10 greetings in 10 Kenyan languages

Kenya is home to many different groups who speak various and different languages.

Swahili and English are Kenya’s two official languages but there are multiple ethnic languages spoken by Bantu, Cushitic and Nilotic groups.

There is also Sheng, a form of slang used by many young people especially in urban centres.

The top 10 languages spoken in Kenya besides Swahili (Kiswahili) and English are Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin, Kisii, Kamba, Somali, Meru, Maasai and Mijikenda

Here’s how to greet in Kenya’s top 10 languages:


Hello – “Wi mwega?” which means “Are you fine?”

Hi – “Niatia”

Good morning – “we mwega ruciini ‘ or “we mwega kiroko”

Good afternoon – “We mwega umuthi”


Peace – “Mulembe”

Good morning – “Bushere”

Good afternoon – “Keshitare”

How are you? (singular) – “Oriena”

How are you? (plural) – “Murieena”


How are you? –  “Idhi nade?”

How was your day? –  “Iriyo nade?”

Good morning  –  “Oyaure”

Good evening  –  “Oimore”

General greeting   – “Ber”

What’s up (informal)  – “Nango”

Goodbye –  “Oriti”


Hello – “Chamgei”

How are you? – “Yamonei?”

Thank you –  “Kongoi”


Good morning – “Bwakire”

Good evening –  “Bwairire”

Hello – “Ng’aki” (informal)


Good morning – “Wachewa ata”

How are you? – “Wimuseo?”


Hi!  – “Haye! (iska waran!)”

Good morning –  “Subax wanaagsan!”

Good afternoon – “Galab wanaagsan”

Good evening – “Fiid wanaagsan”

How are you? – “Sidee tahay?”

What’s up? (colloquial) : “Maxaa cusub?”


Greeting older man: “Muga Aba”

Greeting a girl: “Muga Baaba”

Greeting older woman: “Muga Ntîî”Greeting your age mates – “Wacia”, “Baite” and “Bamungo” (all mean “my brother from another mother”).

Maasai (also called Maa)

Hello – “Sopa”

Greeting women –  “Takwenya”

Greeting men – “Supai”

Are you well? – “Errabioto?”

What’s new? –  “Kai ita?”


Good morning – “Udzalamukadze”

Good Afternoon – “Udzasindadze”

How are you? – “Mwiro”

Thank you – “Ninamuvera”

You are welcome- “Karibu” 

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