In the short 10 days that we spent on Zanzibar, we learnt quite a lot of kiSwahili (more commonly known in the West as "Swahili"). Probably because everybody was just so open and friendly and happy to teach, we started with "Jambo!" and progressed quickly from there. I felt that I should share some of that kiSwahili with you - especially if you are planning a visit to Zanzibar in the future. You will make lifelong friends by taking a little time and learning a few of the beautiful words of this musical East African language. So that the language lesson doesn't become too monotonous, I have interspersed it with some more of the scenes from our trip. Enjoy!
 
 
Kevin with Dhow Sail
Beautiful && Plentiful Palms
Nungwi - Kevin & Dhow sail
East Coast Beach Palms
 
 
Basic kiSwahili Greetings - Part 1
Jambo! Hello!/Hi!/Howzit!/G'day!/Howdy! [all-purpose greeting]
Habari? How's it going?
Nzuri Good
sana very/much/a lot
Nzuri sana Very Good
Nzuri sana sana Excellent!
Kwaheri Goodbye
 
 
 
Typical Dar es Salaam Building
Typical Building, Dar es Salaam (mainland capital of Tanzania)
 
 
 
 Basic kiSwahili Greetings - Part 2
Mambo! Hey man!/Hey homes, how ya' doin'? [slang/young person's all-purpose greeting]
Poa! Cool/100%/Couldn't be better [slang/young person's response to "Mambo!"]
Karibu! Welcome!
Karibu Zanzibar Welcome to Zanzibar!
Karibu sana Come again soon.
Bafana Bafana South African national soccer team - MUCH better known than President Mandela on this island. Instant friends for life.
 
 
 
The Blue Spirit Returns!
Blue Spirit & Street Scene, Dar es Salaam
 
 
 Other Essential Phrases - Part 1
tafadhali please
asante thank you
asante sana thank you very much
mzungu white person/European person (also: "baffling thing", "clever device")
Mzungu! Hey whitey! ("Hey European person!" ???)
pole pole slowly
haraka fast
haraka haraka! very fast
 
 
 
The Manne!
Another island tradition - Henna Tattoos
(L. to R.: Kevin, Greg, Avin, Steven (your illustrious author))
 
 
 
 
 
© All Text & Images Copyright 1998 Steven Kovensky.
Created by Steven Kovensky.