Shengedia: Upgrade your Sheng

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‘Sheng’ is an urban language that originated in the slums of Nairobi Kenya and is recently being adopted in Tanzania and Uganda. It combines mainly Kiswahili and English but also other Kenyan languages such as kikuyu, Luo, Luhya Kamba, Hindi etc.

Now that it isn’t a secret anymore. 'Sheng' is popping up almost everywhere – from billboards ads, political campaigns to radio and television and even on day to day encounters. It has become somehow too common and even though it has not yet officially been made mainstream, we can all agree 'sheng' is here to stay. Even linguistics experts will tell you, it is time to accept the fact that 'sheng' is going nowhere. Being a language of the majority youth who make up 60% of the Kenyan population it’s time for everyone to get savvy and be in the know. I believe you wouldn’t wish to be left behind too and play a catch up gam - 'Usiachwe kwa mataa'.

These article is meant to sharpen and update those sheng skills you got. You might not know where it might come handy.

Sheng words of the day

Topic: Money

'(Aka: Dooh/ Mullah/ Chedda/ Munde/ Ganji/ Mkwanja/ Keroma/ Maweng)'

'Ngovo/ Kobole/ Guoko' - Five Shillings

'Das/ Ashuu/ Hashara/ Kinde/ Ikongo' - Ten Shillings

'Mbao/ Blue/ Kiomba' - Twenty Shillings

'Finje/ Njefi/ Chwani/ Nichwa/ Nich' - Fifty Shillings

'Soo/ Oss/ Ng’at/ Kioo' - Hundred Shillings

'Rwabe, jill/ Ngithe' - Two Hundred Shillings

'Punch/ Jirongo' - Five Hundred Shillings

'Thao/ G(Jii)/ Kapaa/ Ngiri/ Muti/Ndovu' - Thousand Shillings

We all know 'Sheng' is an evolving language and its dictionary keeps on growing on a daily basis. That’s why I have decided to make sure I’ll be keeping you updated and in the know of the latest sheng words as they come. Be sure to follow me so that you’ll learn and improve on your sheng.

I really hope you found this article educative. If you did, please do follow me for more enlightening and exciting stuff and don’t forget to share it. If you have any sheng word you'd like to enlighten us with or you'd like to understand it's meaning, please drop it in the comments and I'll gladly research the meaning on your behalf. See you on the next one. Cheers!

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