Idris Elba and other stars name gorillas in Rwanda

New-born baby gorillas in Rwanda have been named – one by Hollywood star Idris Elba and his wife – in a much-vaunted annual event to promote conservation and tourism.

The naming ceremony, known as Kwita Izina, has been taking place in Kinigi, a small town beneath gigantic volcanoes.

This is home to rare mountain gorillas and the event attracts personalities from the worlds of activism, sport, politics, film, philanthropy, fashion and more.

Last year’s ceremony was attended virtually by British royalty. The then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, named a baby Ubwuzuzanye, which means “harmony” in Kinyarwanda .

This time 23 baby gorillas were named by key figures, who were there in person:

  • Actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina: Narame, meaning “long life”
  • Former Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Bernard Lama: Ramba, meaning “sustainable”
  • Local environmental activist Grace Ineza: Bigwi, meaning “achiever”
  • British MP Andrew Mitchell: Mukundwa, meaning “favoured”.

US comedian Kevin Hart also attended virtually, and named one of the babies Gakondo, meaning “traditional”.

Rwanda has been incredibly successful at drumming up tourism revenue over the last few decades, though government critics question the transparency of how the money is spent.

The authorities maintain it is well managed and used to develop infrastructure near tourism sites.

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