Swahili Literary Festival 2022

The Swahili Literary Festival 2022 was hosted in the Kenyan coastal cities of Kilifi and Mombasa from March 18-22, 2022.  

The Swahili Literary Festival hosted by the Hekaya Initiative has featured panels covering issues of interest to the literary and general art practitioners in the coastal part of Kenya since 2019. The festival which also ran in 2020 and 2021, has celebrated those who contribute to the literary tradition of the Swahili.  The Hekaya Initiative announced that the festival for 2022 would run from March 18-22 with the theme “Exploring language(s) and Boundaries” in the city of Mombasa and the town of Kilifi.

There were several panels at this year’s edition of the festival both virtual and in person at the Swahilipot Hub in Mombasa and in Kilifi.  Some of these were “Building for Kiswahili on common Voice” with Kathleen Siminyu a Fellow with the Mozilla Foundation and “Writing & Translating The Coast” with Nathalie Koenings, Aurile Journo, Fatma Shaffie, and Hassan Kassim as well as “Archiving The Coast: Building a sustainable archival culture” with Dr Jackie Kosgei. The panel “Building Bridges: Interactive conversation between scholars, writers, archivists, cultural, and literary activists on the Kenyan coast” was attended by Dr Jackie Kosgei, Prof Rayya Timamy, and Prof Rocha Chimera. The “Narrating The Coast” panel featured Dr Jackie Kosgei, Dr Doseline Kiguru, and Lubnah Abdulhalim.

Apart from the panels, there were book sales with classics like Hekaya Za Abunuwasi, Mui Huwa Mwema, Adili na Nduguze, Alfu Lela U Lela, and many more on sale.

Here are some images from the festival used with the permission of the festival organisers;

Mozilla Panel with Doseline Kiguru
Mozilla Panel with Doseline Kiguru
Mabati Cornel Prize winner Halfani Sudy (white shirt) speaks
Mabati Cornel Prize winner Halfani Sudy (white shirt) speaks
Book sales at Swahili litfest
Book sales at Swahili literary festival
Munyao Kilolo, Abdulrahman "Abu" Amirah,  and Zainab Mejja
Munyao Kilolo, Abdulrahman “Abu” Amirah, and Zainab Mejja
writer speaks at the festival
writer speaks at the festival
The Swahilipothub
The Swahilipothub