Back to all fellows

Lydia Nafula

National Museums of Kenya

Research Scientist

Country: Kenya


Lydia Nafula works at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) as a research scientist. She has a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Development Studies. Her work involves collection, documentation, conservation, research and presentation of Kenya’s cultural heritage. NMK has both cultural and natural science collections. She is therefore periodically involved in multi-disciplinary research and exhibitions and belongs to the institution’s Science and Ethics Committee, where they focus on issues that affect researchers and their work.

Lydia’s work also entails giving lectures to school and university groups on issues related to culture and collaborating with NMK’s education department to carry out public programmes. One of the programmes she has run for students for some time now is the Inspiration through Cultural Objects Programme. It is meant to inspire creativity, appreciation and respect for different cultures.

She has carried out background research for a number of exhibitions and provided information on items to be displayed. These have included temporary exhibitions such as Treasures of Kenya: Costumes and Ornaments, Kanga Stories: The cloth that reveals, Voting Matters: Citizenship and technologies of African elections among others. As well as, Cycle of Life and the Yakuu Community Museum, permanent exhibitions. A number of publications and documentaries have been produced from the research done prior to some of these exhibitions.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme in 2008, Lydia was based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the America’s and her partner placement was spent at the National Museum of Wales.

Legacy Projects
In March 2010 Lydia attended the Cairo Conference Towards a global network where she presented a paper on what she had gained, both professionally and personally, from attending the ITP and her career development since the programme.

In November 2015 Lydia 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, Lydia worked on an exhibition concept entitled Reality and Imagination, focusing on the city of Jerusalem in Israel.

In May 2017 Lydia returned to the British Museum to attend the ITP+ Course, temporary exhibitions & permanent display with fellows from China, India, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, and different ITP years.