Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Kenyan's Guide To Kenya, Vol. I

I’ve often been terribly disappointed by the tourist guidebooks written about Kenya. Most of the time they tell you stuff you already know, like “you can go on safari and see some lions.” That’s probably why you wanted to come here in the first place, so that’s not helpful. Other times they give you all manner of useless information. For example: what’s the point of telling you how to ask for directions in Kiswahili if you’re not going to understand the answer? (Sometimes they seem to be written by a malicious Kenyan who hates tourists. One time I was lying on the beach and was accosted by an earnest American who said, “Jambo. Nyinyi muna kula viazi?” First of all, no Kenyan says “Jambo.” Secondly, I was lying on the beach, I was alone and I definitely wasn’t eating potatoes.)

These books never tell you about all the amazing people you can meet in Kenya, or how to understand what they’re saying. Determined to correct this horrible wrong, I’m issuing the first of many useful, practical tips for our many visitors. Herewith Volume I of “A Kenyan’s guide to Kenya.” (Disclaimer: this is written from a Nairobi perspective. Other parts of the country are a whole other story and will cost you extra.)

Here’s what you should know:

When we want you to pass us something – the salt, say – we’ll point with our mouths. Example: We’ll catch your eye then say, “Nani.” Then we’ll use our mouths to point at the desired object. This is achieved by a slight upward nod followed by an abrupt thrusting out of the lower lip, which is pointed in the object’s general direction. There’s no explanation for this. (“Nani” can be roughly translated as, oh I don’t know, “Whats-your-face,” “You,” or “Thingie.” We’re unfailingly polite.)

Frequently, and for no reason whatsoever, we’ll refer to a person as “another guy.” However, this MUST be pronounced/slurred thus: An-aa guy. This also applies to “the other day,” which is when some momentous event in our lives always took place. We do the same thing with Kiswahili words like ‘bwana’, which is pronounced ‘bana.’
Example: “I was driving in town the aaa day and this guy comes from nowhere and cuts me off, bana. Man I abused him!” ‘Abused’ in this sentence must be drawn out and emphasised for maximum effect: a-BUSE-d.

We claim to speak English and Kiswahili, which technically means that we should be able to communicate with the English-speaking world and Tanzania. What we really mean is that if you’re not Kenyan you won’t understand a damn word we say or why we say it.
Example: “Sasa” in Kiswahili means “now.” We use it as a greeting.
Correct usage: “Sasa?” “Ah, fit.” It confuses us that Tanzanians don’t understand this.

We also, just as randomly, might greet you by saying, “Otherwise?” Common response: “Uh-uh.” There is no explanation for this.

Kenyans are multi-lingual, but all this means is that we believe that if we translate something word for word from one language to another it will make sense. A Kenyan might say, for example, “You mean you’re not brothers? But you look each other!” Be kind, they just think that muna fanana can slip into English unfiltered. Speaking of filters, that’s why some people (tribe/ethnicity withheld to protect my uncles) will claim to ‘drink’ cigarettes. If you’re not Kenyan you won’t understand this. Let it go.

We can buy beers at police stations. Grilled meat too. Heck, in some cop shops you can even play darts. I am NOT making this up. Example: “Man the aaa day I pitiad (pass through) the Spring Valley cop station after work. I was leaving there at midnight, bana. I was so wasted! I told those cops to just let me go home.”

Oh, that’s another thing: when we’re leaving a place (your house, a wedding, the cop shop bar) we tend to say, “Ok, me let me go…” We’re not implying that you’re holding us against our will; we’re just saying that we’d like to go. (The plural is, of course, “Us let us go.”)

When Kenyans say that you’re mad, it’s a profound compliment. “Man this guy is mad. You know what he did…” then they’ll go on to recount some of your admirable exploits. It’s high praise. Smile modestly and accept it. By modest I mean look down, draw a circle in the dust with the toe of your shoe (or just your toe) and then smile, draw your mouth down into a brief frown, and smile again. Alternate quickly a few times. This is known by English-speaking Kikuyus as The Nyira Smile, or The Sneering Smile. Then say “aah, me?” in a high, sing-songy voice. However, only do this if you’re female.

On the other hand, if Kenyans ask, “are you normal? (Sometimes pronounced “nomo”), then they’re getting a bit concerned about your state of mental health. Reassure them by buying another round.

