Kenyans are creative, especially when it comes to milking money out of your pockets. If a Kenyan is in need of money, the first thing, before asking for it, they will praise you using big and interesting names.
As you go to various places this festive season, especially in your ushago¸ there are names you should avoid being called if you do not want to use your last penny meant for bus fare back to “Nairobi.”
Here are 20 names that are often aimed at your pockets:
“Mkubwa” means “Big Person.” The Swahili word is associated with prominence and people with power. If you see a Kenyan calling you “Mkubwa” while smiling broadly, just tell them you don’t have what they want because the next thing they will ask is money.
“Tajiri” simply means rich. If someone calls you Tajiri, he or she means that you are “rich” or “richer than them.” If you pop up somewhere and you see someone or people saying “Heh! Tajiri amefikaa!” (The rich has arrived), my friend, run for your pockets because if you don’t, you will be paying the bills.
MCA is a short form of Member of County Assembly. After devolution, MCAs became instant young tycoons in the villages, often loaded with lots of cash. If you see someone calling you MCA, and neither you nor anybody in your family has political ambitions, run. It is your money they want.
Babe or Babes
This is a corrupted form of the word Baby. It is often associated with romance and lovers. They say the easiest way to extract money out of a man’s pockets is to use this word. It works miracles. If you see a lady, smiling like Angelina Jolie and calling you “Babe,” with a very relaxed voice, tell them “hujalipwa” and “zimeisha.” Thank me later.
Jakom is a Luo word for “Chairman”, meaning a man of influence or position. If you have never been called Jakom before, and you are nowhere related to the Former Prime Minister, my friend, save that fare.
If you see someone calling you “Chief”, first stop then reflect whether you are your area Administrative Chief, Assistant Chief or the head of the Nyumba Kumi Initiative. If you fall nowhere near those three positions, save your money.
Mdosi is the same as Tajiri or the boss. The phrase is often common among “friends” and it is always directed to someone with a little heavier pockets than the rest of the team. Are you a Mdosi? If you are not, save the little you have.
Ladies are not left behind. If you see friends and relatives start giving you political titles like MCA, Woman Rep or Mama County, look into your purse and see how many new generational banknotes are there. If not enough, please decline the titles.
People calling you by Profession
Some people, when they want to milk some cash out of you, they will start referring to you using your profession. Names such as “Wakili, Lawyer, CJ, Mtangazaji, Bwana Manager Mwenyewe” and so on. If you pop up somewhere and people start praising you with such professional titles as Bwana Manager, you are paying the bill.
This means “Mtu Wangu” or simply “My guy”. If someone calls you by this name, especially after you haven’t seen each other for long, my friend, utaacha kakitu.
There are many names. Please add yours to the list. Here is a summary: