Judith Heard to grace Kwita Izina – Rwandan Gorilla naming fete

Judith Heard to grace Kwita Izina – Rwandan Gorilla naming fete

Miss Environment Africa Judith Heard, a Ugandan born international model with Rwandan lineage (from the father’s side) is on a roll.

This time, the multi-award winning tourism enthusiast is channeling her celebrity focus to advocacy for conservation of animal species, case in point Gorillas across East Africa. With diverse partners, she curates and documents magnificent travel destinations.

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‘’It is out of this work, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has invited Judith Heard in capacity of Miss Environment Africa, to officiate the 18th edition of Kwita Izina, the annual state Gorilla Naming ceremony on Friday 2nd September, 2022 at the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi in Musanze District.

Kwita Izina is a centuries old Rwandan tradition of giving a name to a new born baby. Rwanda celebrates new births of the rare mountain gorillas through naming. ’’ Muhumuza of Bryan Morel Publications (currently in Kigali, Rwanda) confirmed this recognition awaiting Judith on Friday.

During these numerous ecological and environmental initiatives in Rwanda this weekend, Judith Heard will be joined by other distinguished individuals from all over the world, including state representatives, environmental leaders, educators, public health advocates, artistes and sports figures.

Kwita Izina’s aim is celebrating the country’s dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism uniting research partners, vets, conservationists, rangers and trackers who preserve the gorillas.

Over the last fifteen years, more than 300 mountain gorillas have been named and today Kwita Izina forms part of an ambitious strategy to preserve our natural heritage and further expand the role of tourism in our country’s transformation.

As a result of the naming ceremony, Rwandans from all walks of life understand the intrinsic value of gorillas as well as their contribution to the country’s economic prosperity. Rwandans have become gorilla guardians.

Overall, Rwanda has emerged as a conservation and sustainable tourism leader on the continent. For instance, while in the 2010 Census, there were 480 mountain gorillas, the 2016 Census report indicated 604 individuals in the Virunga Massif, these efforts have contributed to the increase in the number of mountain gorillas worldwide (1,004), and categorized as no longer critically endangered.

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