One&Only’s Ultra-Luxury Nature Resort Giving Back to Local Rwandan Community Through Partnership with Knowlita
Kigali, Rwanda (7 September 2018) – One&Only Nyungwe House, the latest Nature Resort within the One&Only collection, has announced their participation in Rwanda’s Gorilla Naming Ceremony and support of the local community projects associated with the week-long celebration. The resort will raise funds on behalf of the Uwurunazi Community Project through a capsule collection with New York-based cult fashion brand Knowlita.
The 14th annual Gorilla Naming Ceremony, commonly known as ‘Kwita Izina’, is a time-honoured Rwandan tradition of naming the newborn mountain gorillas soon after they are born. This year’s ceremony, taking place on 7 September in Kinigi at Volcanoes National Park, will celebrate the naming of 23 baby gorillas along with a continued goal of monitoring each individual gorilla in their natural habitat and raising awareness for animal conservation and protection of endangered mountain gorillas. Each year the Rwanda Development Board selects prominent individuals to name the newborn gorillas during Kwita Izina, and this year Michael Wale, Chief Executive Officer of Kerzner International, owner of One&Only Resorts and iconic Atlantis Resort & Residences brands worldwide, will join the esteemed group. The most important annual event in Rwanda, Kwita Izina is attended by nearly thirty thousand community members and three thousand international, regional and local guests. Attendees at the 2017 celebration included the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, actor Sean Penn, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Honourable Laurent Lamothe, and model and activist Veronica Varekova.
Knowlita is a lifestyle brand based in downtown New York. Founded in 2015 by Quincy Moore, Knowlita designs and produces art, apparel, and accessories, many of which are a tribute to New York City, and all of which exist somewhere between nostalgia and now. Knowlita has emerged, at least in part, because of the “or nowhere” slogan it conceived and popularized, and through its partnerships with companies such as Saks Fifth Avenue and American Express. Worn by everyone from LeBron James (Cleveland or Nowhere) to Emma Stone (La La Land or Nowhere) and Jennifer Lopez (The Bronx or Nowhere), Knowlita’s simple sentiment simply resonates, allowing people to proudly show love for what they love.
In support of One&Only’s commitment to conservation and sustainable practices, One&Only Nyungwe House will donate 50% of sales from the Knowlita capsule collection Rwanda or Nowhere, available for purchase at One&Only’s office in Kigali. The funds donated will go directly to help ten families of former poachers who have recently been relocated from the edge of the Nyungwe National Park to the Uwurunazi Village – providing a new home and opportunity for a better life.
“We are honoured to be involved with this year’s Kwita Izina and support the Uwurunazi Community Project,” says Michael P. Wale, Chief Executive Officer, Kerzner International. “One&Only is deeply committed in supporting the local community where our resorts are located and the purchase of a Rwanda or Nowhere t-shirt will help the efforts of protecting central Africa’s oldest mountain rainforest and nearby communities in becoming guardians of the Nyungwe National Park.”
“Knowlita originated as a love letter to New York City, and has expanded to locations across the globe over the years,” said Quincy Moore, Founder and Creative Director, Knowlita. “Rwanda is a remarkable country and it is a privilege to be working alongside One&Only Nyungwe House in effort to support the Rwandan community, its surroundings, and the extraordinary wildlife.”
The Uwurunazi Community Project supports former local poachers who have been moved from the Nyungwe National Park and helps them build a future for themselves and their families. Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda’s southwest is rich with a vast array of plants and animals, and its resources have been used by local communities for many generations. Since becoming a national park, the Rwandan government has been working with local community to support their transition to alternative activities that do not endanger the park and the spectacular wildlife that call it home.
Located in southwest Rwanda, One&Only Nyungwe House is set amongst the rich tea plantations of Gisakura on the edge of the iconic Nyungwe National Park. One&Only Nyungwe House offers guests the opportunity to go where few have gone before, promising once-in-a-lifetime experiences in one of the world’s most exceptional natural locations. Immersed in wild beauty surrounded by awe-inspiring jungle views, every element of the resort has been carefully considered, with inspired farm-to-table dining, spa and wellness offerings that embrace nature and local traditions, and curated, authentic experiences to discover.
One&Only Nyungwe House, which will officially open its doors on 1 October. The Rwanda or Nowhere t-shirts will retail for US$50 and available to purchase during Kwita Izina. For more information, please visit: oneandonlyresorts.com.