Nairobi News


Kenyans ridicule Uber Facts for wrong Swahili translation

Kenyans on Twitter ridiculed popular US-based facts generator, Uber Facts, which posted an erroneous tweet purporting to be a Swahili translation.

Last Saturday, @uberfacts tweeted: “The name ‘Kanye’ means ‘The Only One’ in Swahili.”

The handle has more than 9.4 million followers on Twitter since its inception in 2011, and some of them being Kenyans, the “fact” did not go down well with them.

For starters, Kanye is the name of a popular US rapper and husband of socialite Kim Kardashian, Kanye West.

Also, Swahili for “the only one” would either be “pekee” or “pekee yake” depending on the context.

In Kenya, the nearest translations of “Kanye” would be in Dholuo “where?”


And when the word is split into two syllables, ka nye, it would mean go relieve yourself, albeit for the coastal, “pure” Swahili-speaking communities.

Indeed, a Twitter user, @mombasa_gal, told Uber Facts as much: “@UberFacts: The name “Kanye” means “The Only One” in Swahili.” Hahahha! It means poop! Get facts before posting!”

Another user (@Wangosh254) weighed in: “Hizi ni Uber Lies @mimmokenya @uberfacts”, while Dalmatians Pot (‏@Iam_UT) told Uber Facts, “You’re a liar though”.

Uber Facts has in the past been corrected.

Kris Sanchez, the man behind the handle, once had an exchange with a Buzzfeed writer, Andrew Kaczynski, after posting an erroneous “fact” about Apple and US government.

@UberFacts: Apple now has more cash on hand than the U.S. government,” tweeted Uber Facts, to which Kaczynski responded: “Not really true but it makes a good Tweet I guess.”

Sanchez, in an email, asked Kaczynski to unfollow Uber Facts.