The Academy celebrates Swahili Day | Aga Khan Academies

The Academy celebrates Swahili Day

14 May 2009

The day was finally here! The day that the AKAM community had looked forward to and the friendly weather testified that all would be well. The day that the Swahili Day Organising Committee had worked tirelessly to arrange for. This was the fourth of its kind to take place and it was bound to be better than all the rest.

As students and teachers streamed into school, they were welcomed by a professionally decorated podium and beautiful Swahili artefacts both inside and outside the library. The school assembly of both the Senior and Junior school members served to set the right celebratory mood for the day: celebrating the Swahili language and culture. ‘Kanzus’, ‘Buibuis’, ‘Vitenge’, ‘Lesos’, ‘Vikoi’, ‘Khangas’ and ‘Deeras’ of all colours and designs were gracefully worn by many and admired by many more. But the question, which was the theme of the day, still lingered, “Mswahili ni Nani?” [Who is a Swahili?]

Snack time was a big event. Swahili dishes were on sale; finger-licking and mouth-watering. The snacks ranged from cowpeas in coconut milk to the tasty sugar-coated ‘kaimati’ and samosas. Taarab music played as a group of talented student volunteers iced the cake by applying ‘heena’ and ‘picco’ on people’s hands, palms and feet.

Lunch was another set up that shed light on the culture of the Swahili. Many people enjoyed the Swahili menu that comprised of stewed shark meat with rice and fish both cooked in coconut milk. The appetizing aroma was enough to excite the taste buds. The Taarab band entertained the AKAM community with some Swahili music, while one Abdalla, from Jahazi Coffee Shop in Old Town informed groups of curious learners about the uniqueness, beauty and history of the Swahili artefacts on display, demonstrating the richness of the culture.

Different from previous Swahili Days, AKAM houses (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green) competed marvellously in Drama, Songs and Poetry, all in Swahili in the afternoon. Emerging themes ranged from Fairness and Justice, Care, Pluralism, Critical thinking, Leadership and Stewardship. Other starring performances were from the Wema Centre, Jarden (an upcoming artist) and Abdalla Moi (a famous comedian). Professor Sheikh Nabhany from the Kiswahili Research Institute was also on site to give an elaborate talk on the Swahili people.

Largely, the day was very successful. Many thanks to the Administration, the Junior and Senior school members and the Kiswahili Day Organising Committee. You all did a great and honourable job. Thumbs up! Swahili hooyeee!

Our thanks to Rebeka (DP1) for this article.