Ways of saying hi in Swahili

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Hi definition in English

Hi is used as a friendly greeting or to attract attention.

Hi in Swahili

Saying hi in Swahili depends on the context and who you’re talking to. Here are some ways of saying hi in Swahili with pronunciation and examples:

1. Jambo: (JAHM-boh) A general greeting meaning “hello” or “hi”.


Jambo bwana (Hello sir or hi sir).

Answer: Sijambo: (see-JAHM-boh) (I’m alright, no worries)

2. Habari: (ha-BAH-ree) This is the most common greeting in Swahili, similar to “hi” or “hello”.


Habari yako? (How are you? Or Hi there.)

Answer: Nzuri: (nZOO-ree) (Fine, good.)

3. Vipi? (VEE-pee) Short for “vipi mambo?” (what’s up?), another casual greeting of saying hi in Swahili.


Vipi leo? (Hi, how’s your day?)

Answer:  Salama: (sah-LAH-mah) (peace or well.)

4. Sasa: (SAH-sah), this simply means “now” but is often used as a casual greeting among young people.


Sasa! Umefanya nini leo? (Hi! What have you been doing today?)

There is no definitive way of saying hi in Swahili, you can use these greetings in Swahili as well:

Salamu za Kiswahili of saying hi:

Mambo – “Poa” au “Nzuri”.

Hujambo? –  “Sijambo”.

Umeshindaje? – “Salama”.

For more Swahili greetings read here.

For Kenyan youths they say hi in swahili using these sheng greetings:

Salamu za sheng of saying hi:

Niaje? – Poa

Mambo? – Poa.

Saseni? – Poa.

Vipi? – Poa sana.

Aje? – Freshi.

For more sheng greetings read here.