Which brings me to Alcohol. Our national pastime. You know that myth about Eskimos having thousands of word for ‘snow?’ Well, our beloved drinks are known by a thousand names and phrases too. Kenyans will ‘catch pints (or just ‘catch’),’ ‘go for a swallow,’ have a ‘jweeze,’ ‘keroro,’ ‘kanywaji,’ ‘jawawa…’ really, no list can be exhaustive. Be aware, though, that the words you use will immediately tip off your audience about your age. (For the Kenyans reading this, no I was NOT born during the Emergency, you swine.)

Our other pastime is religion. (What contradiction?) If you’re broke on a Sunday – and your hangover is not too bad – stroll over to one of our parks and catch some open-air preaching. Jeevanjee Gardens in town is a prime location. There you will see us in our full multi-lingual, spiritual splendour. There is always, and I mean always, a freelance preacher thundering in English while his loyal and enthusiastic sidekick translates into Kiswahili.
Preacher: And then Jesus said…
Sidekick: Alafu Yesu akasema…
Preacher: Heal!
Sidekick: Pona!
Preacher: HEAL!
Sidekick: PONA!
It’s hypnotic. We suggest you go with a Kenyan who understands both languages because sometimes the sidekick nurses higher ambitions and, instead of translating, tries to sneak in his own parallel sermon. If you’re bored in Kenya it’s because you’re dead.

As you’ve probably figured out, we like abbreviating things. (Why would the word ‘another’ have to be any shorter than it is? Why would the Kenyans reading this find it odd that I keep talking about ‘Kiswahili?’) This can lead to unnecessary confusion. But by now you should have figured out that when you’re catching and someone says, “Si you throw an-aa ra-o?” they of course want you to buy another round of drinks. Don’t worry about the ‘si;’ like so many words in Swa it’s impossible to translate. Embrace it, sprinkle it liberally in your speech and move on. There are several such words, which will be tackled in Volume II.

Coming up in Volume II: why you shouldn’t try to understand sheng (and please dear God don’t try to speak it), why your strange ideas about forming queues won’t work here, and why Nairobians love pornographic chicken. Contains a glossary of untranslatable but essential Swa words (like ‘ebu,’ ‘ati,’ ‘kumbe’ and ‘kwani’).


Blogger Baz said...

Oh my ribs! Ouch!

As we say in Killa K'la, Kyokka you will haha Kenyans! Never to comprehend!

24 July, 2006 11:22  
Blogger Jay said...

Damn funny. Will definitely keep the tips in mind when I come to Nairobi anaa time.

Why the warm beers by the way?

24 July, 2006 16:08  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

@Baz: As if Ugandans are any better? I remember being confused the first time I went to said K'la and had to figure out the menu, mbu "Irish potatoes" and "African tea.." (NB: see how I casually threw in that mbu? Eh? Watch and learn.)
@Jay. I keep forgetting that people don't usually drink warm beer! Thanks, maybe Volume II can address FAQs...

24 July, 2006 16:13  
Blogger Acolyte said...

Well written!It's been a long time since I used my top lip to point at anything!These white folk would think me crazy!
I also remember the use of eh, ehe, mmmm, mhmmm,aha,ala.Of course the meaning would change with facial expression and if there was a question mark at the end of those expressions.
I think we Kenyans have our own breed of swahili many nairobians failed swahili spectacularly in high school and after that everyone speaks a bastardized version of it!
Yes we do love our pints.Much to our detriment.Kenyans ideas of travelling or vacation is going somewhere new to drink.
I think Kenyans fall between two classes, The drinkers/clubbers and church folk.Each group says, "you are either with us or against us."
I'm looking forward to part II!

24 July, 2006 16:16  
Blogger Omar Basawad said...

Very eduacative! I believe, after all these years away from Nairobi, I might find it difficult to get by!

Volume II? Looking forward!

25 July, 2006 10:15  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

@ Aco: As I said, it was your post about Spring Valley and Loresho that finally got to me write this down (care to answer Jay about why Kenyans like warm beers? Good luck with that!) I don't know where to begin with Volume II; there's too much to say!

25 July, 2006 13:43  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

@Omar - have no fear: once Nairobi is in your system, you'll always be able to get by (it's like riding a bicycle; some things you just don't forget).
Seeing as you're from Hadhramout, did you ever know of a place by the same name in Nairobi that was open 24-hours and sold all manner of Swahili food? (Thanks for adding me to your blogs of note, by the way!)

25 July, 2006 13:51  
Blogger CountryBoyi said...

for me, i think kenyan chick needs to see a doctor pronto. but then she just told me about Gacelle Beauvais the most beautiful woman i ever saw on tv.

