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Proficiency Level: Novice High

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Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Name the various types of clothing in Swahili.
  2. Distinguish gender specific clothing in East Africa
  3. Compare cultural/religious implications of clothing between your culture and that of East Africa.
  4. Use the different vocabulary learnt in meaningful conversations in specific contexts.


Utangulizi: Mavazi (Clothing/clothes)

Picha ya mavazi mbalimbali

Katika sura hii, tutasoma kuhusu mavazi (au mitindo = fashion). Mavazi pia huitwa Nguo. Afrika Mashariki, mavazi ni sehemu muhimu ya utamaduni wa Waswahili. Yapo mavazi maalum ya kike na ya kiume. Wanaume huvaa mavazi/nguo tofauti na wanawake. Pia, mavazi ya watu wazima hutofautiana kidogo na mavazi ya vijana. Kwa jumla, watu wa Afrika Mashariki wanapenda mavazi ya heshima kwa kuzingatia jinsia ya mtu.

Mavazi ni muhimu katika utamaduni. Kwa mfano, vazi la Khanga ni muhimu sana katika utamaduni wa Waswahili. Khanga huvaliwa na wanawake pamoja na wanaume, lakini wanawake zaidi. Wanaume wanaweza tu kujifunga khanga wanapokuwa ndani ya nyumba zao. Wanawake hujifunga khanga popote pale. Mara nyingi, khanga huwa na ujumbe (maandishi) muhimu kwa jamii. Maandishi ya khanga ni methali.  Bonyeza kiungo kifuatacho ili kusoma zaidi kuhusu khanga.

Vazi lingine muhimu kwa Waswahili ni Kanzu. Kanzu huvaliwa sana na wanaume. Wanaume Waislamu huvaa kanzu wanapokwenda kuswali msikitini. Unaweza kuona picha za kanzu hapa

Grammar Notes

  1. Vazi (Cloth: Sing) – Mavazi (Clothes: Plural)
  2. Nguo: synonym (Vazi/mavazi). Has no plural form.
  3. People say: Vaa nguo; NOT vaa vazi/mavazi.
  4. Kijana (young person: sing) – Vijana (Young people: plural)
  5. wanapokuwa ndani ya: po ya mahali (ndani ya nyumba)

Activity 1

Attempt this self-check assignment. You are allowed to take multiple attempts. Take a screenshot of your final check results and email to the instructor.

Activity 2: Video Activity

Watch the two videos made by two second semester Swahili students (Spring 2019) about Khanga.

Video 1

Khanga 1

Video 2

After watching the videos, you are required to record your video response as directed here using Flipgrid. Your instructor will provide you with an access code to Flipgrid.

Msamiati Zaidi wa Mavazi

Activity 3

Review the vocabulary of different types of clothing in East Africa embedded with the link below. Each of vocabulary is shown with multiple pictures. Note how different clothes are called in Swahili, their features and how they are worn by women and men.

Activity 4

View the clothing images in the flashcards and write the correct word for each of them. Do multiple attempts until you have all images named correctly.

Activity 5: Podcast

Listen/watch the video about current trends in male youth clothing in Tanzania. Write down all words you can recognize from the podcast. Underline words which name some of the clothes you have learnt in the previous exercise. Email your list to the instructor.

Activity 6: Multiple Choices

Follow the link with the H5p activity. Choose the correct answer. You can do multiple attempts till you get all questions correctly. Take a screenshot of your check results page and email it to the instructor.

Activity 7: Feature

Watch/listen to the feature below about East African fashion show and:

  1. Write down all the words you can recognize, underline those that we have covered in this module so far. Use your Kamusi to find the meaning of at least five more new words you hear. Email these to the instructor.

Fashion show

Group Work





Materials for Swahili Learners Copyright © by kdthomp3. All Rights Reserved.