Marrying a Chagga

I have always known that getting married to a Chagga woman is a headache, especially if you are a kyasaka – but my girlfriend’s dad took the cake and the cherry on top!  The cream even!  With a mchagga father one never wins! You see, most Chagga parents don’t believe in inter-marriage.  When the topic of marriage comes up they will always insist that home is always best.  Infact some parents are so fast at hooking their children up!

             “When is daughter coming back?  Is she done with her law degree?  My nephew is just about to finish his doctorate.  Maybe we should introduce them when they get back from overseas.” 

Naturally when you hear degrees, overseas and such arrangements it only means prominent families – with names and clout. Anyway, so there they were, the two of them, sharing that father-daughter moment.  They used to have that, those two.  So my girlfriend brings up the topic that makes any possessive Dad freeze.  But since they always had that bond, he was down with whatever.

             “If I ever get married I will get married to a mzungu,” she announces.

             “Where from?”

             “Hmm, say German.”

             “No, his parents will always make you feel like a second class citizen.”


             “They will never see past your race and colour.”

             “Okay, an African then.”

             “Great!  At least we are home.  But where from?”

             “Okay, South Africa?”

              “They will abuse you.”

               “West Africa?”

               “They will probably sell you for your organs.”

                “North Africa?”

                “They will put in a harem.”

                 “East Africa then.”

                 “Great!  At least we are home.”

                  “Hmm, Uganda?”

                  “Uwii!  HIV/AIDS!”


                  “They will harass you!”

                  Jamani wapi sasa?”  my girlfriend had started the topic to get at her Dad, but now the tables had turned around.  She was getting highly agitated. 

                  “How about home?”  Her dad offered. 

                  “Okay, how about Wagogo?”  She asks about the tribe from Dodoma. 

                  Omba omba wale.  You will be as poor as a church mouse!”

                  “Wahaya then?” 

                  “They are too arrogant!” 


                  “They like sex too much!” 

My girlfriend giggles at this, thinking – as if there is something wrong with that.  The dad seeing his daughter’s reaction gives another point quickly.

                 “And they are misers!”

                 “Okay, wakurya?”

                 “You’ll be beaten black and blue!”

                 “Wasukuma then?” 

                 “They will fatten you up and force you to bleach your skin.”

                 “Okay, I take it you will be happy if I got married to a mchagga?”

                 “That’s what I have always been telling you!”


                 “They will beat you black and blue!”


                 “Very smart, educated but no maendeleo.  You husband might end-up being a shoe shiner with a pHd.”


                 Wachawi!  They can even bewitch the dead!”

                 “Wa-old Moshi?”

                 Washamba!”  He spits on the ground, “they are so ignorant they don’t know the difference between a cell phone and a remote control.”


                 “They are too arrogant!“

                “Okay, so I guess you will be happy if I married someone from our village.”

                “Absolutely,” he smiles.  “But they are too …” 

                “I hear you, dad,” my girlfriend interrupts, “someone from the same community then?” 

                “Which clan though?”  

                “The Tembas?” 

                “The great grandmother was a witch.” 

                “The Machas?” 

                “I hear the aunt’s cousin’s sister’s son’s father was a mental case.  Your children might inherit it.” 

                “The Mushis?” 

                “They are thieves.  They are so bad that they even steal their very own livestock jamani!” 

                 “The Temus?” 

                 “They haven’t gone to school!” 

                 “The Lyimos?”

                 “They drink too much!  They will forget the baby’s milk but never the beer.”

My girlfriend then coughs, not because there was something irritating her throat, but because she was so tempted to remind her father that his blood pressure and liver problem were – by the way – because of drinking too much – tena hard liquor even. 

                  “The Teshas?”

                  “Their late great grandfather owes your late great grandfather!”

                  To this my girlfriend raises her eyebrows, but since she didn’t want to get into it – clearly – she went on, “Okay, I guess you will be happy if it was from the same street then?” 

                  “Absolutely!”  The dad replies with a grin, “but which family though?”         


