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7 hilarious phrases taking Kenya by storm this year

Kenyans can't stop using these phrases and they keep getting funnier

People laughing [Photo by Nappy]

Kenyans are a special kind of people and perhaps the biggest source of happiness for the nation is memes. Kenyans know how to create them and use them in ways that leave you in stitches.

Any soundtrack or phrase can easily turn into a viral meme!

Here are the popular hilarious phrases of the year so far:-


Dennis Ombogo, the man behind the viral phrase "Sina maoni kabisa (no comment)", truly lightened the mood during the election period.

During a live segment on Citizen TV, Ombogo was approached by a journalist seeking a comment on his experience waiting in line to vote in the early hours of Election Day (August 9, 2022).

He ended up saying he didn’t have any view or outlook on the matter and it became a viral phrase.

The phrase is now in wide use as an evasive strategy when someone does not wish to engage in certain discussions. for example, a partner could ask where the relationship is headed and the answer would be, sina maoni kabisa.


This phrase was coined by Tanzanian comedian Umar Iahbedi Issa alias Mzee Mjegeje.

Loosely translated to mean "end the call, we are on-site", many Kenyans are now using it in their day-to-day lives and it can mean anything from, 'I’m on location', to 'things are looking good' and some have even used it as a greeting. People really love this one and its versatility has made it one of the funniest phrases of the year.

Kenyans are a resilient people. With food prices escalating to all-time highs, the economy still bouncing back from hard hits and the suspense of who will be sworn in as the country's fifth president, they've still found reasons to laugh and keep going.

Because of the hardships, "weuh" became the phrase that everyone could relate to. It has become a joint spoken language for suffering.


For example, if you borrow someone's money and they say weuh, you immediately know that they are having it rough just like you and it may be difficult for them to lend it. If you ask someone how their relationship is, and they say weuh, you just know they are not doing well.

When someone is doing well and you ask them, how they got there, they’ll literally look into your eyes and say, "Ni God (It's God)".

The phrase has also been associated with people trying to hide the truth. God has taken most of the credit even for those in wash-wash, those with sponsors or those selling drugs. If there is a country where people lie most in the name of god, it has to be Kenya.


The rate of heartbreaks in the city has become a running theme that even musicians are singing about it - Nairobi by Bensoul ft Sauti Sol, Nviiri the Storyteller, Mejja.

One is often not certain if they are in a relationship because maybe the person they are with is in a relationship with someone else.

People came up with the phrase "character development" to refer to intense heartbreaks. If you hear someone say, "Nilipigwa character development", just know someone did them dirty and left their heart broken.

From "Sisi hatuna uwezo", "Sisi hatuna nguvu", to "Alaa!", unionist Francis Atwoli has given meme lords nearly as much material as President Uhuru Kenyatta. This man is a comedian in his own right, with a voice that’s hilariously comical.


"Sisi ndio tuko, zoea hiyo sauti..." means even if you don’t agree with something, you have to be okay with it because there is no better option.

For example, if mosquitoes are bothering you, someone might tell you "Zoea hiyo sauti..." in a bid to push you to do something about it or get used to it and stop complaining. If your person has a face only a mother can love all you can tell them is "Zoea hiyo sura..."

This phrase went viral on Twitter after a panelist in a media interview referred to Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai as "Shawry for trees..." as he struggled to remember her name.

This funny yet embarrassing phrase was later used in many memes and for describing different people, for example, shawry for mathematics, shawry for White House, and recently, shawry for opaqueness referring to IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera. Everyone is a shawry for something.


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