Rwanda: Idris Elba, Kevin Hart Among Gorilla Namers

This week, on Friday, September 1, Rwanda will hold its signature conservation event, the Gorilla Naming Ceremony, known locally as Kwita Izina, in which the country's conservation efforts are recognized globally.

It will be the 19th time the country will be naming newborn gorillas, where 23 baby gorillas born in the last 12 months will be given names.

Hosted at the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi, Musanze, the event normally attracts the big names in every industry, including conservation champions, celebrities, leaders, sports legends as well as ordinary people.

According to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in 2022, Rwanda's gorilla tourism was the best-performing segment, with the latest figures showing that the sector's growth is expected to grow further.

Meet the namers

Idris Elba

Known for his charming dynamic performances, Idris Akuna Elba is an actor, musician, and producer.

The 50-year-old was born and raised in London to a Ghanaian mother and a Sierra Leone Creole father.

Idris Elba, also known as Dj Big Drills, carries to his name various global accolades. In 2016, He was appointed Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II, thanks to his services to drama.

Sabrina Dhowre Elba

Known for Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) among other performances, Sabrina Dhowre Elba is a model and activist.

She is also the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador International Fund for Agriculture Development.

The Canadian model tied the knot with partner Idris Elba in 2019.

Nigeria's Asa

Asa (pronounced "Asha"; born Bukola Elemide) is a Nigerian-French singer-songwriter and recording artist.

Her singles include Eyé Adaba, Jailer, Be My Man, Why Can't We, Fire on the Mountain, Dreamer Girl, and Bimpé.

She is the winner of the prestigious French Constantin Award, and plays guitar, trumpet, and drums, and popularly known for for her soulful voice and introspective lyrics.

Kevin Hart

After spending part of his holiday in Kigali with his family, American Comedian an Actor Kevin Darnel Hart is expected to join Rwanda for the second time this year.

ALSO READ: Kevin Hart shares his experience in Rwanda

Originally known as a stand-up comedian, funnyman Kevin Hart has since starred in Hollywood films and on TV. He has also released several well-received comedy albums

Cyrille Bolloré -CEO of Bolloré

The 38-years-old French business leader has been at the helm of 12 different companies both in executive and advisory boards.

He holds a Master's degree in economics and management, with a major in finance. Through his career journey, he acquired expertise in issues relating to emerging markets, in particular, Africa.

The Group Bollore has a firm operating in Rwanda in logistics and transport.

Danai Gurira

Zimbabwean-American actress, who also serves as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Danai Jekesai Gurira is an actress and playwright.

She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead and as Okoye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films, including Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the Avengers, among others.

Andrew Mitchell

Top United Kingdom legislator Andrew Mitchell, is the Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom.

Dr Özlem Türeci and Dr Sierk Poetting -BioNTech

Dr Türeci and Dr Poetting, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operation Officer, respectively, will represent BioNTech Group, a German biotechnology company that develops and manufactures active immunotherapies for patient-specific approaches to the treatment of diseases.

BioNTech is establishing a sustainable and state-of-the-art mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Facility in Rwanda.

Nick Stone -Lead Director of Wilderness

Stone is a partner at FS Investors, he served as Vice President for TPG Capital, one of the world's largest private equity funds. And he is currently the Lead director of Wilderness Safaris, the largest conservation tourism operator in Africa.

Through his work, he demonstrated commitment to growing Wilderness' impact in the region through conservation tourism in countries like Rwanda.

Winston Duke

is a Tobagonian actor. He made his feature film debut in the role of M'Baku in Black Panther and his iconic portrayal continued in four films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Audrey Azoulay

Azoulay has served as the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 2017.

Anders Holch Povlsen

Povlsen is the CEO of global retail powerhouse Bestseller. He's shaping the future of fashion

Ineza Umuhoza

Rwanda's global advocate for youth participation in climate action. She is Founder and CEO of TheProtectorRw, a 2022 InsideNatGeo Young Explorer and a recent Global Citizen Prize winner.

Joakim Noah

The 38-year-old former professional basketball player is back in Kigali following his visit during the Basketball Africa League tourney

Born in New York, Noah was a member of the French national team and played college basketball for the Florida Gators, winning back-to-back NCAA championships in 2006 and 2007.

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