March 30, 2022
Are you interested in Swahili and the Swahili culture and want to learn Kenyan Swahili online? Are you looking for Swahili shows and films to learn common Swahili phrases either to practice your understanding of the language or even for leisure? Our expert language and cultural scholars have curated 5 shows and films from Kenya and Tanzania where Swahili is predominantly spoken. Check them out and learn some common Swahili phrases:
This movie will inform you while giving a master class on the Kenyan Swahili language. “Siri ya Mtungi” loosely translates to “The Pot’s Secrets.” This show is loaded with cultural knowledge of the Waswahili people as well as vocabulary that will definitely increase if not double your love for the Swahili language.
Siri ya mtungi weaves together themes such as marriage (including polygamy), family drama, infidelity, recklessness, money, power, drug use, misogyny, and so much more that will keep you glued to the screen and yearning for more. Are you worried about getting a paid subscription? Worry no more! The show is totally FREE on YouTube!
Homecoming, a film directed by award winning director Seko Shante tells a story of Abel (Daniel Kijo) who had gone to the US for studies, then returns home and secures a job with the help of his uncle at a multi-national bank. In a dramatic twist, he soon learns that things are not as he expected them to be at his workplace. Abel discovers that corruption is the order of the day. This movie is well cast and directed no wonder it is a favorite of many lovers of Bongowood (Tanzanian equivalent of Hollywood). Homecoming is heralded for exposing and showcasing corruption in the corporate world.
Plan B is a romantic comedy set in Kenya and Nigeria and includes many common Swahili phrases. Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke, a Nigerian filmmaker, creatively and authentically tells the story of Lisa, who is a beautiful and heartbroken woman trying to navigate single life and starting afresh.
Lisa decides to go out to a club and meets a fellow named Dele Coker. They have fun and end up leaving together. Flash forward to five months after that night and she realizes that she got pregnant. She informs her best friend and together they decide to find out Coker’s whereabouts. They realize that Coker is a rich man so they have to find a way to have him take responsibility when the baby is born.
This movie is an excellent choice for Swahili beginner learners because it makes use of both English and Swahili. You can understand the story line while you acquire Swahili words and how they are pronounced. Watching Plan B is a great way to learn Kenyan Swahili online!
Fancy a telenovela while learning about the beautiful Swahili culture and listening smooth sounds of the easy-to-the-tongue Swahili language? Pete is just the show for you! It premiered on M-Net’s Maisha Magic East-a channel that shows Swahili shows and culture. Pete, a Kenyan telenovela, is drama-packed right from the onset. The show follows the bitter rivalry between two brothers; Mbura and Jasiri, as they fight each other to become the leader of Funzi Island, a post which was held by their now dead father who never left instructions about his successor. As if that is not enough, the mermaids also show interest in the leadership of Funzi Island because leadership by humans is a threat to their existence.
Are you a lover of thrillers? This well written and directed Swahili thriller is for you and will help with your online language learning. Samaki Mchangani is about Geoffrey, a young entrepreneur who gets into an accident as soon as he launches his company. As he struggles to accept his new reality, dark family secrets begin to emerge. The terrible past that his politically and financially powerful family kept hidden creeps in and proves to be a problem for Geoffrey. Could it be true what they say about “the sins of the father?” This is an amazing film that will engage most of your senses if not all, considering the director (Amil Shivji) is a well-known and respected film maker that previously produced Sunshine, another equally successful movie.
Kimathi got his education degree to teach Swahili at the University of Nairobi and taught Swahili language and literature at a high school there for three years before coming to the US for graduate studies. He has worked as a translator and editor for the last few years as well as teaching Swahili language and African cultural studies classes at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.