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See the names of Rwanda's 22 baby gorillas at the 2016 naming event

See the names of Rwanda's 22 baby gorillas at the 2016 naming event


Rwandan president Paul Kagame attended an event where 22 baby gorillas were named in the country’s annual Gorilla naming ceremony. The president was joined by senior government officials, diplomats, stakeholders in conservation and local residents

The names include characters and qualities like ‘self-reliance,’ ‘grateful,’ and ‘mediator;’ others are descriptions like ‘The Beautiful One,’ ‘I’m Rwandan,’ and ‘The most beautiful girl,’ etc.

Below are the names and their meanings

  • 1. Umuhate: Bravery
  • 2. Icyemezo: Decision
  • 3. Mafubo: Someone who has got an excellent character
  • 4. Ntamupaka: No Borders
  • 5. Ireme: Of High Quality
  • 6. Ntibisanzwe: Remarkable
  • 7. Ifatizo: The foundation
  • 8. Kwigira: Self-reliance
  • 9. Umuhuza: Mediator
  • 10. Kura: Grow
  • 11. Ishimwe: Gratitude
  • 12. Nyampinga: The most beautiful girl
  • 13. Tunganirwa: Prosper
  • 14. Ingemwe: Seeds
  • 15. Umwiza: The Beautiful one
  • 16. Ndizihiwe: I’m Happy
  • 17. Ndi Umunyarwanda: I’m Rwandan
  • 18. Mashami: Owing to the fact the baby was * born on Palm Sunday
  • 19. Igikombe: Award
  • 20. Ukwiyunga: Reconciliation
  • 21. Hobe: Hugging
  • 22. Inshungu: Replacement or Blessing

About the Annual naming ceremony

  • This years’ edition marked the 12th Gorilla Naming Ceremony.
  • It is commonly known as Kwita Izina and started in 2005.
  • The newly named babies bring the total number of the gorillas named to 283 since 2005.
  • Rwanda has 304 gorillas, representing 35% of the entire world’s population.
  • All 304 of them reside in the Volcanoes National Park.
  • The ceremony is held at the foothills of Volcanoes park.
  • The park is in the Musanze District, Northern Province.

Relation between development and environmental conservation – Kagame

In his address, President Kagame highlighted that Kwita Izina was more to remind all those involved that development must be founded on protecting the country’s environment.

“There is no trade off between economic growth and protecting our environment. They complement each other. When we protect our environment, we are also taking of ourselves,” President Kagame said.

A statement issued by the presidency added that more efforts needed to be put into conservation to ensure that the communities surrounding national parks, and Rwandans in general benefit more from tourism.

“The more we put efforts in conservation, the more benefits we amass. This means that the communities will even benefit more,” President Kagame stressed.

The Rwandan government since the commencement of the Gorilla Naming Ceremony has adopted a tourism revenue-sharing scheme under which communities surrounding national parks get a five percent share of annual revenue generated from the parks.

Kagame also proposed naming of lions as the next step for the Rwandan tourism sector, “Naming lions’ cubs would be a step further in restoring what we have recently acquired, and safeguard all that we have. That is a responsibility of not only the government but also each and every one of us,” President Kagame said.

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