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MKUR hosts PS. Roseline K. Njogu for a public lecture on African Artifacts and Diaspora

Principal Secretary(PS) State department for Kenya Diaspora affairs: Roseline K. Njogu on 17th, February, 2023 delivered a public lecture about the restitution of African artifacts at Mount Kenya University Rwanda(MKUR).

Although some African societies are trying to preserve their culture through writing books, paintings, mode of dressing, hair styles, carvings and so on; the permanent secretary says a lot still needs to be done.

In her words, 90% of African artworks are not on the African continent but are found in museums and exhibitions in Europe, America and elsewhere as a result of colonialism and imperialism.

Restitution of artwork is not a ‘welcomed’ subject by many with claims that there’s not such a thing as ‘items being owned by the society’.

The permanent secretary however disagrees saying that ‘we’ express ourselves through artifacts although some artifacts are used for spiritual expressions more than cultural expressions.

A lawyer by profession, one of the projects PS. Roseline K. Njogu has worked on during her career is ‘to look into the law and see legal frameworks’ that can help African countries pursue restitution and repatriation of their artifacts.

For the past years, there have been movements for the artifacts to be returned to their places of origin. However, the International law has some ‘pieces’ that come with challenges; for example, that laws do not apply under ritual activity“, said PS. Roseline K. Njogu.

Nonetheless, she shared tools that Africans can use to address the problems they are facing and these included; Diplomacy, Diaspora and Global conversations about art in different parts of the world.

Attending the event was Kenya Ambassador to Rwanda Hon. Phillip Githiora, Chairman Association of Kenya diaspora in Rwanda-Boniface Mutua, the Vice Chancellor designate MKUR-Prof Edwin Odhuno, students from different universities in Rwanda among others.

Speaking to our reporter, Benjamin Opondo a Kenyan national working at Kigali International Community School said, “we need to find where the artifacts are, create a positive attitude around them and give them value for the young generation“.

The PS. concluded her visit by taking a tour around MKUR nursing department.

Photos by Axel Photography

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