Winston , 36, is also a global ambassador of Partners in Health.
After acquiring his Rwandan citizenship on Monday 4th September 2023, Winston expressed delight at achieving this milestone.
“Today is a truly auspicious and memorable day for me and my sister Cindy M Duke! It’s our continental birthday. We officially became naturalized Rwandan citizens,” he posted on his X account formerly Twitter.
Duke is among the distinguished namers of the 19th Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony that took place last week in Kinigi, in the Northern Province of Rwanda.
During the ceremony, Winston named a female gorilla ‘Intarumwika’ which translates to ‘Resilient Giant’, from the ‘Motobo’ family, mother ‘Akaramata’.
According to the actor, he chose the name in honour of his late mother who is a giant in his own life.
“I know you may think I have chosen that name because of myself but no. I chose that name in honour of a resilient giant in my own life, my dear mother who passed away last year. As a single mother, she taught me the meaning of resilience. She was a giant in my life who I looked up to and continue to look up to this day,” he stated.
Winston further stated that among the many things his mother taught him was conservatism and preservation, thus applauding Rwanda and all Rwandans for the great work they are doing to conserve gorillas.
“Gorilla conservation is about preservation of our history and cultures so that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren can inherit a world filled with the same beauty and wonder that we have access to today,” he noted.
He commended Rwanda for its efforts in the space of conservation, considering the country a shining example for resilience.
Duke was born on 15th, November, 1986 in the village of Argyle, in Trinidad and Tobago.
He is an actor and producer well known for his role as ‘M’Baku’ in Black Panther (2018), Avengers : Infinity war (2018) and Us (2019)
According to ‘Citizenship Rights in Africa Initiative’, those who are not Rwandan nationals by origin can acquire citizenship on eleven separate grounds namely; By birth on territory, foundling, marriage, adoption, national interest, special skills or talent, substantial sustainable investments or activities, residence in Rwanda, honour, being an immigrant, and statelessness.
Citizenship in Rwanda is governed by ‘Organic Law N0. 002/2021. OL of 16/07/2021 governing Rwandan nationality and by the 2003 Constitution as revised in 2015.
In addition, the law provides for the grant of nationality on the basis of various forms of special contribution to Rwanda, subject to conditions of good conduct and not being a threat to national security.