President Ruto, Suluhu banter over each other’s country’s Swahili
President William Ruto and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu shared light banter as they poked at each other’s country’s Kiswahili during the Food Summit.
President Suluhu, while addressing the delegates, referred to a linguistic lesson by President Ruto and corrected his Swahili, saying, “President Ruto recently taught us a Kiswahili word; he said ‘Jambo,’ and we responded ‘Jambo,’ but the real thing is ‘Habari za Mchana.’ Kenyans are quite a funny lot; they refer to signing a contract as ‘kuweka kidole.'” President Suluhu chuckled.
CNN International Correspondent Larry Madowo, who also hails from Kenya, joined in the friendly banter between the countries, saying, “I know we are friends with Tanzanians; they speak to us in bad English, and we respond in poor Swahili, and we move on like the gospel.” Larry’s comment elicited laughter from the room.
President Ruto weighed in on the matter, stating that he heard the use of the word “Azimio” and was initially worried since it referred to a political party in Kenya. However, he said that he later learned that “Azimio” could also mean agreeing with each other.
“I heard you talk about ‘Azimio,’ and I was worried because in our home, ‘Azimio’ is an opposition party with a lot of chaos. But I now understand that ‘Azimio’ could also mean agreeing with each other,” President Ruto explained.