Posted on Leave a comment

Common Swahili Phrases used in Kenya

Beware of the following Kiswahili phrases


You will wait forever.


Kenyans say this while they’re leaving.

3.Si mbaya saana

Somebody is not satisfied but they will not admit it.

4.Vile nimeona/nimesikia hata siongei

Unfortunately, if somebody tells you this, expect more stories

5. Sitachelewa saana

You should be ready to wait and wait.

6.Karibu sana/niaje mkubwa/kiongozi

This is just a casual greeting. It’s not a show of respect.

7. Ata mimi sijui !

They know a lot.

8.Unataka nifanye nini sasa?

They have run out of options/choices

9. Umekaliwa/nimekaliwa

Somebody is feeling oppressed without a say


You’re being chased away. [Beware of the tone of the speaker ], you may need to run!! ?

11. Hakuna watu

This phrase can also mean there are few people??

12. Umenizoea/Tumezoeana sana!

If somebody tells you this just stop talking

13. Serikali

Power, president, Police…. not necessarily the government

14. Niko karibu kufika

This person is “10 kilometres” late.

15.Lakini umejaribu sana, sikupenda kwako

That’s a lie.

16. Utalipa ama haulipi ?

Please pay, this is a warning, not a choice

17. Kwani wewe ndiye nani?

If you hear this, the speaker is confirming your authority/power/influence, be humble and listen to their demands

18.Hauna pesa kidogo? Nitatoa change wapi?

Give out the money to the seller and be patient, he/she will get the change.

Content Protection by
Share this;
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments