About Us

The Department of Kiswahili was re-launched at the University of Nairobi in the year 2013 after being hosted in the Department of Linguistics & Languages for some time.  Prior to this re-launch, Kiswahili was taught from the early seventies within the now-defunct Department of Linguistics and African Languages. The status of Kiswahili in Kenya in the 70s was that it was only a National Language. This meant the principle objective of teaching Kiswahili was to develop students who can master not just its grammar but also its literature as well. 

Currently, Kiswahili is by law both a National and Official language in Kenya. The Department trains students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Department also boasts of graduating students at the Ph.D. level.  This Department serves as a catalyst for the training of the same disciplines in related departments in the country. Over the years Kiswahili at the University of Nairobi has been developing in terms of training researchers, teachers, and lecturers.  Further, the Department has grown to become a center of Fiction and Academic writing.  It is a Department that boasts of renowned writers of Kiswahili poetry, Kiswahili novel, and Kiswahili drama in the East African Region.


To be a leading Fountain of Kiswahili scholarship and Research in the world.


  • Provide quality teaching of Kiswahili
  • Provide quality Research in Kiswahili
  • Ensure availability of a conducive environment for Kiswahili Research
  • Facilitate the training and mentoring of upcoming writers and educationists in Kiswahili
  • To produce leading works in fiction and Kiswahili Textbooks


  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Creativity and innovation
  3. Accountability
  4. Teamwork and corporate spirit
  5. Quality in service delivery
  6. Professionalism  
  7. Respect for fundamental human rights