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Shembeteng ambassador: Charlene Ruto Foundation to translate East Africa Community agreements into sheng

By Winnie Mabel December 14th, 2022 2 min read

The Charlene Ruto Foundation pledged to translate the agreements documents from East Africa Community meetings into sheng, a local slang language among the Kenyan youth.

She made this pledge before participants of the You Lead Africa Summit 2022 which began on December 12, 2022, and is set to end on December 16, 2022.

It is being held in Arusha, Tanzania where the EAC headquarters is.

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Charlene, one of the daughters of Kenya’s President William Samoei Ruto, said that her foundation would work to educate Kenyan youth on the after-agreements without having to wait for government systems to act first.

“As I’ve sat and listened today, I think we’re coming up with very practical solutions to the challenges we face as African youth and that is something I love about this forum. I’ve not yet seen it anywhere else.

We talked with our sister Christine and we spoke about the youthful language when it comes to the after agreements and when we talked with her on the side, we agreed through my foundation, the Charlene Ruto Foundation in partnership with her, we’re going to create a youthful language for the after agreements.

I feel we don’t have to wait for an official and national thing to happen. Already the agreement exists, we’ll go pick from it and for us back in Kenya, our youthful language is sheng.

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We’re going to translate it to sheng and we’ll go to the different areas in Kenya to talk to our youth about it. So I challenge the rest of us from other countries to do the same.

We can’t wait for the systems and everything to come into place first, let’s do our part, let’s be active about it,” Charlene told the Summit’s audience on December 13, 2022.

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Outside of the official languages of English and Swahili, as well as the tens of local tribes, sheng is the major local slang in Kenya spoken among the youth. Its origins are often urban slum areas before they become popular on the streets and online and other people pick up the slang terms.

Charlene Ruto and her office which she calls the office of the first daughter are all about transformative, actionable and agenda-driven leadership.

Charlene Ruto statement
Charlene Ruto statement

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She revealed she is mainly interested in ensuring that she champions youth-based agendas and ensuring that they have a voice in accessing opportunities.

Her pledge will be in line with You Lead Africa’s program pillars of mobilizing, skilling and tooling African young men and women for effective participation in economic and political life.

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