Mwami of Rwanda
Last to reign
Kigeli V Ndahindurwa

28 July 1959 – 28 January 1961
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchGihanga I
Last monarchKigeli V Ndahindurwa
FormationUnknown (ancient times)
Abolition28 January 1961
ResidenceNyanza, Rwanda
AppointerRoyal Council of Abiru
Pretender(s)Prince Emmanuel Bushayija

This article contains a list of kings of Rwanda. The Kingdom of Rwanda was ruled by sovereigns titled mwami (plural abami), and was one of the oldest and the most centralized kingdoms in the history of Central and East Africa.

Its state and affairs before King Gihanga I are largely unconfirmed and highly shrouded in mythical tales.

Kings of Rwanda

Abami b'imishumi (descendants of Ibimanuka gods) – B.C.E
1st Abami Bibitekerezo (1st Common Era Kings)
2nd Abami Bibitekerezo (2nd Common Era Kings)
Kigeli IV Rwabugiri
NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Yuhi V Musinga[4]1883 – 13 January 1944
(aged 60–61)
December 189612 November 1931Son of Kigeli IV RwabugiriAbanyiginyaYuhi V Musinga of Rwanda
Mutara III RudahigwaMarch 1911 – 25 July 1959
(aged 48)
12 November 1931[5]25 July 1959[6]Son of Yuhi V MusingaAbanyiginyaMutara III Rudahigwa of Rwanda
Kigeli V Ndahindurwa(1936-06-29)29 June 1936 – 16 October 2016(2016-10-16) (aged 80)[7]28 July 1959[8][9]28 January 1961[10]Son of Yuhi V MusingaAbanyiginyaKigeli V Ndahindurwa of Rwanda

Timeline (1700–1961)

Kigeli V NdahindurwaMutara III RudahigwaYuhi V MusingaMibambwe IV RutarindwaKigeli IV RwabugiriMutara II RwogeraYuhi IV GahindiroMibambwe III Mutabazi II SentabyoKigeli III NdabarasaCyilima II RujugiraKalemera RwakaYuhi III MazimpakaMibamwe II Sekarongoro II Gisanura

Pretenders since 1961

Prince Emmanuel Bushayija (Yuhi VI).

On 28 January 1961, during what was dubbed the Rwandan Revolution by the Belgian-favored Hutu extremist party Parmehutu, the Belgian colonial overseers abolished the monarchy and Rwanda became a republic[10] (retroactively approved by a Hutu led referendum held on 25 September of the same year).[11] Afterwards, Kigeli V Ndahindurwa continued to maintain his claim to the throne until his death on 16 October 2016 in Washington, D.C.[7] On 9 January 2017, the Royal Council of Abiru announced Prince Emmanuel Bushayija as the new heir to the throne. Prince Emmanuel adopted the regnal name Yuhi VI.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Leon Delmas
  2. ^ Vansina, Jan. 2004. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda : The Nyiginya Kingdom. Africa and the Diaspora. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.
  3. ^ Kagame,Alex. 1912. Inganji Kalinga. Princeton University Press.
  4. ^ "".
  5. ^ Frank K. Rusagara (2009). Resilience of a Nation: A History of the Military in Rwanda. Fountain Publishers. p. 99. ISBN 9789970190010.
  6. ^ Tharcisse Gatwa (2005). The Churches and Ethnic Ideology in the Rwandan Crises, 1900-1994. Regnum Books International. p. 55. ISBN 9781870345248.
  7. ^ a b "Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, Rwandan king without a crown, dies at 80". The Washington Post. 18 October 2016.
  8. ^ "A King With No Country". Washingtonian. 27 March 2013.
  9. ^ Aimable Twagilimana (2007). Historical Dictionary of Rwanda. Scarecrow Press. p. xxix. ISBN 9780810864269.
  10. ^ a b Leonhard Praeg (2007). The Geometry of Violence. AFRICAN SUN MeDIA. p. 39. ISBN 9781920109752.
  11. ^ "Kigeli V: Rwandan king with no throne". 9 January 2021.
  12. ^ Adrian Blomfield (12 January 2017). "Rwanda's new king is former Pepsi salesman residing in Cheshire". the Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2017.