With the introduction of Devolution under the Constitution of Kenya (2010) and Museums proposed to be under the management of the counties, there was a need to establish a training institution to offer courses in the management of cultural and natural heritage.
Thus NMK with its many well trained and qualified heritage professionals who have vast years’ experiences in heritage management established the National Museums of Kenya Heritage Training Institute (NMK-HTI) in late 2015. NMK-HTI which is set to play a critical role in capacity building for heritage managers in Kenya and beyond took over from the former Research Institute of Swahili Studies in Eastern Africa (RISSEA) and retained the latter as a department in this new wider mandate institute.
NMK-HTI was formed to educate county staffs, interested individuals and institutions on Kenya’s natural and cultural heritage assets.
The main office of NMK-HTI is at Mombasa, the former Swahili Culture Centre, next to The Mombasa Hospital. NMK-HTI satellite campuses are in Nairobi Museum and in Lamu Museum.
COURSES OFFERED BY NMK-HTI
Courses offered are both technical and heritage training courses. The technical courses offered are certificate courses in Fashion Design/Tailoring one year Courses and Carpentry/Wood carving two years courses.
The training is both theory with practical sessions, with students doing both internal and NITA examinations. Part of the courses include dying Swahili culture studies in ‘kofia’ making, Swahili embroidery and Swahili wood carving. Most of the students are self-sponsored, while we do receive sponsored students from Mvita CDF Skills Mtaani Project, County Government of Mombasa, among others.
The Institute also offers courses in heritage conservation and management for the local counties, individuals, government institutions, private museums and international heritage institutions. Swahili language and culture studies are also offered from beginners to advanced levels. We also offer online Swahili classes for elementary, intermediate and advanced students.
NMK-HTI also provides research facilities and internship opportunities to local and international university students. Further to that, the NMK-HTI organizes seminars, workshops and conferences for both local and international scholars on heritage and Swahili Studies including historical and contemporary role of the East African Coast and the Indian Ocean basin.
Other specialized planned courses include archaeological studies (terrestrial and underwater), heritage studies and museological studies, amongst others that fall into the jurisdiction of the wider NMK mandate.
NMK-HTI has a well-stocked Coast Resource Centre, a public library which is open to the public having a wide collection of rare books and manuscripts on history and the Swahili community. The books are given on loan to students, researchers and readers who want to learn more on the history of East African Coast and the Swahili.
The facility has space for hire ideal for private and social events, having both indoor hall and outdoor courtyard which are ideal for seminars, weddings and corporate events. It is a preferred location as it offers privacy, is serene and secure overlooking the Indian Ocean.