HRH Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi

HRH Princess Sophie of Romania



Her Royal Highness Umuganwakazi (Princess) Esther Kamatari of Burundi
Born in Burundi at Bujumbura, 1951, Her Royal Highness is the daughter of the late Prince Ignace Kamatari, Chief of Mugamba-North, and thus a niece to the penultimate Burundian monarch, Mwambutsa IV and cousin to the last, King Ntare V Ndizeye.

Her natural elegance allowed her to pursue a career as a top model, and catwalked indeed for the grandest fashion labels such as Lanvin, Paco Rabanne, Pucci, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Anne-Marie Beretta, etc. In fact, she was one of the very first mannequins of African extraction to be featured at Paris’ catwalks.

A woman with a great heart and conviction, Princess Esther is particularly committed to the rights of women and children as well as promoting Burundian heritage worldwide.

Since 2010 Esther Kamatari trains models for the fashion shows of “Cultures & Création”, wherein she radiates her own creativity, sense for diversity and multiculturalism. Then the Maison Guerlain began heeding the make-up for her models soon thereafter. In 2015, Princess Esther became a “Brand Ambassador” for the Maison Guerlain.

Esther often heads missions to promote the Royal Drummers of Burundi, performers that enjoyed their apogee during the existence of the Kingdom of Burundi (1680-1966). Nonetheless, they have been named intangible world heritage by UNESCO. As sacred objects, the drums were much more than simple musical instruments. They were used in rituals, such as the umuganuro, or for special circumstances. Major regal events such as coronations, funerals, weddings, arrival of dignitaries to the Royal Court, etc., were announced through the drums. The beating of the drums also signalled certain rites, such as when the mwami (King) rose in the morning or retired in the evening.

The drums (Karyenda) were the main symbol of Burundi, and its mwami (king) up to 1966 when the country became a republic; they granted the monarch a semi-divine status. As a matter of fact, the mwami was said to interpret the beatings of the karyenda into rules for the kingdom.

Royal House of Burundi :

Princess Esther Kamatari:

Royal Drummers of Burundi:

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