Winston Duke, a Tobago native, revealed on Monday that he had become a naturalized Rwandan citizen. The 36-year-old Black Panther actor verified his citizenship after retweeting a message from the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, according to Loop News.
Duke also said his sister, Dr. Cindy Duke, has also been granted Rwandan citizenship. “Today is a truly auspicious and memorable day for me and my sister @DrCindyMDuke! It’s our continental birthday,” he stated. “We officially became naturalized Rwandan citizens! Our own personal #kwitaizina!”
During his visit to the African nation, Duke also partook in a gorilla baby naming ceremony known as Kwita Izina. He is said to have named one of the infants “Intarumikwa (Resilient Giant).”
Today is a truly auspicious and memorable day for me and my sister @DrCindyMDuke! It’s our continental birthday.
— Winston Duke (@Winston_Duke) September 4, 2023
The actor was hardly the only star in attendance. Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina also attended the ceremony, as previously reported by How Africa. The Kwita Izina naming ceremony takes place in Kinigi, a small village set amid magnificent volcanoes, and honors the naming of endangered mountain gorillas. The event attracts a wide range of notable figures from a variety of fields, including activism, sports, politics, film, philanthropy, and fashion.
At this year’s naming ceremony, 23 young gorillas were named by important individuals in attendance. Actor Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina named one of the gorillas “Narame,” which means “long life.” Former PSG goalkeeper Bernard Lama chose the name “Ramba,” which means “sustainable,” while local environmental activist Grace Ineza named a gorilla “Bigwi,” which means “achiever.”
Andrew Mitchell, a British MP, attended the event and called a baby gorilla “Mukundwa,” which translates to “favored.” Meanwhile, US comedian Kevin Hart, who took part online, called one of the infants “Gakondo,” which stands for “traditional.”
Kwita Izina is a Rwandan practice that involves naming mountain gorillas in order to raise awareness and finances for their protection and habitat expansion. This ceremony has grown into a prominent conservation event in Rwanda, with activities such as debates, fundraising events, exhibitions, and a conference.
Previously, gorillas were named by rangers and researchers, but now conservation champions and famous personalities from around the world attend Kwita Izina ceremonies, according to the Republic of Rwanda.
The celebration of these gorillas emphasizes the importance of conservation-based tourism and economic development, as well as the role of local communities in successful conservation initiatives. President Paul Kagame stressed the importance of these communities’ participation and support in accomplishing conservation and development goals.