Rwanda: Queen Kalimpinya to Name Baby Gorilla at 'Kwita Izina' Ceremony

Queen Kalimpinya, a fast-rising rally driver and former finalist in Miss Rwanda beauty pageant, has been selected among this years' baby gorilla namers at the Gorilla Naming Ceremony, known locally as Kwita Izina, slated for Friday, September 1.

Kalimpinya is the third Rwandan to be announced on this year's long list of baby gorilla namers after Ineza Umuhoza, global advocate for youth participation in climate action, and Innocent Dusabeyezu, a ranger in the Volcanoes National Park.

Other namers of this year's Kwita Izina ceremony include global stars like comedian Kevin Hart, actor and musician Idris Elba and former NBA player Joakim Noah among others.

The development comes a few months after the former beauty queen started making rounds on different social media platforms being recognized by Formula One super star Sir Lewis Hamilton as well as making headlines on Aljazeera, one of the leading media outlets on the globe.

Kalimpinya, 24, started as a co-driver Olivier Ngabo in 2019 until she started racing as a driver during the 2022 Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally, becoming the first ever female Rwandan rally driver to do so.

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 brings together big names across sectors, including conservation champions, celebrities, leaders, sports legends as well as ordinary people.

The first naming ceremony was first held in 2005, and 374 baby gorillas have since esbeen named.

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