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Swahili • language workshops

SwahiliIn October, November, and December, the Museum of African Art organizes the Swahili Autumn Language Workshops for adults (16+), guided by Marija Panić, PhD, and Rose Muthoni Thumbi.

Autumn workshops last from October 28th to December 23rd, 2023. The workshops are intended for beginners. Eventually, each student will be qualified for basic communication in Swahili.

There is a Swahili proverb: MTU NI WATU, which means A PERSON IS PEOPLE.

Swahili is constantly being changed by its speakers who continuously develop the language by including words borrowed from other languages. Arabic, Hindi, Gujarati, Persian, and, more recently, English are the most noted contributors. However, there are traces of Portuguese and German, not to mention the contributions made by local languages. In a way, Swahili is a reflection of all the connections that have, in a long historical period, been created among different peoples!

As a language, Swahili presents no serious difficulties for Serbian speakers: the language is more or less written as it is spoken and uses the same 'continental' vowel sound system found in Serbian. For those who are interested in learning this language for personal development, traveling, or communication with business partners in Africa, Swahili is the right choice! Swahili-language workshops will enable participants to learn basic words and phrases in an engaging and interactive way.

The Autumn Swahili Workshop 2023 will be guided by:

Rose Muthoni Thumbi

Rose Muthoni ThumbiStudent at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade.

Born in Nakuru in Kenya, a country in which 51 million people live, 42 ethnical groups with their native languages, but Swahili is the language spoken by 15 million Kenyans. After independence, the Kenyan government adopted Swahili as a national language to unite different ethnical groups.

She speaks English, Swahili, Serbian, Chinese, French and local Kenyan language - Kikuyu. Rose loves sports and plays table tennis. She also likes to read novels.

As a native speaker and lecturer in Swahili language workshops at the Museum of African Art, Rose has been participating since 2020..


Marija Panić, PhD

Marija PanićWorks as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philology and Arts (University of Kragujevac), where she teaches French literature and culture.

As a linguist she has always been interested in Swahili and it is with great enthusiasm that she started learning it in 2015 at Swahili Language Workshops at the Museum of African Arts in Belgrade. She is very interested in African arts and literature and in the mutual influence of African and European cultures.

As a language teacher Marija has taught French, Italian and English at language courses, in grammar school, at British international school and at the faculty.

She has been teaching Swahili at the MAA since 2018..


For more information about the workshop contact:

Milica Naumov, MAA curator
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone: 011/ 2651 654


Previous teachers at the Swahili workshops:

Galina Tudyk (2015 – 2017)

Amosi Peter Rwangaria (2015 – 2018)

Benjamin Towett Chemarum (2019)


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