What is Soma?

Soma Book Café was established in 2008 as an alternative public place for leisure, culture and learning. Housing a bookshop, a coffee and snack bar in a garden lounge; it is a hub for socializing, self-study, group discussions, book launches, art and cultural shows, literary and intellectual discourse; and hosts clubs/classes for creative writing, poetry, bao, chess, scrabble, yoga, dance, etc. Periodic Soma activities thus far include: Literary activities for children, youths and adults; fortnightly poetry and comedy shows; annual literary festivals and symposia; book launches, readings and moderated dialogues between authors and audience.

Our core purpose

is to promote reading among Tanzanians


“To groom the next generation of innovative storytellers and book chain entrepreneurs”

Our Mission

‘Become an innovative co-creation hub for grooming young storytellers & literary (book chain) entrepreneurs’

Our Vision

to see ‘A vibrant culture of reading, storytelling and enterprise among young people in Tanzania’

Our Core Values

  • We are intolerant to all forms of discrimination based: on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, disability and HIV/AIDS status etc.;
  • We celebrate, amplify, validate young peoples’ voices and encourage lifelong learning;
  • We inspire, encourage, celebrate excellence and uphold the integrity and wellbeing of those who interact with Soma;
  • We create dynamic, safe and inclusive spaces where creativity is nurtured and thrives.

    Strategic Focus 2016-2020

    The three outcome areas as illustrated
    are pillars holding together
    interlocking brick walls that is our
    strategy; which is made up of
    interconnected action areas, each
    serving multiple functions and
    contributing to more than one
    output. For example, a bookshop
    contributed to skills and
    enterprise, while forums serve
    as space to amplify voices
    and to hone skills.

    Organizational Profile 2018

    Download the latest organizational profile below.

    download (2MB PDF)