“The University of Nairobi’s Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Literature, the Italian Embassy, and the Italian cultural institute collaborated on a conference dubbed ‘From the Dark Wood to Paradise: Dante Alighieri at the University of Nairobi.’
“During the event, excerpts of the audiobook version of From the Dark Wood to Paradise were read to the participants in English, Kiswahili, and Italian; some parts of the Divine Comedy have been translated into 33 languages including Swahili.
“(The event) also included a segment for the collaborators to share their perspectives.
“Speaking at the conference, the Italian Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Alberto Pieri noted that some Italian words are used in Kenya and across the globe thus showcasing the undeniable influences of Italian culture to the world.
“‘There is no better partner in terms of culture than Italy because culture goes back to the Greco-Roman period. Aspects of culture and technology like road-building are drawn from that early cultural heritage. As a university, we would like to see this collaboration grow into a full collaboration where we are able to interact in terms of theatre and languages’ (Dean Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ephraim Wahome).
“‘The Italian language has been part of the population of the country of Kenya for a long time. Malindi for example has often been referred to as Little Italy since the late 60s because of its cultural inclination’ (Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama).
“‘He is part of what came to be known as three crowns of Italian literature. The others are the writer Giovanni Boccaccio well known for his text and Francesco Petrarch the father of the Renaissance movement. Indeed, the works of the three crowns of Italian literature have been known to comprise an entire teaching unit in English and literature departments the world over signaling the importance of the contribution of the Italian language to world literature’ (Alex Wanjala, Dept. of Linguistics, Languages, and Literature).
See also the related post about The Sky over Kibera here.