Kigeli IV of Rwanda

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Kigeli IV Rwabugiri
Mwami Kigeri IV Rwabugiri.jpg
Kigeli IV
Mwami of Rwanda
Reign 1853 - 1895
Predecessor Mutara II Rwogera
Successor Mibambwe IV Rutarindwa
Clan Abanyiginya
Mother Nyirakigeri Murorunkwere[1]

Kigeli IV Rwabugiri was the king (mwami) of the Kingdom of Rwanda in late 19th century. He was a Tutsi with the birth name Rwabugiri. He was the first King in Rwanda's history to come into contact with Europeans. He established an army equipped with guns he obtained from Germans and prohibited most foreigners especially Arabs from entering his kingdom.

Rwabugiri held authority in 1853–1895.

By the end of Rwabugiri's rule, Rwanda was divided into a standardized structure of provinces, districts, hills and neighborhoods administered by a hierarchy of chiefs predominantly Tutsi at the higher levels and with a greater degree of mutual participation by Hutus.

He defended the current borders of the Rwanda kingdom against invading neighboring kingdoms, slave traders and Europeans. Rwabugiri was a warrior King and is regarded as one of Rwanda's most powerful kings. Some Rwandans see him as the last true King of Rwanda due to the tragic assassination of his successor son Rutarindwa and coup by his stepmother Kanjogera who installed her son Musinga.[2] By the beginning of the 20th century, Rwanda was a unified state with a centralized military structure.

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mutara II Rwogera
King of Rwanda
Succeeded by
Mibambwe IV Rutarindwa


  • Léon Delmas. Généalogie de la Noblesse du Ruanda. Kabgaye, 244 pp.


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