Former Arsenal FC Captain Tony Alexander Adams and renowned football coach Louis van Gaal are expected to participate at the gorilla naming ceremony also known as Kwita izina slated on September 6.
Speaking at a media briefing in Kigali Tuesday, Ms. Bélise Kaliza, Chief of Tourism at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said the ceremony of naming 25 baby gorillas will be followed by the performance of American singer Ne-Yo and Rwandan RnB hitmaker Ngabo Médard known on stage as Meddy.
England-based Rwandan choreographer Sherrie Silver will also be among the gorilla name givers.
The annual Kwita Izina ceremony is held at the foothills of the National Volcano Park in Kinigi, Musanze District.
The participation of Tony Adams is in line with Rwanda’s partnership with Arsenal Fc, the English Premier League club. The partnership kicked off in August 2018 with an aim to promote investment and tourism in the country through the Visit Rwanda campaign.
RDB has never revealed the amount of money it pays Arsenal for the three-year Visit Rwanda promotion but speculations put it in the range of $30million. Kaliza told media on Tuesday that the partnership is bearing fruits as the country has so far fetched £36 million (slightly over Rwf36 billion) in one year through an increased number of visitors to the country.
Tony Adams 52, played for Arsenal from 1983 to 2002 and captained the club for 14 years. He won 13 cups with the club and has got an honorary monument at the club’s Emirates Stadium.
Louis Van Gaal, 68, is a renowned manager in football. He managed world giant football clubs including Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax Amsterdam and the Dutch national team.
RDB reveals that over 3000 people have so far registered to attend the Kwita Izina 2019 ceremony and the free-of-charged registration is still underway.
Kwita Izina, a uniquely Rwandan event, was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness of conservation efforts for the endangered mountain gorilla. Kaliza said that the increasing number of mountain gorillas in the Volcano National Park is proof of the strides that Rwanda has made in gorilla conservation.
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