(Fun) Swahili Learning Recommendations

So a regular ‘lurker’ (ha ha!) on this site contacted me a few months ago suggesting things to include on here as well as recommending a very popular Tanzanian TV program as a Swahili learning tool. The program is called ‘Siri ya Mtungi’ and it’s been around for more than 3 years now and has been receiving very good reviews.

Now if anyone knows how effective learning a language via TV programs can be that would be me! I am a self confessed K-Drama addict (don’t judge me he he!) and thanks to my many years of watching Korean dramas I can confidently say you cannot talk behind my back, in Korean that is-I will certainly hear you and clearly understand! This is all thanks to my serious addiction to not only Korean dramas but music, variety shows-u name it, I’ve watched it!

Anyways my point is, there’s no better way to learn a language than by accident i.e. you just tend to pick up words, phrases, sentence structures and before you know it you don’t even need subtitles anymore. that’s how yours truly has been learning and perfecting my Korean all this time.

So, take it from me (and my good friend Nico) and give the program a try, if it happens not to be your kind of thing well there’s other programs out there and am hoping one is just right for you.

Below is episode 1 from season 1 and you can just continue on from there.

And do get back to me with your comments, feedback, questions etc, I’ll be more than happy to discuss/help.

Happy watching!

Tanzania’s New President

Well well am a bit late to the party but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 8 months or so, you must have heard of our (charismatic?) new president. I do include a question mark because really the jury is still out as far as what kind of president he really is, is concerned.

But say what you may the man sure is different from all the presidents we’ve had so far. In fact some are going as far as comparing him to the great son of Africa that is Julius Nyerere, our first president. Not like he also didn’t have his issues but as far as good governance goes he was the best we had had, till President (Doc) John Pombe Magufuli came along. Yes we are not expecting miracles within days, neither are we expecting to be on the level of Singapore by the time he’s finished his 1 or 2 terms but we are hopeful and that’s a good place to be. No leader has ever given us this much hope for a better future like he has. No leader has ruled with an iron fist like he has dared to and of course his biggest critics would be those who before were ‘untouchable’ but for us common folk, he’s like the 2nd coming of the Messiah and we are really excited to see what else he has up his sleeves. From kutumbua majipu (getting rid of boils which are representative of the long term issues our country has had eg. corruption), to cancelling public holidays and allocating the money that would have been used elsewhere to banning unnecessary foreign travel by our leaders (as well as reserving first class seats to the top 3 leaders only-himself, VP and PM), he just keeps giving us more and more hope of a brighter future as days go by.

So here’s to our brand new president, to his good health, sound mind and consistent way of ruling this great country of ours-hapa kazi tu! (we only work here and nothing else). God bless Tanzania, God bless Africa!

Am interested in everyone’s thoughts though, what do you think of our new president, jury’s still out or….do share below


Heri ya mwaka mpya 2016!

Well it’s a bit weird saying this 4 months later but better late than never hey?!! My last post was on new years and the next one coming more than a year later is a bit concerning to be honest!

I’ve been away doing other things-language related. I still teach here and there but mostly I’ve been running my language services company, Fun-Lugha, that I started almost 2 years ago. I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing freelancers providing services to all sorts of clients, big and small.

But since it all started here, I figured it’s time i came back! Can’t promise I’ll be posting as regularly as I used to but post I will. If anyone has questions, topics they’d like covered, etc just hit me up and I’ll be sure to work on them.

funlughaswahili is back and this time I think its back for good!

Heri ya mwaka mpya, 2015!

Asalaam Aleikum!

Kama mjuavyo nyote mwaka wa 2014 ndo umekwishamalizika na tumeuanza mwaka mpya kabisa. Kwanza natumai sote tumefika na tumeuona. Pili natumai malengo yetu yote ya 2014 tuliyatimiza na tumekwishajipangia malengo makubwa zaidi kwa mwaka huu mpya. Mimi binafsi nilidhamiria kuanzisha tovuti yangu inayohusiana na mambo ya lugha hapa Tanzania na ninashukuru nilifanikiwa kwa hilo. Kilichobaki sasa ni kuhakikisha tovuti hii inafanikiwa.

Sijui nyinyi wenzangu mna mipango gani kwa ajili ya 2015, ila ninawatakia nyote mafanikio mema na inshallah sote tuweze kufika tena tarehe kama hii hii mwakani.

Mungu awabariki nyote, Mungu aibariki funlughaswahili.com!


Happy Birthday Tanganyika! (Heri ya siku ya kuzaliwa!))

tz call

It’s the 9/12 tomorrow which means we are going to be having a huge birthday bash this side of the Lake Victoria!

