Back to all fellows

Saadu Hashim Rashid

Fort Jesus World Heritage Site, National Museums of Kenya

Coordinator and Training Manager

Country: Kenya

ITP Year: 2012


As training manager Saadu is responsible for the Heritage Training Institute, a new programme run by National Museums of Kenya. In this role Saadu is responsible for developing and implementing training programmes on museums and heritage management for local governments and non-government organisations, in order to develop partnerships and form a useful network.

Through the training programmes she runs, Saadu hopes to develop links between museums and the local community by implementing short courses for the general public on subjects like Swahili language and handicrafts. She also coordinates training programmes for young people on skills such as fashion design and tailoring, wood carving, and carpentry.

Her day-to-day activities include managing the institute, addressing visitor and public enquiries and fundraising both locally and internationally. She is a committee member of the site exhibition team, where she supports with the development of temporary exhibitions and collaborates with local artists by showcasing their works in exhibitions at her museum. She is currently assisting her colleagues in the development of a new exhibition on ‘khanga’, which will be a travelling exhibition across museums in Kenya, as well as preparing for World Kiswahili Day in July 2024.

Saadu is also a trainer in Kiswahili language teaching for individuals and groups, and also a researcher, translator and editor of Kiswahili language. Previously, Saadu was the Principal Curator at Fort Jesus WHS from 2013 to 2017- the first female curator for this world heritage site since it was listed as a national monument in 1958.

Saadu’s dream for museums of the future, is for museums to be seen as theatres of memories, and champion interactive collections that are more than just objects with labels. She wants museums to have a global outlook, where different museums from different countries can collaborate in objects exchanges, training and exhibitions to showcase their various cultures and promote peace in the world.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme in 2012, Saadu was based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the America’s and her partner placement was spent at Birmingham Museums Trust.

In 2012 an element of the programme was a series of presentations, in which participants presented a 10-minute illustrated talk, prompted by the task to consider a new display at the British Museum.  Saadu’s exhibition project proposal was entitled The Messages in African Textiles.

Legacy Projects
In November 2015 Saadu attended the ITP Mumbai Workshop Creating Museums of World Stories. The workshop was held at CSMVS and was attended by many ITP fellows from different years and countries, UK partners and British Museum Colleagues. In her project group in Mumbai, Saadu worked on an exhibition concept entitled Untold Connections, focusing on the city of Bhopal in India.

In November 2017 Saadu attended the MA conference in Manchester with fellows from India, Palestine and South Africa. Saadu also attended sessions on temporary exhibitions and permanent display at UK partners Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Museum as well as the People’s History Museum.