Slang is an informal language that is more common in speech than in writing and is typically restricted to a particular context or age group. In Kenya, the most commonly used slang in Kenya is called sheng. Just like any other slang, sheng is mostly used by the youth and children. This article will focus on the most common sheng words being used in Kenya.
SASA is one of the most commonly used sheng words. It is used as a form of greeting to someone else. The word has a similar application as the phrases how are you in English. The pronunciation is borrowed from the spelling. Another commonly used word is MADHA. This word is used to refer to someone’s mother. Its pronunciation is borrowed from the English word mother. The word can directly substitute the word mother in a statement.
SONKO is another very familiar word in the mouths of Kenyan youths, children and a few older people. It is a name that is used to refer to a rich person. The word borrows its pronunciation from its spelling and can substitute the word rich in any statement. Another word that goes hand in hand with SONKO is CHAPAA. This word carries an equivalent meaning of the English word cash or money. Therefore, in Kenya, you are regarded a SONKO if you have lots of CHAPAA.
BUDA is the name used to refer to someone’s dad. The pronunciation is borrowed from the spelling of the word and can be used anywhere in a statement where the word dad is used. Therefore, in Kenya BUDA and MADHA carry an equivalent meaning of the words dad and mom. Dame is the name given to a woman who holds the rank of Knight Commander but in Kenya, DAME is the name used to describe a female lady who is unmarried. It is also used to refer to someone’s girlfriend.
The Sheng slang has in its vocabulary hundreds of other words. This article focuses on just but a few common ones.