Finally the word ‘Tibim’ Explained.

Baby Owino,a professional student, perennial student leader at The University of Nairobi, the nominee for MP in Embakasi ,Nairobi,is accredited for having introduced this word Tibim to Kenya’s political fora this electioneering year,2017.

This word will go down the history of this country as the most used word with the least understanding of its meaning. Remember Ubwogable craze of 2002 general election?That word did well to unite the country as people from different political divide used it in their campaigns. It acted to provide that strong glue that brought different communities together and bound them. Pundits say that the country was more united then than ever before or than now as it stands.

As a language student, am more interested in how a word is used in and out of a speech Community. Am also interested in how a word can get accepted in a politically divided country like Kenya and be used across board. Tibim is now being used by Maasai,Kikuyu,Luyha,Kalenjin politicians among other communities despite the word being Luo.

Many have wondered what this word actually means. On social media a lot of effort has been made to explain what it means but to no success. We went to the native speakers of the Language and here is what we got.

Hannington Amol,an advocate in Nairobi says,

Still struggling with the word “Tibim?” It’s a hardly used synonym for “tinding” which means “on the spot.” The two are used interchangeably as exclamations. For example, when a striker hits a goal post you will hear fans shout “tinding.”

Sometimes I wonder how simple things in life can be made complex by our own minds.These words giving many people sleepless nights are derived from basic luo grammar.

Tialala,Tibim,and Ryaaaa are expressions that have been used widely in the just concluded party primaries in Kenya.So many have asked what these words actually mean. These word have done well to excite crowds in political rallies to a very high degree although peole do not understand their meaning.Their meaning is almost known to everybody.

The official gazeted campaign starts by the end of May and ends 48 hours before the ballot is cast in August.A sneak preview was givem in nominations campaign period of what to expect when the whistle will be blown.

Ben Akech brings a very funny and more point on look at “Tibim” Almost true point of view.He says:

Both my paternal and maternal grandmas (may they rest in peace), were jolego. “Tibim” was a way of chasing away demonic spirits during prayers.
He continues,

During exorcism sessions, the person leading the session would make reference to prophets like Abaraham, Simeo etc. Tibim was a chant used to emphasize either kicking or punching the demonic spirits. Of course, ordinary people would not see those demonic spirits.

Out of the world ways of looking at it have also been coined by those who have struggled to get the meaning of the word Tibim. Below is a funny way one looks at it, as seen in the social media

Just as I said, that is out of this world. Feel free to Write a comment below and give us your take…… 

5 thoughts on “Finally the word ‘Tibim’ Explained.

  1. The word Tibim is a Luo word whose meaning can only be understood in the context of its usage,primarily the word means ,as required,on the spot or dot,or some sort of togetherness.
    In the political context ,this word is revolutionary and its mean being on the right track or simply “tuko pamoja”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s