25 July, 2006 17:47  
Blogger Saadiq said...

weeeweee KC,dont spin us,have u ever watched the news on KBC..atti kenyans dont sema the word Jambo any seems u dont checki iyo news broadcasts!!

25 July, 2006 21:00  
Blogger Dennis Matanda said...

Kenyan Chick,

I have always had a thing for Kenyan women - and now, I remember why. I know I am in Nairobi each week and its not made easier with women speaking less than enough English. But then I am my own prude. I like you already. You and I should "more than talk."

26 July, 2006 15:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gatho!!! Now I miss home like a nonsense (I have never forgotten that one). First off Kenyanchick, this particular post rocks; you have me cracking up real bad. How I miss "catching pints"... a guy, hebu pass that kongo, booze, jawa, pint..etc

Serously, you are not nomo. We want Vol II!!!

27 July, 2006 01:30  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

Ati Countryboyi thinks I need to see a doctor? Ndekka nawe! (You're welcome re: Garcelle, though.)
@ Joshua, what can I say? If you choose to learn anything - anything at all - from KBC I really can't help you! (OK, we might say "Hamjambo" but that's it.)
@Dennis: ati "more than talk?" (Draws circle in ground, giggling). I'll leave a message on your blog...
@Anon: Karibu! OK, now you explain how/why you used the phrase "a guy" in that para. I can't help you (even though you miss home "like a nanzense" (alternate spelling). Working hard on Volume II.

27 July, 2006 10:53  
Blogger egm said...

Late to the game, but loving it nonetheless! Most definitely a to-be-read! Karibu!

27 July, 2006 15:16  
Blogger spicebear said...

woi njesus. i have read your other posts and died and gone to heaven laughing. the hilarity of it all!

now, when it comes to explaining the words si and kumbe and whatnot i am at a loss. now i'll tell them to just roll with it.

you are most definately bookmarked. you mad girl, you are not nomo!

28 July, 2006 12:16  
Blogger Kenyanchick said...

@egm, Spicebear: Karibuni! Only other Kenyans can understand the madness that passes for life in our great republic. Stop by more often!

28 July, 2006 13:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief! This is my lucky day to stumble here! LOL!! I've hurt something internal that i'm sure i'll need later laughing!!!

28 July, 2006 14:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a mombasa "chick" here who can never for the life of me understand sheng:) or proper tanzanian-insha-kiswahili-test type kiswahili either:)

you made me laugh so hard:)

thank you!

28 July, 2006 16:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man, u chick u're as if hard!

28 July, 2006 20:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Kenyanchick: Rather than use the nod and lip method to indicate what you want, I remember people would say, "A guy, hebu pass that..." Those were the days of Wambugus and club 36 and Afro (two days before it closed forever). Now I miss Afro vibaya sana. If you were in main, Parki, KIA (Nairobi U)then you would understand.

Haya mami, lete Volume II twendelee.

29 July, 2006 04:41  
Blogger Savage said...

Are you waiting to hit 100 comments before updating?

03 August, 2006 20:23  
Blogger Minty said...

I'm kinda late here but for the record, hahahahaha.
I was always frustrated with 'anaa gal'etc and rapid fire sheng: you saved me.
Now, three questions:
1. Isn't there another use for that flexible lip? Something to do with never pointing at someone with one's finger but rather ...?

2. Heard Congolese Kiswahili?

3. Got time to include 'haya basi' in Vol II?

03 August, 2006 20:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! chica you are mad not nomo at ALL.
Where is volume II now?

16 August, 2006 11:20  
Blogger Abdurahman Warsame said...

hillarious. I've learnt kswahili long time ago and forget as well. The kenyan slang is both funny and easy to learn.

17 August, 2006 00:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.. the last time I heard someone replying with "fit" to "Sasa?" was in the mid 90's. Today's linga franca reply to 'Sasa?' is "poa sana". Update your guide (and did you just age yourself? :-) )

For your consideration to Part II: A round of up and comming expressions, soon to hit your ears.

"she is such the grenade!" meaning... "she is short tempered",

"those degrees happen!!" meaning... "those plots happen!!"

"I was sooo splashed last night" meaning... "I was soo drunk last night",

"their pulse is too sawa" meaning... "their vibes are too sawa",

"that storo massaged me vizuri", meaning... "that storo jazzad me vizuri"
(massage can have more than one use) eg, "eh that pal has massaging vibes" meaning... "that person has good storoz",

"we caught connections jana usiku" meaning... "we caught strokes last night"

looking forward to part II!!

