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!