Naming infant mountain gorillas has become an important annual nationwide tradition in Rwanda during the past 12 years. The naming ceremony, called Kwita Izina, is based on a historic Rwandan cultural practice for naming newborns, and has been adapted and enhanced to celebrate successful gorilla protection and conservation.
The week-long event in Rwanda now includes a variety of conservation-awareness activities, with government leaders, park staff, local groups, students, celebrities and communities all joining in to help choose names for the gorillas born in the past year.
Some of the baby gorillas that were named in 2016 include;
- Ifatizo (the foundation) born to Okapi of Kwitonda family. It was named by Amb. Michael Ryan
- Ndumunyarwanda (am a Rwandan) born to Izuru of Iyambere family. It was named by Mr. Cyizere Rukundo Fidence
- Icyemezo (meaning decision) born to Kampanga of Sabinyo family. It was named by Mr. Frank Matsaert
- Inshungu (meaning replacement) born to Pasika. It was named by Sir David Attenborough
- Umwiza (the pretty one) born to Izihirwa. It was named by Ms Donatha Niyonkuru
- Hobe (a formal Rwandese greeting) born to Ruhuka of Isimbi family. It was named by Mr. Mark Rose
- Ndizihiwe born to Dufatanye of Karisimbi group. It was named by Dr. Paul Scholte,
- Referendum (born on Referendum day) to Urwunguko of Kwitonda family. It was named by Mr. Jean Claude Musabyimana.
- Ishimwe (being happy) born to Taraja of Mafunzo group. It was named by Mr. Jean Marie Muyango
- Umuhuza (somebody who unites people) born to Akamaro. It was named by Ms. Sheila Ashong
- Umuhate (being brave) born to Gukina of Sabinyo group. It was named by Dr. Timothy Tear
- Igikombe (an award/cup) born to Mararo of Hirwa Family. It was named by Mr. Leonard Harerimana
- Mashami (Palm Sunday) born to Pasika. It was named by Mr. Elisha Ntirakirwa
- Ingemwe (seeds) born to Bikeri of Igisha family. It was blamed by Mr. Peter Fearnhead
- Ukwiyunga (unity) born to Nzeri of Mafunzo group. It was named by Urban boys, a local singing group
- Ntamupaka (borderless) born to Nchili of Kwitonda family. It was named by Mary Ann McDonald
- Kura (to grow) born to Isaro. It was named by Ms. Sheja Audrey Divine
- Nyiramurema’s baby, Ireme ( meaning high quality things) born to Surubika of Kwitonda family. It was named by Mr. Jaques Rusirare
- Nyampinga (most beautiful) born to Kurinda. It was named by Mr. Keith Vincent,
- Impano’s baby and Nezerwa’s baby (of Amahoro family)