Slang words spring up every single day with a life of their own. We don’t get to know where they come from but to avoid the jest from our so called friends (why did it hurt people that I did not know what “bablas” meant?) we ensure that we at least know what they mean and how they are used. There is a new slang word in town that has been doing its rounds around millennial circles. The word is “Vipindi”.

“Vipindi” is a Swahili word that translates to periods or shows in English. The slang refers to an action/behaviour or series of actions/behaviours that present one in a light or fashion that is acceptable and well respected in certain social settings. These behaviours are usually a dishonest depiction of the individual. It comes from the need for people to feel accepted in a society that glorifies the expensive lifestyle. People will be seen hiring, borrowing and in the saddest of situations, stealing items so that they look like they are leading a lifestyle that is acceptable to others in circles they wish to be a part of. 

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An example in a statement: He drives his friend’s car around our estate juu ya Vipindi. He wants his ex-girlfriend to take him back. 

The above statement implies that the individual has gone out of character to impress a female. He is putting up a show so as to seem more acceptable to an individual who values a certain kind of lifestyle. Putting up a show has become an essential part of many individuals’ lives. They do this in the following ways: 

  • Curating their social media handles by using the “right” kind of images. 
  • Being seen with the “right” kind of people by targeting areas in which they are likely to meet said individuals
  • Being seen with the “right” kind of things such as gadgets and fashion 

What do you think of the word “Vipindi”? Will it catch on or will it stagnate in the millennial circles? Why has putting up a show become such a necessary part of life?