Welcome to Somali Heritage Week 2017

Welcome to Somali Heritage Week 2017

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We are excited to invite you to the next edition of Somali Heritage Week. Somali Heritage Week 2017 seeks to highlight the challenges facing the Somali community and by doing so, promote unity amongst Kenyan cultures through showcasing the true Somali culture in all its richness by providing a learning opportunity and an unforgettable cultural experience for Kenyans.

Somali Heritage Week 2017 is a 4-day event that will run from 5th October to 8th October 2017 and activities will start each day at 9:00am till 7:00pm. This cultural experience is free for all audiences. Come live the experience at the Kenya Cultural Centre.

Background

The Somali Heritage Week (SHW) is a cultural festival that was first launched in 2015 with its core mission being to counter-narrate the negative image that is portrayed about the Somali community in Kenya. The representation of the Somali community in the local and global media has progressively been negative and has often been discursively linked to terrorism, piracy, tribal warfare, refugees and so on. The Somali Heritage Week seeks to highlight the challenges facing the Somali community and by doing so, promote unity amongst Kenyan cultures through showcasing the true Somali culture in all its richness by providing a learning opportunity and an unforgettable cultural experience for both Somalis and non-Somalis. The Somali Heritage Week creates a common gathering space where people converge and learn about the many treasures the Somali culture holds and celebrates their contribution to the cultural diversity that makes Kenya. Have a look at last year's event.

2017 Theme: Enhancing Inclusivity

Kenya is home to over 42 different tribes with different cultures, beliefs, practices and languages, thus making it one of the most diverse countries in the African region. Negative ethnicity has been used many times by individuals with political and economic interests to draw a wedge between the different ethnic groups. After 53 years of independence, Kenya is still experiencing setbacks due to tribalism and the 2007-2008 Post-Election Violence was a clear indication of the extent of this issue. Thousands lost their lives while others were uprooted from their homes in the name of putting tribal interests above national interests.

In the spirit of enhancing a peaceful coexistence especially at a time when Kenya is about to undergo a general election, this year’s Somali Heritage Week shall bring together different people from different cultures to celebrate together hence upholding the SHW theme - Enhancing Inclusivity. Society’s true potential can only be unlocked when we meet inclusivity, a feeling of belonging and acceptance. This year, the Somali Heritage Week shall target audiences from different cultural and social backgrounds and this is inclusive of members of the disabled community.

These are the activities you can expect at SHW 2017:

  • Diverse cultural activities; dance, songs, fashion shows, Somali handcraft display, youth talent presentations, concert
  • Panel discussions
  • Book fair
  • Exhibition
  • Children’s story telling
  • Film screening
  • Building of the Somali Hut

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