As Rwanda gears towards the annual biggest tourism event of Gorilla naming commonly known as Kwita Izina, some of the prominent Celebrities coming for this year’s event have been announced at a press conference held this Tuesday.
The celebrities, set to name baby Gorillas during this year’s ceremony set for September 6, are former Barcelona FC and Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, and Tony Adams – Arsenal legend.
Addressing journalists during the press conference, Belize Kaliza – RDB Chief Tourism Officer said that other celebrities set to grace the Kwita Izina ceremony include American R&B singer, Ne-Yo.
The Miss Independent hitmaker will be among the celebrities to grace Gorilla naming ceremony. Another Arsenal FC legend, Thierry Henry is also speculated among those set to arrive in the country for Gorilla naming ceremony.
Others include US-based Rwandan singer Meddy who is already in the country.
Meddy has been topping R&B charts since 2010 when he broke on the music scene with Amayobera single and even when he moved to the US, he continues to top the charts not only local but regionally.
Meanwhile, Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza said that Sherrie Silver, renowned Rwandan choreographer based in the UK and supermodel Naomi Campbell, will grace the event.
The RDB Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza highlighted some of the conservation gains Rwanda has made over the past 15 years of Kwita Izina ceremony adding that this year, “25 baby gorillas will be named at the naming ceremony in Kinigi right on the foothills of the Volcanoes Park.”
Since 2015, Kwita Izina has been the country’s biggest event, with several side events organised. This year’s edition, according to RDB, will include Africa Leadership University’s 2nd edition of the Business of Conservation Conference to be held from September 8-9, Akagera’s Rhino Cycling Velo Race (Aug 24), a Kwita Izina Mega Concert (Sep 7) and many more.
For the Northern Province, home to mountain Gorillas, it is more than Gorilla naming. According to Paul Jabo, Executive Secretary of the Northern Province, “Tourism is greatly benefiting our people in a way that apart from the community revenue share program, many people are employed in the region’s tourism sector in places like hotels.”
Since 2005, RDB has been able to give back to the communities living around the three national parks over Rwf 5.23 billion which has been invested in 647 different community projects which include houses, schools, health centres and water systems among others.
The government has been giving back to the communities surrounding the national parks every year since 2005 as part of the tourism revenue share program whereby 10% of annual tourism revenues go back to the communities.
The act of naming a newborn baby has been part of Rwandan culture and tradition for centuries – hence the launch of Kwita Izina.