Inashangaza namna uzungumzaji wa Kiingereza kwa Watanzania unavyozidi kuwa ovyo.
Si tu nyumbani bali Ughaibuni. Popote pale unaposikia Mtanzania akihojiwa au akiongea hadharani Ughaibuni anavurunda lugha ya Kiingereza. Kwa sababu gani?
Kwa kuwa uzungumzaji wa Kiswahili umezidi kuchanganya sana maneno holela ya Kiingereza, sasa Mtanzania anapokabiliwa na lugha yenyewe fasaha ya Kiingereza anashindwa kuongea sawasawa. Ukimwambia apige Kiswahili fasaha pia anaparaganya. Eti…lazima neno la Kiingereza lipachikwe kila baada ya sentensi – sijui faida yake nini? Ili tuonekane tuna akili? Mbona wenzetu hawachanganyi Kiingereza na Kijapani au Kidachi, wakiongea? Kwanini humwoni Mwarabu akiburuta Kihindi au Kireno anapozungumza hadharani? Tusiwaendekeze Wakenya. Wenzetu huchapa Kiingereza fasaha. Mkenya anaweza kuwa si mzungumzaji mzuri wa Kiswahili- wao tena ndiyo walioanzisha hiki Kiswanglish (Walikiita Ki-Sheng au Shenge)- lakini Mkenya akinyang’anywa Kiswahili – Kimombo chake fasaha kabisa. Hata kama hajasoma zaidi ya darasa la Saba…!
Shaaban Robert Oyeee- F Macha
Wakongo hivyo hivyo. Atachanganya Kilingala, Kingwana na Kifaransa. Lakini ukimwondolea hicho Kilingala…

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The sorry state of creative writing in Kenya

The sorry state of creative writing in Kenya

maisha yetu

Towards the end of September book lovers will get to know the winners of the Wahome Mutahi Literary Prize. This will be the fifth time the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) will be handing out the award named in honour of Kenya’s foremost humourist and satirist, the late Wahome Mutahi.

IMG 1Ng’ang’a Mbugua (left) receives a certificate from Prof Egara Kabaji for winning a literary award at a previous ceremony

While it is a good thing that Kenyan publishers decided to honour the man whose giant shoes are yet to be filled to date – the attempts at humour in local paper is nowhere close to what Wahome offered with his whispers column – the award remains woefully underfunded. This year’s winners will be taking home a humble sh50,000, similar to what Onduko bw’ Atebe pocketed when his book The Verdict of Death won the inaugural prize way back in 2006.


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Onduko bw’Atebe: Writing is a labour of love

Onduko bw’Atebe: Writing is a labour of love

maisha yetu

Despite the challenges facing the local writing industry, writer Onduko bw’Atebe prefers to see it as a half full glass rather than half empty. “The Kenyan writing scene is changing for the better,” he says. “More people are getting into the scene which is a good thing.”


Atebe’s book Verdict of Death, published EAEP, won the inaugural Wahome Mutahi Literary Prize in 2006. The prize is awarded by the Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) every two years in honour of the late humourist Wahome Mutahi of the Whispers fame. It alternates with the more established Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, also ran by KPA.

Towards the end of September 2014 KPA announced Yusuf Dawood as the fifth winner of the Wahome Mutahi Literary Award with his book The Last Word, which is a collection of past episodes of his Surgeon’s Diary column. He beat off competition from…

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Sheng has a bright future; haters will hate

Sheng has a bright future; haters will hate

maisha yetu

Many bad things have been written and said about Sheng particularly on the ‘harmful’ effects it has on examinable subjects like English and Kiswahili. It has severally been claimed, especially by educationists, that poor performances in these two languages can be traced to the malign effect of Sheng.

Prof Kang'ethe Prof Kang’ethe

However, Prof Frederick Kang’ethe, who teaches French at USIU and who has done extensive research in Sheng, holds a different view. “That is an intellectually lazy way of looking at things,” he says. “How is it that a language that has never been taught in school is now threating established languages that are taught up to university level? No language is responsible for the problems of another language.”

“Maybe we need to interrogate our teaching methods and establish how effective they are as well as the motivation for teaching these languages,” explains Prof Kang’ethe adding that those currently criticising Sheng…

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These are Kenya’s most pirated books

These are Kenya’s most pirated books

maisha yetu

The Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) is sounding out alarm bells; book piracy is threatening to erase all the gains made by the industry over the years. KPA chairman Lawrence Njagi says that book pirates are becoming more daring and with the availability of new technology they are now pirating, not just school set books, but any title that is capable of moving more than 300 copies.


For many years set books, for schools in Kenya, have been ripe targets for pirates as they are fast moving – a compulsory recommended set book can sell upwards of about 400,000 copies in a year – and the profit margins are equally high. While set books remain the most pirated in terms of sheer volumes, other titles regarded to be modest sellers are now being targeted for piracy.


“Book piracy is complicated by the fact that pirates use modern printing technology to produce…

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