Being a Kenyan is a skill that you are born with. Luckily, you can also learn it. After years of research, we have finally figured out Kenyan storytelling habits that can be used to either transform you in to Kenyan again (For those who visited JKIA and became foreigners) or for people seeking to be more of Kenyan during these times when National unity is of importance.

How do you tell a story like a Kenyan?

  1. Learn how to point at a direction with your mouth. Nowhere in the world do people tell their stories by pointing with their mouth. It’s a skill that involves the use of your lower lip. “Ule jamaa alienda huko...” as you slightly tilt your face and pout your lower lip in an exaggerated duckface manner
  2. Sound effects. Sound effects are important in Kenyan storytelling as they give it a dramatic effect. “Ile gari ilikuwa inakimbia fwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. “Ulejamaa alipigwa paduuuuuuung”. “Ile bablas ilikuwa inacheza boom twaf….”. Put sound effects and your story will be more epic!
  3. Incomplete statements. Incomplete statements are a great way to get your audience involved in your story.

You: Huyo jamaa alicha……

Audience: Alichapwa……

You: After achapwe aliku……

Audience: Alikufa

You: Hapana, alikula avocado…..

  1. The loudest person with the weirdest accent gets to tell their story. To Kenyans, accent is an important part of storytelling. That’s why our comedians don’t have to be funny, they just have to get a weird accent. In fact, I'm going to live in Nyeri for a month so that I become a comedian soon. Can’t wait to be as famous as Bonoko
  2. Speak sheng. All the Kiswahili sanifu you learnt in school is useless in the real word of storytelling. Quickest way to learn sheng? Get a girlfriend from Buru Buru or Umoja. Just don’t use the old sheng' which consists of words like ‘Ponyi, Mkanyo, Gondi, Sanse, ridhe, pocha and avunja’
  3. Exaggerate. This is the most important skill. In a country that is scandal rocked, giving a weak story won’t get you attention. If thugs got shot with two bullets, make it two thousand. If someone ate a plate of ugali without paying, he officially ate five
  4. How else would you tell a story like a Kenyan?