By Iminza Keboge
Published November 19, 2015
A four-day event touted as showcasing the best of Somali culture has kicked off in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Held on the theme “Identity: What does it mean to be Somali in Kenya?”, Somali Heritage Week is aimed at creating a platform on which “Somali people and lovers of culture can come together to celebrate the community, to engage with the challenges facing the community, to sustain traditions and to provide a learning opportunity for those outside the culture.”
Among the issues under the microscope that are likely to resonate with the international community include panel discussions on ‘Extremism, Radicalisation and the Government’s Approach to Ethnic Diversity’, ‘Financial Innovation and Regional Impact’, ‘Migration, Mobility, Pastoralism and Refugees’, ‘Climate Change and the Pastoralist Identity’, and ‘Knowledge and Cultural Production of the Somali’. These are interspersed with movies, storytelling, theatre, art and craft and demonstrations of other tangible and intangible heritage.
Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Heinrich Boell Foundation) and Awjaama Cultural, Research and Reading Centre who have organised the the event say it features “some of the best known thinkers, writers, performers and live entertainment stages.”
Though the main centre for the event Nairobi National Museum, “a parallel youth programme will be happening at Awjaama Omar in Eastleigh and at PAWA 254 in Milimani,” Heinrich Böll Stiftung says.