Goethe-Institut Nairobi officially reopened its spaces to the public on Friday. And to celebrate this milestone, the institute is hosting a three day action-packed event from February 17 to the 19th.
The colorful re-opening event was graced by the German deputy ambassador Thomas Wimmer, Goethe Institut Nairobi director Lilli Kobler, the Kenya Cultural Centre CEO Michael Pundo and the Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation chairperson Rahab Mwikali Muiu.
Speaking during the private reopening event, Goethe-Institut Nairobi director Lilli Kobler said they are happy to celebrate the reopening of their spaces.
“We are right in the heart of Nairobi and we are celebrating that we have just finished refurbishing and modernizing our spaces,” she said.
The reopening also coincided with Goethe-Institut Kenya’s 60 years celebration of Kenyan-German cultural relations.
“We have been here from the very start, since 1963, working on cultural exchange, teaching the German language, and building access to Germany,” Kobler said.
Michael Pundo, the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Cultural Centre noted that there are numerous opportunities and avenues that have been created by technological advancement and unprecedented partnerships between private and public sector players across the entire cultural and creative sector value chain.
Mr Pundo was speaking during the grand reopening of the versatile, modern and more welcoming Goethe-Institut Nairobi spaces where people from all walks of life can meet, study, research and socialize in a serene environment in the midst of Nairobi’s hustle and bustle.
The German Deputy Ambassador, Thomas Wimmer, lauded the Goethe-Institut for continually implementing innovative and wide-ranging programs that have gone a long way in deepening understanding of the Kenyan and German cultures and experiences and enhancing creative development of local talents.
He expressed satisfaction that the institute has grown over the years to become a multifaceted, melting pot that celebrates the diversity of both the German and Kenyan heritages and provides a platform for different creatives to express themselves, learn German and interact with Germany right in the heart of Nairobi.
What The New Spaces Have To Offer
The revamped spaces now feature a terrace that offers a wide range of activities. These include a digital corner, Virtual Reality (VR) stations, Gaming Fridays, and a safe and engaging kids section that is geared at nurturing creative talents and encouraging a reading culture from an early age.
The library also received a facelift and has been fitted with elegant glass walls and transformed into a much larger area. It spills over into the terrace making it easily accessible, functional, and fit for learning and knowledge sharing.
Additionally, the library now boasts of a revised stock of books after the Goethe-Institut Nairobi reduced nearly three-quarters of the collection they had and gave them out to universities and museums.
Activities To Be Held In The Three Day Event
Lots of upcoming and renowned artists are expected to be performing and showcasing their various projects at the ongoing three day event.
Some of the works being showcased include a VR project dubbed The Heritage Museum, which aims to create awareness about the heritage, history, and importance of Kenya’s displaced artefacts.
The audience will also be treated to an exhibition by Jojo Records of specially curated and handpicked vinyl spanning as far back as the 1980s.
“The vinyl exhibition will be running for three weeks, from today until March 9, and we will expecting artists like Octopizzo who will be performing on Sunday to be in attendance,” Kobler said.
Just A Band will also premiere their new performance film “Echo”, which looks back at the band’s history and showcases their upcoming work, followed by a comeback appearance during a Q&A with fans.
If you’d like to experience all these activities, you can head over to the Goethe-Institut Nairobi located in Maendeleo House, Monrovia Street, CBD, Nairobi.
All activities are free of charge to the public.