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Ngumi Mbwegze: Meaning behind Sakaja’s trademark magical fist bump

At the centre of Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja’s campaigns ahead of the August 2022 polls were his promises to the youth if he triumphed.

In some of his rallies, and in many photos posted on his social media accounts, the youthful Sakaja posed in a particular manner that caught attention.

He posed with youths while holding up two closed fists joined together.

Oftentimes, he did the pose from a dais set up before thousands of youth who came to hear him out.

This pose particularly became popular with the youth at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic after sheng ‘aficionados’ Mbogi Genje (dangerous group) came up with it for their rap song, Ngumi Mbwegze (two fists).

As per the rap group, joining two fists together and bumping them with someone else was a way to show a crew’s affiliation.

Also read: Meet the mother of Governor Sakaja’s daughter who stole the show at the swearing-in ceremony

Their song is chock-full of sheng– Kenya’s local slang language- and remains difficult for the majority of Kenyans to translate into something understandable.

Sheng, ordinarily, is created and spread across Kenya, especially in urban slums. It is often stereotyped as language used by people with criminal tendencies to prevent those around them from understanding what they are saying.

Mbogi Genje dispelled allegations they were a violent crew and just sang about what they knew from the environment they lived in.

Now, to Sakaja, using this pose in photo ops could have been his way of telling his supporters that wako pamoja (they are together) in getting the city back to its glory days under his campaign slogan ‘Let’s Make Nairobi Work’. But to criminal elements, this is allegedly a way of speaking or threatening those who are against them.

According to several allegations by infamous city cop Hessy Wa Dandora, criminals used these two fists pose to threaten police or informers against snitching or coming after them.

Also read: Watch: Good news for boda boda riders: Sakaja orders release of bikes impounded by Kanjo
It was also said that the pose was a way for criminal gang members to tell each other that they were strapped (carrying a gun) and that they are gangsters.

Hessy’s area of work is normally Kayole and Dandora, two of many urban slums in Nairobi County.

He runs a social media page where he posts photos of alleged criminals, and forewarns them to change their ways or he would end their crime spree in whatever way necessary. Often, these unheeded warnings ended in death as police killed the criminals and Hessy posted the gruesome photos on social media.

His page was once taken down by Facebook but scrolling through the app, it would appear the page is back and set on private.

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