This article focuses on the most trending Kenyan phrases, updated daily. Most of the phrases listed in this article are commonly used every day, and some have been added to the Kenyan Dictionary.
- Mapema Ndio Best – Simply means early is the way to go
- Cheza kama wewe – Cheza kama wewe is a phrase that asks you to do something amazing, as a lot is expected from you
- Mpesa: MPESA is a mobile service by Safaricom; it is used to transfer money, receive money, and send money. It is one of the most convenient ways. There are trending phrases like “nitumie Mpesa”, “sina Mpesa”, or “niekee kwa Mpesa” that are used every day
- TikTok – TikTok is one of the most popular apps in Kenya. Everyone, in one way or another, uses it, especially teens. Marketing is also shifting to Tiktok and other digital platforms
- Trending – The term trending is also something to consider; everyone wants to know what’s happening in the online digital space. It can be TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, or WhatsApp
- Hio imeenda – “Hio imeenda” is a Swahili word that simply means it is gone in English. The phrase is commonly used on social media.
- Sina Maoni – “Sina Maoni” is a Swahili word that simply means I don’t have an opinion. The phrase became popular in 2022 and is commonly used in memes and normal conversation.
- Riggy G – Riggy G is one of the most trending names in Kenya since August 2022; the phrase simply means Kenyan Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua
- Sabi Girl – Sabi Girl refers to Ayra Star. In Nigeria, the phrase “Sabi” is used to mean “To Know”. So Sabi girl refers to a woman who knows her craft.
- Vibes and Inshallah – Vibes and Inshallah is a phrase used to celebrate and give thanks
- Wueh – Wueh is a word used to show that the person is shocked or something is interesting, so it’s like a go-ahead or tell me more…
- Meme – Meme is a popular phrase that most people associate with a laughing emoji. These are so popular in WhatsApp status and other social media platforms
- Ni kujaribu tu – This is a phrase that means someone is trying but in the real sense he is doing great. In the Kikuyu language, they say “No Kugeria tu”.
- No kugeria mani – “No kugeria mani” is a Kikuyu word that means “I am just trying”.
- Kienyeji – Kienyeji is a name used by people in town to refer to a girl in the reserve areas or upcountry who doesn’t know much about the city
- Sherehe – Sherehe is almost used every day; it means to party and have fun. When someone asks you “tupige sherehe”, he/she is simply asking you out for some drinks or even some good time together.
- Mubaba – Mubaba is a trending phrase that means a sponsor or a sugar daddy
- Mumama – This phrase is popular among the youth, it simply describes a well-built lady who can sponsor a young lad
- Kanairo – Kanairo is one of the most trending phrases to describe Nairobi City, the capital of Kenya
- Sanse – Sanse simply means a police officer
- Whatsapp – Whatsapp is another popular communication app in Kenya. It is used for business and sharing information
- CRB – CRB simply means Credit Reference Bureau. When someone is listed on CRB, they are unable to access loans
- Fuliza – Fuliza by Safaricom is an overdraft loan used just in case you don’t have money in your MPESA. It has become one of the most popular phrases.
- Bundles – Bundles is also a trending word or phrase in Kenya to mean data
- Wifi – Wifi means an internet connection that doesn’t require you to have data in order to access the internet
- Wifi password: This is also a phrase used to ask for access to the internet. As y’all know, buying data will require you to have money, so most prefer to use wifi
- Kafukuswii – Kafukuswii is a word invented by Andrew Kibe and it means simping.
- Gilbeys – Gilbeys is a popular alcohol brand in Kenya, and most people love Gilbeys Gin. What most people don’t know is that Gilbeys was first founded in 1857 in England.
- Wakadinali – Wakadinali is a Kenyan musical group made up of Scar Mkadinali, Domani Munga and Sewersydaa
- Delivery – A phrase that has become so popular, especially with buyers and sellers who do online businesses.
- Uber – Uber has now become a phrase that refers to any taxi. Most people prefer using it to mean a cab.
- Tala – Tala is a popular mobile money loan app
- Mshwari – Mshwari is another loan service by Safaricom
- Matatu, mathree ma3 or Mat – This is a phrase used to mean a popular mode of transport used in Kenya. Usually associated with youth.
- Nganya – A flashy matatu, usually seen in the streets of Nairobi
- Mbwakni – Mbwakni simply means fake; it was invented by Wizzo Tano Nane in 2019
- Kwani ni Kesho – Kwani ni Kesho simply means, Is it tomorrow?—the phrase is usually associated with Buruklyn Boyz.
- Mpoa – Mpoa is a sheng word that can be used to refer to your girlfriend or boyfriend.
- Online – Online is a word that focuses more on everything using your phone or the internet. Most people can say (Tupatane online) or we met online
- Caroo – This is a word used by Bena wa Malines when referring to a girl he loves
- Pulahia maisa – Pulahia maisa simply means enjoy life; it was discovered by Bena wa Malines
- Njege – Njege is a phrase that means a police officer
- Nitakufinyaa – Simply means I will squeeze you. It is a joke word and can be traced back to a guy who was once caught on national television saying the word. lol
- Morio anzenza – Morio anzenza is a person who has been with you through thick and thin
- Pekejeng – This word is a coded word for sex
- Kemboi – I first heard this word on Tiktok; it simply refers to someone who goes to the Middle East for employment and runs from the employer
- Ngeus – Ngeus is a sheng word that refers to a girl
- Mechi – Mechi is another coded word used to mean sex. It is used by teenagers.
- Tei – Tei is a word used to mean alcohol
- Majuu – Majuu simply means abroad
Reasons why Kenyan Phrases are popular
One of the main reasons why Kenyan phrases are popular is because these phrases relate to many, and sometimes you can go a day without hearing or using them. For example, almost everyone, in one way or another, uses MPESA, so it has become the norm.
Kenyan Phrases Videos
You can also check some amazing Swahili Kenyan phrases in the video below by Lucas and Faith
Also, check out Kamene Goro’s reacting to some Kenyan phrases, also known as Kenyan proverbs