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Wallah Bin Wallah, Hassan Mwana wa Ali & 14 other top Swahili heroes

As the world celebrates the 2nd World Swahili Day, it is essential to recognize those who have played significant roles in the growth and promotion of the Kiswahili language

Kanze Dena Mararo, Wallah Bin Wallah, Mashirima Kapombe and Leornard Mambo Mbotela

Swahili, a language spoken by over 16 million people in East Africa and beyond, has experienced remarkable development over the years, thanks to the efforts of its greatest champions.

These heroes come from different spheres of life, with most of them being scholars, authors, journalists and celebrated school teachers.

The late Professor Ken Walibora made invaluable contributions to the development of the Swahili language.


He was a renowned author, linguist, and advocate for Swahili, dedicating his life to promoting its usage, expanding its literary scope, and elevating its status nationally and internationally.

Through his literary works, academic research, and cultural initiatives, Walibora made significant strides in advancing Swahili as a vibrant medium of expression.

His contributions to literature were notable, as he introduced innovative storytelling techniques and narrative styles that captivated readers and inspired fellow writers.

Walibora's efforts also focused on standardizing Swahili, ensuring effective communication and contributing to its recognition as a language for administration, education, and literature.


His legacy continues to inspire Swahili writers, scholars, and language enthusiasts, encouraging them to carry forward his vision of a strong and flourishing Swahili language deeply rooted in cultural heritage.

Wallah bin Wallah is widely recognized for his contributions to primary school Swahili education.

As an author and former primary school teacher, he authored several Swahili books, with 'Kiswahili Mufti' being his most famous work.


Additionally, he played a role in translating Tanzania's revised constitution.

Ali Kauleni, a prominent figure in Swahili journalism, has played an instrumental role in elevating Swahili as a language in the media.

Through his platforms, such as 'Bahari ya Lugha' and 'Nuru ya Lugha,' Kauleni focused on enhancing spoken and written Swahili using the media where he captured a lot of masses.


His current show, 'Bahari La Elimu,' on Radio 47 continues this mission. Kauleni has also gained popularity in sports commentary, using excellent Swahili.

Nuhu Zubeir Bakari, known from Citizen TV's show 'Longa Longa,' is recognized for his insights into the Swahili language.

He has contributed to translation work, including using of the term 'Barakoa' for 'mask' during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bakari has also been involved in translating the National Assembly's standing orders into Swahili, alongside Swahili enthusiast Munene Nyaga.

Mohammed Ali, popularly known for his investigative features 'Jicho Pevu,' showcased his love for Swahili through his storytelling.

Titles such as 'Paruwanja la Mihadarati' and 'Jaramandia la Uhalifu' reflected his passion for the language. As a member of parliament, Ali continues to impress with his fluent Swahili during house proceedings.

Below is one of his speeches in parliament.


Journalist and linguist Munene Nyaga is a prominent figure who has used his platform to elevate the Swahili language. He hosted the show 'Kamusi ya Changamka,' which aired on QFM and QTV.

On the show, Nyaga focused on different aspects of the language and ways to improve it.


News anchor Swaleh Mdoe is one of the few journalists who specialize in using one language for their job. Through his segment 'Tafakari ya Babu,' he has garnered a good following. Audiences have found value in the brief tales he shares on the segment.

The author behind the play 'Kifo Kisimani' is a major player in the growth of the Swahili language.

Through his literary works, educational initiatives, and cultural contributions, Mberia has played a pivotal role in advancing Swahili and ensuring its enduring relevance.

He has authored numerous books, plays, and poetry collections that have left an indelible mark on Swahili literature.


The late Ali Mazrui, known for his play 'Kilio Cha Haki,' was among the earliest authors of plays in the country. As a multilingual writer, he also penned various books on religious topics, politics, and culture.

The legendary KBC journalist was popular for his show 'Je, huu ni ungwana?,' which highlighted different areas where people misbehaved in society.

The show was hosted in fluent Swahili which was a major uplifting for the language. Mbotela preserved the language and even at old age, he still speaks fluent Swahili.


This couple has made great strides in promoting the Swahili language. As news anchors, they have gained recognition for their mastery of the language and their pride in using it.

As the former State House Spokesperson, Kanze Dena-Mararo shared updates from the government in fluent Swahili, setting a high standard for communication in the language.

Kanze was the first State House spokesperson to use the language in the dissemination of government information to Kenyans.


Author of the book 'Chozi La Heri,' which has been tested in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination, Asumpta Matei is shaping the development of the Swahili language through her works.

This duo has harnessed the media space to elevate the Swahili language. Starting at KTN before moving to NTV, they impress with their fluent Swahili while anchoring news and hosting TV shows.


Journalist Mashirima Kapombe's work good has gained popularity. She anchors news and also hosts the 'Longa Longa' show, engaging audiences and discussing various aspects of the language.

Author of 'Mstahiki Meya,' Timothy Arege is among the finest journalists of this era. Besides addressing issues affecting Kenyans, his literary works have served as great points of learning and education for the masses on the language.


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