Ah, Kenyans, you gotta love them. There are many ways to identify us but when it comes to our extensive brutalization of structural language, we emerge victorious.

We use these colloquialisms the way a driver uses her car keys.

This is our slang, there are many others like it, but this one is ours.

Here are 11 statements Kenyans just love to make.

“Me I…”

We start almost every sentence this way. Especially when we’re talking about our favourite subject- ourselves.

“Personally…”

Somehow we convinces ourselves this adverb is a perfect replacement for the first person pronoun I and sometimes we even butcher the queen’s language further by saying “Personally I…”.

“Imagine”

How you know a Kenyan’s story is going to be popping.

“As in…”

This one can be used to show the urgency of a situation or add emphasis on something. E.g., “I am telling you he was so rich! As in!”

“Naenda hivi nakam”

/näë·n·d·ä hï·vï nä·kä·m/

Kenyan proverb

Used by Kenyans when trying to avoid a situation that makes them uncomfortable. Predominantly a lie that’s meant to make the person being avoided feel at ease.

Example. Mose:         Where’s my money.

Windsor:   I’ll bring it. Acha niende hivi nakam.

“Tutaongea”

(We’ll talk)

Used when a conversation is to be cut short by one participant.

“Umepotea”

(Haven’t heard from you in a while)

This is a popular one. Kenyans love using it after reuniting with someone they haven’t heard from in a long time.

“Niomeona message yako tu saa hii”

(Just seen your message)

Usually used when a recipient of a message took forever to respond to it. Can occasionally double as an apology.

“Sikuwa na credit”

(I didn’t have airtime)

When you don’t call back.

“Itakuwaje”

Direct translation: What will it be?

Can be used as a greeting or to find out what the plan for the day is.

Otherwise

Honestly, even I don’t understand this one. But it can be a greeting, as a conjunction, as a general response or something Kenyans say because it rolls of the tongue well, I guess.