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Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.
Gangs

A Swahili Dictionary

View this primer on the Swahili code language now used by black gang members in prison.

January 25, 2011  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

In prison, forms of black slang and African languages are used to code conversations to prevent non-black inmates and staff from understanding the communication. These languages are taught to gang members who carry these back out into the community.

They also serve as a racial recruiting tool. One of the favorite forms is the African Swahili tribal dialect.

The following is a portion of a prison-copied version of the underground publication, "New Afrikan Swahili Dialect Dictionary" from the Black Panther Party Press.

SWAHILI/ENGLISH

ASANTE/Thank You

BABU/Grandfather or Father

BASI/That's All

BIBI/Grandmother

BIKIRA/Virgin

DADA/Sister

DHANI/Think

GNYE SHUKRANI/Thankful

HAJA/Need

HATA MOJA/None

JAMAA/Family

JINA/Name

KIJANA/Youth

KITU/Thing

KUANDIKA/Write

KUENDA/Went, Go or Gone

KUJARIBU/Try

KUPUTA/Throw

KUWA/Was

LA/No

LAZIMA/Must

LINI/When

MIMI/I or Me

MJANE/Widow

MKE/Wife

MTOTO MCHANGA/Girl or Baby

MTOTO WA KIUME/Boy

MUMNE/Husband

MWALIMU/Teacher

MWANAMKE/Woman

MWANAMUME/Men

MWANA DAMU/Man

MZAZI/Mother

NANI/Who

NDUGU/Brother

NIJIA/Way

NINA/I Am

NINI/What

NJDYO/Yes

MNO/Too

SASA/Now

SI/Not

SISI/We or Us

SIYO/No

UEYE/He or She

UKE/Vagina or Womanhood

UTU/Manhood

UUME/Penis

WA/Be

WAO/Them

WAPI/Where

WAZO/Thought

WEWE/You

Related Blog Post:

Do You Speak Swahili?


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