Swahili Literary Festival 2022

The Swahili Literary Festival 2022 will be 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. Apart from the panels the festival, 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 February. For the first time in their history, the event will be hosted concurrently in the city of Mombasa and the town of Kilifi.

The organisers have announced the program for the events with two options for those who wish to attend. These are physical events that are hosted at the Swahilipot Hub for those who are in Mombasa and virtual events happening from Kilifi town for those who wish to follow proceedings from wherever in the world they might be. Here is the official events list;

Friday, March 18


Event: Building for Kiswahili on common Voice

Panellist: Kathleen Siminyu, Fellow, Mozilla Foundation

Time: 9-10am


Writing & Translating The Coast

Panellists: Nathalie Koenings, Aurile Journo, Fatma Shaffie, Hassan Kassim

Time: 10-11am

Swahilipot Hub, Mombasa        

Panel: Archiving The Coast: Building a sustainable archival culture

Moderator: Dr Jackie Kosgei

Time: 2-3:30pm

Saturday, March 19

Swahilipot Hub, Mombasa

Panel: Building Bridges: Interactive conversation between scholars, writers, archivists, cultural, and literary activists on the Kenyan coast

Panellists: Dr Jackie Kosgei, Prof Rayya Timamy, Prof Rocha Chimera

Time: 10am – 4pm

Sunday, March 20

Swahilipot Hub, Mombasa

Panel: Narrating The Coast

Panellists: Dr Jackie Kosgei, Dr Doseline Kiguru, Lubnah Abdulhalim

Time: 10am – 11:30am