Tanganyika turns 53 tomorrow and we are so proud of our motherland! Yes I said Tanganyika and not Tanzania cuz thats a whole different thing.  FYI Tanganyika came first then Tanzania (Tanganyika + Zanzibar) followed.

So do join me in wishing my country and my fellow countrymen and women a lovely 53rd with many more to come of course.

Mungu ibariki Afrika, mungu ibariki Tanzania!


Kutoa ni moyo, si utajiri…

As I’ve said before this saying means giving is all about a generous heart and nothing to do with having deep pockets.

Keeping that in mind, my student and friend Astrid left for Kenya two weeks ago to work on a charity project she and some friends are involved with. She’ll be away for two whole months-making a big difference to the lives of some less fortunate little malaikas. The idea is to raise 33,000 USD to build a school and for that these guys are gonna spend 33 nights with 33 different families. To support them just give them 3 USD for each night. A crazy but totally brilliant idea!

If you’d like to join the cause, click the link for more info. Kutoa ni moyo, well done Astrid,  proud of you!


Kombe la dunia! (Funlugha’s first Swahili books giveaway!)

So it’s that season again when men pretty much take over the remote and if they are unfortunate enough to be living with no nonsense ladies then it’s the season where they pretty much spend all their after work hours at the corner pub. Kombe la dunia literally means the (big) cup of the world a.k.a the world cup. I remember watching my very first world cup in 1994-USA. Then I missed France ’98 and Korea 2002 because I was in boarding school-boo! After that, I havent missed a single one and this year won’t be any different.

Only problem is the timings, so for example today’s match starts at 11pm EAT-which means we’ll be watching matches way past our bedtimes-I feel sorry for all the employers out there, the excuses people are gonna be coming up with in order to miss work 😉

And in the spirit of kombe la dunia am giving away 3 Swahili teaching books for free. One of which is the highly recommended Simplified Swahili and the other 2 are Swahili phrase books for the tourist needing to navigate their way around Swahili land or anybody else looking to learn some useful basic phrases.All you have to do is subscribe to my blog (I could seriously do with more subscribers!) and leave a comment on any post including the words “funlugha giveaway” and I’ll take note and hopefully good things will come your way. You can also leave a comment on my facebook page or on twitter-the more comments the better. Remember blog subscribers only. Winners will be announced after the WC of cuz-goodluck! (And may Afrika finally win the best team win!)

Cultural Note: The Kanga

images 2014-05-31-15-35-28--243726405

I have talked about the (in)famous piece of cloth that is known as kanga (or leso, across the border to the north) when I posted on Taarab Music (you can find the wee extract here ). But I was pleasantly surprised to find a whole article dedicated to it in one of the leading newspapers in the region and wanted to share it with you.

It gives a good insight into the history, use and benefits of the kanga and also the cultural importance attached to it. Very interesting and informative read. Rather than me quoting bits and bobs of it, you’re better off reading it in its entirety methinks. Check it out

Bridal Send-off party, Tanzanian Style!

Been a long time indeed, ila nimerudi tena. Been too busy, between making a living and frequent gym visits (aiming to lose 10 kgs by my birthday in July!) I haven’t had a minute to myself,nawaomba mniwie radhi kwa hilo!

Anyways I had a free minute yesterday and went to a sherehe (event/party) called a send-off, as in bridal send-off. It’s the last celebration before the wedding ceremony and this is all for the bride although the groom is invited as well but no one pays him much attention cuz it’s not about him-though you may argue since when was any part of the wedding about the groom?- I rest my case!

It’s basically when the bride’s family officially hands her over to the in-laws and of course there’s also loads of gifting going on to the bride and mother of the bride as well, just a little kudos for raising her daughter and stuff.

Anyways if you live in Tanzania you’ll come to learn that the final week before the wedding is mostly spent on sherehe. There’s the kitchen party (equivalent to hen party), then the send off, then the mkesha wa harusi and lately I hear men have started having stag dos (the actual name escapes me). So yeahs basically weddings are a big deal here (as they should be methinks) and for that reason we find any excuse to party right until the wedding day!

I took photos of cuz (hopefully no one sues me!)

Here’s two, enjoy!


The bride and guests shaking a leg-you know that famous wedding dance that African Americans have to perform at weddings? We used to call it shuffling, I don’t know what Americans call it.


The bride (in pink, in front) going to search for her groom amongst the guests-one of the highlights of the event, you get single men trying to woo her like are you sure you’d rather not have me? It’s a good laugh!

Translation Challenge #7…(And the winner is…)


Kutoka kushoto ni Nico, katikati ni Lewis na kulia ni Sebastian.
Na mshindi ni Lewis Hamilton! Hongera Lewis, hongera Mercedes! Sebastian jaribu tena 😉