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Title:The growth and use of Sheng in advertisements in selected businesses in Kenya
Authors:Kariuki, Annah
Kanana, Fridah Erastus
Kebeya, Hildah
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic term:Kenya
Swahili language
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2015.1029879
Abstract:For a long time Sheng was perceived as an argot language, a variety restricted in its domains of use. It was seen as a language of the urban youth in Nairobi. However, there has been an emerging trend whereby big corporate companies, such as mobile phone companies, insurances, financial institutions (e.g. banks) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Sheng to market their products. Therefore, Sheng is becoming a versatile selling strategy in Kenya. The shift in the realm of communication in advertising and awareness campaigns from Standard English and Kiswahili to a non-standard, peer language 'Sheng' has thus become common. This draws attention to the fact that Sheng may have apparently shed off the stigma associated with it and has become a necessary marketing tool in the twenty-first century. Based on a sociolinguistic approach, this paper, therefore, investigates the linguistic change in the Kenyan context of advertising and creating awareness by selected businesses, NGOs and government bodies. The paper seeks to establish how selected corporates manipulate and use Sheng to fit their purposes of their business. Sheng lexical words and phrases and other non-standard varieties that are manipulated will be identified and analysed. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]