When ‘Acha Ujinga’ becomes a Compliment.

When you travel to Nairobi’s Eastlando, you’ll definitely come across a different breed of language. Today, I have volunteered to teach you one surprise phrase: ‘Acha Ujinga’. I learnt it from my good friend in plot ten, who always visits me when he’s pretty sure that there is an El-nino of Kenyan dollars flooding my bedsitter.
Anyway, we were going to buy groceries from Mama Boy’s Nakumatt branch, (who sales a mixture of veges, onions and tomatoes well cut into pieces at a pocket friendly price).


We then saw her little brat who’s yet to enroll in a nursery school dancing like a drunken master in a club. Though tiny, she was trying to shake some assets she was yet to amass, with her little skirt tucked in her little underpants making the customers’ jaws drop while watching this unpaid ndrama /findeo. That made my friend Tony to stop, pat my shoulder and exclaim; ”Maze acha ujinga! Cheki haka katoi vile kanazikwenda vimwenda… ” This made me to wonder why I should divorce foolishness yet I wasn’t the culprit shaking the invicible if not transparent derrieres!
Anyway, I am trying to figure out how ‘acha ujinga’  that I heard from Mama Alice used to hit my face like Kidero’s slap when she would see me doing something stupid some years back, before most of you were born. In simple words, we all know that ‘acha ujinga’ is an African insult. This is different in Eastlando. This Swahili term is now trending and has indeed gone viral! A recent research has shown that it has been officially documented as an exclamation mark and can also be interchanged to become a compliment! You are not aware of it? Then ‘acha ujinga!’ Google it if you’re still doubting.
Tony was just surprised and ‘acha ujinga’  was how he expressed himself when he was totally surprised. With this exclamation, he wasn’t that rude to insult me but this term acted as an exclamation mark denoting amazement! On the other hand, he could use the same ‘acha ujinga’  when congratulating someone. The rule of thumb being how he used his body language. Simply said, you’re supposed to say ‘acha ujinga’  while smiling to denote that it’s indeed a compliment. On the other hand, you should drop your jaw and raise eyebrows to signify that it’s an exclamation! Don’t forget to twang so that the hearers waft something close to “a-ts-a ud-zinga!”… into their ears!
So you just get into my apartment when we are doing what we love, that is, when we are downing some fermented concoctions at the right temperatures from Brookside or KCC in the name of vanilla or strawberry yorghurt with Tony. You have come with good news that you will not take any of our packets of yorghurt? Tony is always ready to happily congratulate you with an ‘Acha ujinga.‘ He is not very informed except in football and bible matters so anything else outside this jurisdiction will be received with his mouth agape plus this usual tagline. Don’t get offended. Understand that it’s a compliment or surprise according to him and depending on his facial expression, too.
So when you get to us with uncouth news that Vera sidika is dating a ‘cutie ‘ like Mugabe or BifwoliAti? Arsenal has exocised some three Young, Blind and Small devils in Emirates Stadium? You’ll have to ‘acha ujinga!’
That teachers strike was eventually called off without the said pay rise? ‘Ujinga itabidi umeacha!’
You heard that somebody’s father won a jackpot of 30M in SportPesa stuff? ‘Acha Ujinga jo!’
That Taj Mall is to be brought down to pave way for the expansion of outering road? ‘Mtuangu acha ujinga!’


That some governor bought wheelbarrows at 109,000 shillings? Another one shed tears in a political rally? ‘Ujinga utaacha! ‘
That Man Unye bought a cow at 1M Kenyan dollars? ‘Maze Orezo
That this young man in the name of Babu Owino (President to be) is planning to celebrate his birthday with a budget of 15 Million Kenyan dollars? ‘Ujinga utaacha!’
Somebody is asking you to pay debt when you have no money even to buy lunch? ‘Acha ujinga jo!
A father of somebody in our plot was bargaining to buywaru’  free of charge, I mean at a discount of 100% forgetting that we were in tge vicinity. (Wanaume acheni kutuangusha). Tony found himself exclaiming, ”Acha ujinga!” (After which he found himself in hot soup!).
That you found some writings in the toilet definitely joted by somebody’s father or mother? ‘Acha ujinga!’ That someone in the public toilet was Whatsapping till you people on the queue had to raise your voices to get him out? ‘Budaboss acha ujinga! ‘
Elsewhere, your supervisor borrows you abluu’ or afinje’ or finds you eating a mahindi choma and he asks for a bite? ‘Aaii! Buda acha ujinga! ‘
When served with a sumptuous meal in your in-laws home, you’ve feasted till no pores are empty but the mother still requests you to engulf a little more?‘Maze mathee acha ujinga!’
You applied for a job knowing that it was too big for you but you miraculously receive a call for interviews? ‘Sonko ujinga utaacha! ‘
Pastor asks you to occupy the front seat in the church adjacent to him?  ‘Hapa utaacha ujinga! ‘
When report reaches you that somebody was fired for stealing a paperpunch or stapple pins at work place? ‘Wah! Mtu ataacha ujinga hapa! ‘
Daddy asks you to send him 20K yet you earn a monthly net pay of 25K in Nairobi? ‘Buda utaacha ujinga!
You still believe that the writer can garner all courage to exclaim ‘Acha ujinga’  to his mother or pastor or father-in-law or his employer, or even to you ? ‘A-TS-A UD-ZINGA! ‘

Muthee Musakhulu

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