4 Kenyan signals and what they really mean

signalsThe hustle and bustle of the big city can cause stress. This stress can manifest itself in weird ways including signals, which may be difficult to understand. Let me attempt to decipher some of them.

The magic finger
A signal used by many Kenyan drivers especially those driving matatus. Commonly used to mean ‘I am going there’. When this finger is displayed, all other drivers must immediately stop and let the fingerer through regardless of pre existing traffic rules.

Flashing car lights
Commonly used by people driving on the wrong side of road. These cars are often moving towards you at 100km/h.
This signal is regularly used to mean ‘I am an idiot driving on the wrong side of the road’ or ‘Look at me! Look at me! No brain!’

The blank stare
Often used by security guards and front office staff.
This is a tricky one. Uses depend on location. If at a supermarket or office entrance, it could mean ‘ open your boot for a security check’ or ‘we are closed’. Inside an office, this signal either means ‘I am on my lunch break’ or ‘how can I help you?’

The kissy lips
Used to save user from the tiresome task of using their voice. Direction of the lips determines whether this signal is used to spite or to give instruction. Where lips are puckered up in frontward motion and followed by a ‘mscheew!’ sound, an irate or sarcastic mood may be presumed. Where lips are puckered up in a side ways motion, then directional instructions may be assumed.

What other signals do you think we should add to this list?