Peter Riedel German’s gliding champion named a baby gorilla UMUSARURO (from Musilikare Family) which means harvest. – Riedel was Air Attaché for the Nazi government in Washington, D.C., before and during World War II.
Meanwhile, Dr. Noeline Raondry Rakotoarisa from UNESCO also was at the ceremony and named a baby gorilla IMBAGA (from Igisha Family) which means crowd.
This time a Rwandan Baby gorilla has received a Chinese nickname “旺旺 “Wangwang” but the real name given by Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei is UBURUMBUKE (from IGISHA Family) which means prosperity.
Former Nigerian President H.E Olusegun Obasanjo graced the event and named a baby Gorilla AREMU “ingirakamaro” (from Musilikare family). Aremu is a Yoruba special appreciation given to President Obasanjo at birth. It means a child is useful within the family.
Mr. Adrian Gardiner from Mantis Group has named a baby Gorilla IREBERO (from Musilikare family) which means Symbol. Mantis Group is a collection of some of the world’s finest luxury boutique hotels, game reserves and lifestyle resorts.
Celebrated African icon Mrs. Graca Machel named a baby gorilla URUGORI (from Kwitonda family) which means a crown woman in Rwanda wears symbol of motherhood, also a sign of respect of women in the Rwandan culture.
Samba Bathily- a Malian entrepreneur, philanthropist from Bamako also chief executive officer of “Solektra International” and co-founder of Akon Lighting Africa named the baby mountain gorilla INEZA (from Igisha family) the name locally means Mercy.
Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza from Mafikizolo South Africa attended the ceremony and named a baby Gorilla IKIZA (from Agashya family) which means “Good”.
On the list was also Mr. Xinyu Zhang and Ms. Hong Liang, they named a baby Gorilla URUGERO (from Igisha family) which means “Example”.
Mr. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has named a baby Gorilla AMATUNGO (from Hirwa family) which in the Rwandan cultural context refers to domestic animals.
Fearnley-Whittingstall is an English celebrity chef, television personality, journalist, food writer and campaigner on food and environmental issues, known for his back-to-basics philosophy.
Also Ms. Alexa Gray named one of the baby Gorillas KUNESHA (from Isimbi family) which means “to win”.
Arsenal Club legend Laureano Bisan Etamé-Mayer named a baby Gorilla IKIPE (from Kwitonda family) which means “team”. The baby gorilla was born during the period in which the #VisitRwanda and Arsenal was announced.
Another Arsenal legend Ms. Alexandra Virina Scott named a baby Gorilla IZAHABU (from Isimbi family) which means “gold” or “a precious thing”.
Judith Kakuze a Rwandan, named a baby Gorilla INDAKEMWA (from Amahoro family) which means “humble” or “wise character”.
Another Rwandan Jeannette Uwiragiye named the baby Gorilla IREBE (from Igisha family) which means a “precious object”.
Thomas Krulis named a baby Gorilla RUHIRE (from Sabyinyo family) which means “Lucky Rwanda”.
Michael O’Brien-Onyeka also named a baby Gorilla UMUSEKE (from Isimbi family) which means Dawn or Sunrise. O’Brien-Onyeka is the Senior VP of Conservation International’s Africa Field Division. He served as Executive Director of Greenpeace Africa.