To be fair, we’ve had a tough year, especially for the young guys on the streets who have had to come up with new and creative ways to simultaneously put up with a pandemic, harsh economy, and obviously, the boys in blue.
This year also featured the apparent continuation of the Gengetone vibe from 2019, as a new phase of the Sheng language, spearheaded by group Mbogi Genje, leased a new life to the already affected local music industry thanks to Covid 19.
Generally, the Sheng language is currently the rage in Kenya’s modern culture, as it has grown to become the embodiment of Kenya’s informal life. Bustling under its own INFLUENCE, Sheng has morphed continuously over the years, taking a more coded format as the youth explore and find new ways of bringing the culture to the mainstream. Such has been achieved by the rise of Gengetone.
For sure, a handful of words have sprung up to update the Sheng vibe in general, but to sum up, here are some of the top Sheng words and phrases which have not only transformed Sheng but have also made a good portion of banter and fun on social media as well as giving the oldies a busy time trying to decipher what their youngins are up to.
- Kumuok – Coming
- Warazi – Enemies, especially those of a different street gang
- Arif/Fafiri – friend
- Kitupeng’ – (of a girl)Strikingly hot
- Mrenga/Mbathi – Car
- Kanairo – Nairobi
- Njege/Sanse – Police
- Mbwegze – Two
- Mashashola – Weed
- Niko machangli – I’m rich
- (Nipelekena)Mtaratara/ mtarash – tell me the story/ keep me on par with the trends
- Monchoka – Come over(used when daring someone for a challenge)
- Jinauwo – Know/ acting like a know it all
- Mawenge- horny
- Mongre/ buruwein- Brain
- Kubuya- being afraid
- Kidungi- fist bump/ blow