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7 commonly used Kenyan phrases and their hilarious interpretation

Our Fun article contributor today is Joab Kinyanjui, a media and communications student in a Nairobi college. He delves into commonly used phrases and their supposed meaning.

Kenyans have a rather uncanny ways of communicating. Over time, as Kenyans we have developed a rather peculiar way of passing info through coded messages.

1. Nitakuweka kwa maombi: Few Kenyans keep their word on this.  But in most cases, it’s always a polite way of telling one: I also have my problems as well but I don’t go about singing about them. Pambana na hali yako.

2. Nitakutafuta: Enough for now. I need to move on to other more important matters. And true, you may have to wait for ages before kutafutwa. That phone call won’t be coming through any soon.

3. Ungenipigia 30 miniutes ago ningekusort: The message is clear. It only means the burger is broke. Or even to be blunt telling you subtly that nobody grows money on trees

4. No known Kenyan shop owner will ever admit that amefilisika (he’s run out of stock). They will tell you ” hiyo imeisha sasa hivi” even if the item in question hasn’t graced the shelves for months.

5. Tuma CV kisha tutaangalia: This used to be your uncles favourite line only that tables have turned and you’re the uncle living and breathing the phrase. It is just a way of telling you, just go out and hustle like other Kenyans.

6. Unajitetea ukiwa upande gani: Don’t think this has anything to do with vioja Mahakamani. This is Kenyan cop’s way of asking whether you’re ready to bribe so he can overlook your mistake.

7. If your supervisor at workplace says something to the effect “Sisi tuliteseka kabla kufanikiwa” (we suffered before we succeeded) just understand he means it’s your turn to suffer and there’s very little he’s wiling to do to alleviate your situation.

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