Every year since 2015, the centre organizes an annual event dabbed Somali Heritage Week.
The Somali Heritage Week 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 Somali’s and non-Somali’s. 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.
The SHW program is normally split into two major parts that are meant to ensure the realization of the heritage week’s goals. Workshops for the youth on selected themes are carried out for two to four months prior to the heritage week and the products of these workshops are showcased during the heritage week. Secondly, during the heritage week, several activities are carried out including; public forums featuring nationally and internationally known speakers covering topics ranging from world affairs, politics, business and economics, arts, entertainment, and the environment; live performances of classic and modern Somali plays; musical concerts (performed by some of the most talented and prominent musicians in the African region); Somali traditional dances; drama; poetry recitation; art; exhibitions; youth talent presentation; a fashion show showcasing the Somali traditional dress and a book fair.
Every year the Somali heritage week organizing committee selects a theme that pays tribute to current social issues that Kenyans are facing that need to be discussed and tackled. The themes of the previous years were; 2015 Identity- what does it mean to be Somali Kenyan? ; 2016 Change- How do communities adapt to changing circumstances? ; 2017, the theme is Inclusivity-Enhancing inclusivity; and in 2018 Connectivity- Building positive connection among Kenyan communities through art and culture
Somali Heritage Week Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/