17 August, 2006 13:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm i see why no one else is posting of late. everyone is here reading your mad posts.
i was directed here today well in i must say.

18 August, 2006 15:39  
Blogger jke said...

Ati, pornographic chicken? LOL...good guide! Pls updated us on Vol mbili and the real meaning of Aterere & Bubudiu...

20 August, 2006 00:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL and make sure you explain what tear-gas is/was. See me aside for a detailed espranaychon.

22 August, 2006 13:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After living in England for sometime I have had to attempt a few rough translations for my poor flatmates who have had an ear-full of these Swa words:


1. "Why don't you/we...." in the context of "Si we go borrow some movies"

2. "Didn't I intimate/suggest..." in the context of "Si I told you that the video library is shut?"


1. "As it turns out..." in the context of "Kumbe all that time there was a 2 for offer on the movies"

2. Roughly translated the word "Kumbe" on its own is can be said to indicate that the person saying it has experienced a flash of recognition or has gathered additional knowledge. E.g when you discover some previously unknown juicy gossip about your next door neighbour, you can say- "Kumbe?" Simillar to one above but there is a slight contextual difference!


1. "Run that by me again?.." E.g. When your flatmate asks you to escort her (another Kenyan thing) to the video lib to borrow some movies and you do not hear what she is saying clearly, you can ask "Ati?" with the expectation that she will repeat what she just said.


a) "I am shocked to discover that"

b) "Trying to suggest that...."

"Ati" can be used in a situation where someone is trying to insinuate something that is probably incorrect. For example if you go to the video-lib and the person behind the counter falsely accuses you not returning movies, first you say "Ati What?!!" to indicate that you are shocked at his accusation-(b above)

Later when narrating the story to others, "ati" can be used for emphasis e.g. " The video lib guy was saying "ATI" I have been stealing his movies (ati here is used to provide emphasis of an insinuation. Preferably the person should sneer when saying "ati" or at least repeat it twice.


Kwani is the hardest word to translate.

1. "Do you mean to say...?"

Kwani can be used to question as in "Kwani the movie is over" when you walk in to the flat and you find that the movie you planned to watch on TV is ending.

2. "..and there is nothing you can do about it"

Kwani with a ? at the end of it or a ! is quite a provoking word, used to suggest that the person saying it has an upper hand in a situation and the other party cannot force a particular situation. e.g. If it turns out that I had indeed forgotten to return the movies but the video lib doesn't have my address or they do not have proof of that I can say.. "Kwani? what can they do? "


"..and the rest of them"

This word is used to define a group of people of whom one is easily identifiable and the rest can be identified with reference to that single person even if they are not known.

E.g. When told to sit with "akina mum" it means sit with mum and the others around her who are likely to be other mums.

When told to go to "akina" Micheal's house it means go to Micheal and perhaps his family or whoever he lives with if you do not know their names.

"Sufuria"- Sauce pan/cooking pot.

So that is my attempt in close to a million words to provide some traslations to key swahili words. I would welcome any improvements suggestions etc.

Cheers to lovely Kenyan terminology!!

23 August, 2006 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You rock!!!

You take me back to the days........keep it comming as its posts like these that keep you close to home

06 September, 2006 19:49  
Blogger bomseh said...

on the "sasa" for greetings, you forgot the plural of it,"saseni".
maybe i can also add "seree", kenyan for "silly"

@MsK- teargas means hot pepper,it makes you shed tears
@Kenyan Chick - are you related to Kamanda wa Kioi of the Karanga Chapo fame? he works hard to translate hotel slang though is kyuk. you must be related.

11 September, 2006 19:55  
Blogger bomseh said...

waiting eagerly for volume two.i know a little bit of sheng and i'll contribute. even the backward slang(rivanto)used mostly in eastlands, which sometimes becomes unfathomable when a sheng word is reversed eg. yumbus for mbuyu,mthama for mother.

and also include the different names for currency-,chapaa,dough(doo),kileche,munde,bakes,loadz eg. the 10/-, ashu,ashara,ikongo,das,....20/-,blu,mbao,iluka,...50/-,finje,chwani,hamsa.....100/-,cent(soo),ng'ati,soc(k),red,.....200/-,rwabe,soo mbili...500/-punch,ngovo,...1000/-,ngiri,koma,G,.... ongeza yako!

