Why Everybody Is Suddenly Saying ‘Sipangwingwi’


Have you heard the word ‘sipangwingwi’? No? Then enjoy retirement. Yes? But do you know what it means and where it came from? Yes? Well, how does it feel to be young?

It is a word that most of us woke up one day and it was everywhere. To many, it feels like a tongue twister so many have not even tried to figure it out.

I have received many chats mostly from the retirees mentioned above and they want to know where it came from, well, let me show off my age and try and explain.

It is not deep, it is not some mythical word that had been bottled up by the Wahengas and buried in a tomb deep in some cave in Olengurone, it is the name of a song and at the same time, something you tell someone who is deep in your personal business.

The song ‘Sipangwingwi’ is by Kenyan artiste Exray Taniua featuring Trio Mio and Ssaru. To say it has been an instant hit is to do it injustice. The song hit the TikTok realm and rest of the social media world by storm.

The song has now gone into the famous viral Tiktok challenge mode, where people post a video with a song and it push it further into the pop culture lexicon.

You can barely go two scrolls on Tiktok and not hear the song or the word. Same thing on Twitter and Facebook, you cannot escape it, it is all over you like a cheap suit on a hot day.

But why is everyone now saying ‘Sipangwingwi’ and what does the word actually mean?

The song basically means “I cannot be finessed,” which means, the singer is opposed to being taken for a fool.

So, the artistes give a myriad of scenarios in the song of how and why they cannot be finessed.

“Maisha ni yangu, we shughulika na yako, napenda za kwangu we shughulika na kwako…sipangwingwi”

“This life is mine, you concentrate on yours, I like what’s mine, mind your own, I cannot be finessed…” he raps.

The song goes on to say that if a woman gives unreasonable qualities, she is looking in a man, then she should look for a sponsor.

“Unataka mtu simple, humble, rich young ndio upeane number, unataka mtu mdark, mlight mtall, beb tafuta wababaz.”

However, Kenyans on Twitter have taken the term and used it to refer to many other situations such as when politicians give promises and do not fulfill them.

The Deputy president is now one of the many Kenyans using the word because he is a self-proclaimed ‘hustler’ and will look hip and young among the youth.

“Vile Wakenya wamesema hawapangwingwi na mimi nataka niwaambie, mimi kama hustler sipangwingwi, wao wanaweza kupangwa na deep state, wapangwe na system lakini sisi hatupangwingwi.”

I can assure you that this is not the last time you’ll hear of the word ‘Sipangwingwi’.


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