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9 famous TikTok phrases & their origins

Austin Muigai's 'toka' and other viral phrases on TikTok

Austin Muigai (left) and Vinnie Baite

Step into the vibrant world of TikTok, where creativity knows no bounds and phrases become cultural phenomena.

From dance crazes to comedic one-liners, TikTok has become a breeding ground for viral sensations.

The following are viral phrases on the platform and their origin.

Austin Muigai has certainly become one of the well-known content creators in Kenya currently.

Starting with short clips, he gained recognition and now has his own catchphrase that people use to indicate that things are not going as expected and that they want a particular person to leave them alone.

For Austin, the phrase 'tokaa' came into play when girls were toying with his emotions, and he simply told them to leave.

The same response applied to his male friends who betrayed him behind his back.

The phrase has become common in Kenya, to the extent that t-shirts and hoodies with the word 'tokaa' printed on them are available.

Content creator Vinnie Baite has mastered the art of storytelling, even though his stories may often be out of context and difficult to connect.

Vinnie utilizes the phrase 'achana nayo' (which roughly translates to "let it go") when narrating a story, often abruptly switching to another topic without completing the initial one.

His tales are referred to as 'story za jaba', indicating stories without factual backgrounds.

The phrase has become common, and people use it when sharing stories that are hard to resonate with or when dismissing a story that seems far-fetched.

The phrase 'my husband' has become common among Kenyan TikTok users and is often associated with TikToker Sueh Owino, who enjoys documenting everything she does for her husband.

In nearly every video Sueh uploads, the phrase 'my husband' is prominently featured, leading people to poke fun at it when they are with their own partners.

For Sueh, her world revolves around her husband, and her repeated use of the phrase has captured the attention of Kenyans.

When TikToker Bena Wa Malines gained sudden popularity, his catchy phrase 'aah manze' became a trend, and many people attempted to imitate him using the same expression.

Other widely acknowledged phrases from Bena include 'molio', 'sape', and 'pulahia'.

Former Citizen TV presenter Willis Raburu ensured that he left a lasting impression on TV by introducing his own tagline, something that people would remember him by.

Raburu coined the phrase 'wabebe', which he frequently used to hype up the crowd while hosting the '10/10 Show'.

Even in his videos and interviews, Raburu would often shout 'wabebe' to add liveliness and energy to the content.

Brian Chira is another Kenyan TikToker who gained massive popularity on the internet in no time, with Kenyans quickly cutting clips of his introductions and making him trend everywhere.

Chira has a fondness for introducing himself with the tagline 'naitwa Chira' (which translates to "I am called Chira" in English), and people often imitate him, with some successfully capturing his unique speaking style.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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