11 September, 2006 20:17  
Blogger pilli said...

hahahahahaha awoi! this post is timam its over.Wuuuuiiii mad dejavu making me miss home like mad.Aki kenyanchick, wewe ni supersta. In Vol 11 sijui you can also throw in a couple of lines on the sms phenomenon. I get sms's from my pals with absolutely no vowels irregardless of the fact that 8.4.4 invested in some huge books to take us through the all essential a e i o u....
Good stuff..keep it coming!

15 September, 2006 04:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mazee, sijawai cheka hivyo mbaya. hiyo something ya-you ilikuwa deadly mbaya. hook negroes up with the volume mbe. hizo ma-smoke unavuta si upitishie pande hizi za-we.

15 September, 2006 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's one thing that put kenyans apart from the wanna-be english i...

ME I think kenyans are deadly.

15 September, 2006 16:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oohh Kenyan chic, bet u'v really made Dr Alfie (he of the Government spokesman) proud.
............another peculiar one from/by Kenyans.... instead of reading ur blog from the site, it's become hit no. 1 on e-mail (cut and paste and circulate on e-mail). Time 4 vol II is now

28 September, 2006 15:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Too Kenyan! These things make me want to go back home... no place like it! Me, let me go back!

29 September, 2006 22:38  
Blogger gishungwa said...

Where have i been?
too funny really too funny

02 October, 2006 09:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haki KC, umenikunywa! Now those are the two most prominent compliments i got for you. Plus, me I think you need to to semaa samo about that yaani phrase that seems to steal its way into our conversations: "...yaani, me I think you are the bomb...ile bash ya *** ilinibamba, yaani.."

06 October, 2006 00:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chic, whoever u r, u got skillz. That was the best Kenyan writing I have seen in a while. I had never thought of 'otherwise' as funny until I saw it in writing. U go ahead and front ur best 'nyira smile'.
me wacha I go

06 October, 2006 07:07  
Blogger Nyarsondu said...

Mama, wallapa!!! That was just off the hook!! Unabamba, for real! Lakini, is how with Vol II??

06 October, 2006 16:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maze bana! ntawait kusorora volume ya mbee!
Ras Issa

10 October, 2006 01:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i for sure say me l like to,or me let me go so the story hit the spot
and my chic also knows it.

10 October, 2006 18:20  
Blogger bomseh said...

is volume two ever coming up? i can help with the nakuru version of the guide. it's kidogo different from nai's.

12 October, 2006 19:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KC, this is by far the funniest and succinct description of Kenyans with no bias whatsoever.
A bunch of my friends have enjoyed it thoroughly.

18 October, 2006 00:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me i was lft in stictches at what you kc r upto. vol 2 must be the deadliest or a u lacking in creativity?

ati now i am reading stories like yours.


keep up tho!

02 November, 2006 19:56  
Blogger Rant's of an angry somali man said...

damn!!...........usiki umenimurder!!.......yaani sijawahi cheka style hiyo.....u making me miss home vibaya sana.......kwani where have i been?........thanx 4 making my day KG.

08 November, 2006 20:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


been to kenya a few times.. but nothin beat than first time in a "ma3", mbu "blue"

i thought it was Gangster-Code

needless to say, i pulled the dime out of my Passport.

Insane blog

12 November, 2006 13:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

N'gai I haven't laughed like that in a while. Nice post.


02 January, 2007 17:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vol 2 is of how???

Yours truly,

Impatiently waiting.

05 February, 2007 23:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yaani, ME I am suppsoed to be chopping for exams and ninasoma tu hii blog ya story za home ... ebu release vol II after exams are over ....

28 March, 2007 05:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally enjoyed this piece. Lakini pole about the mix up on my blog. I received it in my email with credit to Mark Thairu etc. I shall correct it but meanwhile... WHERE IS PART II?

23 April, 2007 13:31  
Blogger BlackKnutz said...

I know I am over a year late to the show but this is so side-splittingly funny I had to comment. I know life gets busy but PLEASE write some more!!!

09 October, 2007 15:09  
Blogger Jennifer said...

KC, Yo!!! Maze there is nothing like it.Otherwise?Si that Vol 11 has kawiad?

U might consider, "sasa when the jamaa finally kujad,I'M LIKE si we go to your digz kwani?"

This thing (yaani hii kitu) of I'm like, he's like etc.

Kudos babe. Ni wewe t (remember the kimbo advert).

30 October, 2007 12:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard this the other day.

A chile tells her friend while pointing to this guy 'Achana na huyu haniwezi'.

The guy says, what do you mean I can't you. Of course I can you.

