This phrase is very rarely used here, even though the makers of Lion King would have you believe it is a common Swahili phrase that means “no worries.” It technically does mean, “there are no troubles or disturbances,” though it is much more often that you would hear ‘hamna shida’ — “there are no problems.”
Living in Geita, there are no problems concerning:
10. the expense of a water bill, b/c you usually don’t have water anyway.
9. the cost of electricity, b/c you usually don’t have electricity anyway.
8. money spent running the air conditioner, b/c there’s not one.
7. the price of fuel, b/c even on the cheapest of days it’s $4.50 / gallon.
6. coffee, b/c what I drink here is incredible.
5. people knowing your name, b/c they’ll just yell “mzungu” (basically means whitey).
4. being places “on time,” b/c there’s not really even such a thing.
3. carrying your own groceries, b/c at least 20 people will offer to carry your three apples the full 200 meter trip for only a dollar or two.
2. washing reds and whites together, because the dust in the air has already made red everything that used to be white.
1. preparing the way for Jesus in the community, b/c everyone already calls you “yohane mbatizaji” — at least they do if you’ve got a big, nasty beard like mine.