unnaed 350x233 - Former DJ Irungu Kang’ata explains why politicians now use sheng in rallies

Nobody is pushing for Sheng to become a national language or anything, but the language is here to stay.

Politicians have also joined the bandwagon and are also using Sheng as an easy way to connect with the youth.

Speaking to the Star, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, who was once a DJ, said the reason he does not use Sheng is because of the people he represents.

Kang’ata was once a DJ, and most of his county people know him for that.

“While in university I was suspended after opposing the parallel degree programme. I became a DJ just to keep me going while out of school. I used to be called DJ Nyutu in Murang’a for two years,” he said.

“If politicians are in an urban setting, using Sheng can assist them to garner a huge following.”

He says as a politician, when using Sheng, it is also important to consider the people you are addressing because if the audience does not understand the words, they will consider you as being snobbish.

“The Sheng we used in our days is different from what we are using nowadays. Even with the kind of music played by our young generation depends on the audience,” Kang’ata said.

For example, a youth born and raised in Murang’a county will be interested in Mugithi kind of songs, as opposed to those born in the city.

“Many times, you have heard our President using the term ‘wasee’ when making his speech in rallies,” he said.

Governor Mike Mbuvi is now popularly known as ‘Sonko’, a Sheng word for a rich man. Sonko joined the crop of young leaders when he first became the Makadara MP in 2010 through a by-election.

Youths called him Sonko because of his lifestyle. He ended up adding Sonko to his official name. Also, former Nairobi woman representative Rachel Shebesh branded herself with a Sheng slogan. She opted for ‘Manzi wa Nai’, Sheng for a ‘Young woman from Nairobi’.

Peter Kenneth caused a buzz when he became the first politician to use a Sheng slogan, ‘Tunawesmake’, meaning ‘we can make it’, in his presidential campaign.

Mpasho News

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