Since time immemorial, lesos in different colours, prints and sizes have sported bold messages, mostly wise saying on what would appear as mundane subjects, like mke ni tabia. While the misemo are either choice of the designer or requests from clients, some messages appear suggestive, pass secret messages or are intended to annoy that nosy neighbour or rival.
Here are 10 wise saying found on Kenyan lesos.
1. Mume wa mtu simtaki, akinitaka simwachi
While this appears to be a warning shot by an irritated single woman pegged on accusations of husband snatching, this message is another way for the wearer to say she’s ready for ‘anything’ and interested parties should start kurusha mistari.
2. Wajifanya hodari wa kupakua, kupika huwezi
This could pass for a simple way of teasing lazy women who are good at eating and not cooking. But this message has been used to warn married women who still eye married men kwa ploti to groom their own.
3. Uwanja ni wako, usiwe na mafadhaiko
It’s always tricky for a woman to tune a man, unless when the bugger is tipsy. So, next time you land in Pwani courtesy of SGR and see Aisha akipita pita kimpango kwa ploti with a leso emblazoned with that message, usiwe na mafadhaiko ndugu...uwanja ni wako!
4. Sishtuki na pambo, mimi ni mrembo
For ages, it has been whispered that Mombasa lasses are somehow lazy and like mucene, including looking good, thus lesos with such messages are hot cakes kwa duka la Abdalla. This leso was ideal for plain Aishas who felt cute even though their outwardly looks were wanting.
5. Naogopa simba na meno yake, siogopi mtu kwa maneno yake
There’s a thin line separating this from number 4 above. If there’s too much talk kwa ploti ya Mwajuma and she discovers she has been the talk of the hood, she may opt to wear a leso with such a warnings to ward off haters.
6. Heri kuniuliza kuliko kunichunguza
Rumours being spread by Rukia that Rehema has been seen with kijana barubaru wakiingia chumbani hapa kwa hapa sees Rehema passing the message that the man was not her mchumba but ndugu kutoka bara, hence the leso with the obvious message.
7. Japo tamu, sio lako
This is a direct way of telling someone to keep off what is not theirs. This message can also be targeting a man following a curvaceous cheusi, meaning is what’s hidden under the leso is sweet lakini ina wenyewe.
8. Nalia na mwewe, kumbe hasidi ni wewe
This is a perfect message for backstabbing neighbours and friends. This is the leso a woman will sport to bring a stop the shenanigans za mahasidi.
9. Tabasamu yako, pumbazo la roho yangu
There is no better way for a wife to welcome a tired hubby who is a mechanic around Mwembe Tayari than with comforting a message.
10. Usijaze masusu kwa mambo yasiyokuhusu
There is always a better way to tell off people who poke their noses in issues that do not concern them. While fighting them could land you in jail, why not grab a kanga with this message and tell them to keep off!