Give me five minutes: 10 most common lies Kenyans tell

Kenyans are adept at telling half-truths amid sobs and feigned smiles.

Sometimes, no matter how many years you faithfully attend church and beseech Yahweh to forgive your transgressions, lying is at times impossible. You alter the truth when you’re late for work, to skip others at the hospital queue and to access government services.

In fact, most CVs are full of fake hobbies and referees.

Kenyans are adept at telling half-truths amid sobs and feigned smiles while others can muster a stone face while lying through gritted front teeth. Here are 10 most common lies from Kenyans:

1.  Kuna mahali nimekwama

Kenyans rarely admit to being broke. They always talk of kukwama only that they never mention whether it’s between Narok and a hard place.  

Spendthrifts  use  this  phrase quite  often  as you  will  hear  them  on  phone mouthing “Brathe  nitumie  ka soo  chap  chap  nimeshikwa  na  emergency  kidogo...”  As a concerned brathe you become inquisitive on the same. Their popular phrase comes in... “kuna mahali  nimekwama...”

2.  Nimewekwa ndani

There exist people who like kukamua  watu  pesa. They call in the wee hours of the morning amid sobs... “fanya kitu  aki  nimewekwa  ndani...” One  is  overwhelmed  with  pity  and  is  forced  to  dig  into one’s  savings.

In a bid kumtoa ndani, one ends up sending money. The  worst  happens  when  you  meet  the  mahabusu  kwa  clabu  akichafua  meza  in  few  minutes  time.

3. Niko na kashughuli kiasi

Kenyans will not always attend to all errands. So when you ask them to take you for ruracio or mazishi they have this excuse  to  miss  your  Dalmatian’s  birthday  party  or  your  cat’s  burial as well with “Nimeshikana  na kashughuli  kidogo  sitapatikana...”

3.  Mama watoto amekusalimia 

Kenyan  men  are  fond  of  leaving  their  wives  behind when  they  pay  visits. Inquisitive  relatives  and  friends  always  want  to  know  “Mama  watoto  ako  wapi?” which  most respond  “Mama  watoto  ako  tu hata  ametumana  salamu...”  truth  be  told  Mama  watoto  has no clue of his whereabouts.

5. Nimekueka kwa  maombi

This lie is reserved for consoling pals and not a few relatives scratching through hard times. Like when they have been sacked, are going a domestic tiff, court cases or after one has been auctioned you will be told “Nimekueka kwa  maombi...” only that the guy was last in church during baptism at the age of two.

6. Give me five minutes

Kenyans generally like getting late for meetings, dates appointments, weddings and even funerals.

The commonest reason for keeping you waiting is the reassurance kiasi nitakuja and when you realise four hours have passed they promise to be there “in five minutes!”

7. Nimekufikiria tu saa hii...

Kenyans rarely contend to having memory loss. They may avoid calling back or checking on close friends. When  their  friends  pay  visits  or  ring  them  up, their  favourite  phrases  is often “...haata  nimekufikiria  saa  hii  saa  hii  tu.” or “nilikuwa  nataka  kukupigia!”

8. I am in between jobs

Needless to say, Kenyans are highly ambitious and always dream of the next big money maker.

The next big project. Being idle is frowned upon but in a country with rates of jobless graduates it’s not uncommon to look important by saying “I am in between jobs” or “tunajaribu tu hapa na pale.”

9. Sijakugonga, mtu wangu

This is  the  most  common  lie  told  by  biashara people who after taking a sucker to the cleaners often add,   ‘uko na  bahati  sana  leo...’ and  ‘huwezi  pata  deal  nyingine  kama  hii...’  are  common.   

10. I am in a meeting

This lie is best told in a whisper like one is speaking from inside a pot of boiling githeri. The  ‘I am in a meeting’  is even dished out by people who are rarely in any meeting like mechanics, morgue attendants, mole trappers and even guys who operate the Exhauster!

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Sde.co.ke


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