Lyzz Ngugi

23 November, 2007 19:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'If you’re bored in Kenya it’s because you’re dead.'

So. True.


13 January, 2008 19:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aki where's this KC of ours, yaani after whetting our appetites like this, she chooses to do the disappearing act on us,yawa! read this piece a year and a half ago, found it extremely hirarious(red korna stuff) and still do by the way, came back only to find vol 2 is still not here.Holy Mary mother of God pls bring back Kenyan Chick to us for we need her to tickle our ribs again.
Ps: @KC the comments are past 50, give us VOL 2 ama we'll demonstrate here, and am sure u know very well how destructive Kenyans have become.

Vodoskiville, Russia

19 January, 2008 01:29  
Blogger Spiffy said...

Love this blog...I'll be back anaa day to check it out!! Haven't been home in like 10yrs n this will definately help out a lot. Thanks n keep up the good work!

31 January, 2008 08:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am well over two years late but classic humor never becomes dry. kile wakenya n nairobians talk isnt english or swa its kenyanese.u 4gt abt
kiddo-approximation of time(when asked wat is the time or wat time sth hapnd:kiddo 3)
as in-used it on many pple thot its self xplanatory,guess not
can be used in request for further xplanation or elaboration

all in all kudos kc(kenya cane lol)niongezee tafadhali-royco ad

12 July, 2008 14:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wat about the political speak...
"wicthhunt", "grassroots" "development"

24 July, 2008 16:11  
Blogger westernboy said...

what about the political speak "witchhunt" "grassroots" "development" "my people" etc

24 July, 2008 16:15  
Blogger westernboy said...

hey kenyanchick pliz visit my blog and all the bloggers pliz...

24 July, 2008 16:18  
Blogger Unknown said...

original, decent and damn funny.Made my morning!!

11 December, 2008 08:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE this blog!!! I read this post over 2 years ago(it was published in some newspaper) and everyone at home nearly died laughing when they read it!!
New additions to Nairobi-speak:
"We ukodown" - you're uncool/ not happening
"Umechapa / umebeat" - you're ugly

"Siwesmek" - I can't make it

"Siwestek" - I can't take it

And a classic: "Kwa majina naitwa..." This one is particularly ridiculous. What else can you be called by if not your names?? I patiently await: "Kwa majina naitwa So-and-So, kwa viatu naitwa Slippers, kwa milima naitwa Mt. Kenya, kwa islands naitwa Migingo..."

Lol. Mungu abariki Kenya yetu!!

24 May, 2009 18:55  
Anonymous Akenyangirl said...

I've cheka'd like a nonsense! Got this via twitter from @joekirigia. You're fresher than jana's kenchick. And going thru the comments was an-aa lesson in itselo (itself). Lemme go swatch as I laugh about this.

04 July, 2010 21:56  
Anonymous generic cialis 20mg said...

Hi, well be sensible, well-all described

24 November, 2010 12:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we ni mgonjwa...

15 March, 2011 12:44  
Anonymous Moreen said...

Best read in a while, never mind that its 5 years old. Kudos.

10 April, 2011 15:16  
Blogger Diana G. Muturia said...

This is damn funny!!

09 January, 2013 22:31  
Blogger Diana G. Muturia said...

This guy is mad! haha

09 January, 2013 22:34  
Anonymous Wangari said...

Really funny. I enjoyed reading it. The reason why Kenyans drink warm beers is believed to be something passed on from the colonial times. Those Africans who worked for mzungus would steal their beer and so by the time they got to drink it in secret, it was warm and do it became a habit which was passed on........I was told this by an elderly person, it could be a myht though

10 January, 2013 16:40  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 January, 2013 11:58  
Blogger Unknown said...

thnx for cracking me up and making my week!!
vol 2 pliiiiiiz...

14 January, 2013 12:00  
Blogger "Johnny Chicago" said...

Outstanding .....I think this should be the real guide to Kenya and Kenyans.

15 January, 2013 02:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Kenya!

16 January, 2013 07:04  
Anonymous Jack Mango said...

Absolutely, most definitely the best Kenyan writing I have seen in a long while. Kenyanchick, please get back to writing, you are really amazing. Seriously good. Thanks for this piece. You have made me tremendously proud to be Kenyan. THANK YOU.

22 May, 2013 10:20  
Blogger Coco Malaika said...

Visiting this in 2015 had me in stitches... how sheng has evolved from what was vogue then. Still a very funny post!

05 November, 2015 11:29  

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