Swahili slang (money)

Swahili just like any other language is choke full of some slang words which could be in Swahili or a foreign language, particularly English. Having been away from home for quite a bit, I am in no way, shape or form an expert when it comes to the latest slang in the streets of Dar & Nairobi so I’ll just go with what I remember as someone suggested talking about slang words once in a while. Slang in Kenya is called ‘Sheng’ while in TZ it is called ‘lugha ya mtaani’= street language.

I’ll basically mix up Kenyan & Tanzanian slang and hopefully I won’t be telling you slang words used 10 years ago and you end up embarrassing yourself! So let’s just hope you are in good hands 😉  For this ‘first edition,’ so to speak, let’s talk money…

  • Jero (pronounced ‘jelo‘)- TSH 500
  • Buku (or buku moja)- TSH 1000
  • (you can also say buku mbili, buku tatu…….etc)
  • Mapene/ Mshiko/ Mkwanja– money (TZ)
  • Chapaa/ Niado– money (KNY)
  • Kobole/ Ngovo– KSH 5
  • Ashuu– KSH 10
  • Pound/ Mbao/ Blue– KSH 20
  • Finje– KSH 50
  • Soo/ Red– KSH 100
  • (you can also say ‘soo moja’, ‘soo mbili’, ‘soo tatu’…etc)
  • Thao/ G/ Ngiri/ K– KSH 1000

As my vocabulary is very limited in this area, feel free to share whatever you know via the comment section and I will be sure to update this post with it.