~ by saharasoulfood on June 19, 2007.

45 Responses to “Marrying a Chagga”

  1. Sounds like only the same family could do:-)I never knew Us Wapare , sex si ranked hhigher than Ubahiri:-)

  2. Welcome back Sandie. This is an extremely enjoyable post. I never knew that Tanzania also had that “tribal” drama too…

  3. The tribal drama is mostly with Chaggas and Hayas wazee. Yani wee acha tu! all introductions are finished with, “mtoto wa nani?” Lol.

  4. … and I thought I liked ’cause it was nice. I’m suprised to find out I’m genetically predisposed to liking sex!

  5. Thank you for this! I don’t know you but happened to stumble upon it as I was looking for information on the Chagga people as my “sort-of-ex” (yeah, it’s complicated) is a Chagga of the Mushi clan. I am of Mexican-German descent (imagine how well that first meeting would go)and was raised in Southern California most of my life and this has provided a fun insight to these fascinating people. Thanks again!

  6. This post made my day..been through that as well:)

  7. Sandra, I tagged U.let us know 8 things people dont know about U.

  8. […] After Burying a Chagga So you get married to a Chagga man. You live through the name-dropping, big houses, big cars and big hair … ofcourse being a […]

  9. :Febe, don’t you worry, chaggas are a bot over the top, but we are generally very nice people. See, I can even joke about my own people? Lol.
    :Serina, I’m glad you enjoyed it. There is more about Chagga people I have just posted.
    :Simon, hmmm … …

  10. Lol… very funny! thank u for posting it, just spent the past 3 months with my chagga inlaws in arusha had an amazing time. I am Irish and my husband is chagga such a strange combination but somehow it works… 🙂

  11. ha ha ha ha….,nina boyfriend mchaga, mi si mchaga. naisubiri kwa hamu hiyo siku ya utambulisho kwa wakwe,sijui itakuwa vipi?

  12. si mpaka utakapotambulishwa, kesha ukisali maana unawezakuta mwenzio keshapangangiwa mweee!natania mwaya usije ukanywa sumu mpenzi

  13. This was so refreshing..They will steal from themselves..jamani! that is my favorite. Can I interview you for

  14. @Blupanther: I’m glad you liked it. It’s true they will steal from themselves. Lol. As for the interview – I have been to your website – absolutely, why not.

  15. how about tarimo clan tell us please , im courious to know about it plz

  16. Kwaa, I didn’t know Wamachame wachawi, this is new to me since am ‘mmachame damu’.Well it doesn’t bother me a bit, after all ni kichekesho tu. Is saw this joke once before it cracked my ribs and I shared it with my husband who is not chagga/tanzanian and he was kind of scared first, then i told him it was just a joke!
    Sandra am proud of you girl, I’ll definitely look for u when I get home so we can share in and abouts.I always admire you babygirl keep it up that spirit.
    Upendo Mushi

  17. Really funny… and original :))

  18. I am a machame too and I like the way changas are but this joke has cracked my ribs. You go girl say it all maybe some of it is true.
    Tumaini Urassa

  19. Thats so funny, because my baba is a mchaga and mama mzungu. I am sure that when there is time to introduce my boyfriend to dad it will be just the same story. When I am in Tz he doesnt like even to hear anything about boys and when I am in Ulaya he says “bado, bado”.
    It was funny to see my family name here! Though we are Temu’s, we went to scool! LOL
    Thanx for a great post, asante sana! Nimeanguka kwa kicheko!

  20. From Usa,Ma,My he was from old moshi,mbokomu,in Tema village,Iso excited to here about my tribe,its quiet a long time,now Iuse to be here ,now im on the way to forget ,every thing but Im luke to find ,my history my bck born,how comes kibosho,uru,oldmoshi,marangu,rombo,kiruwa,machame sanya juu,etc,all kichaga a different,Ineed help on that,

  21. From usa,Lm looking for help,how chagga,there language are so different,example machame,old moshi,marangu,etc what happened,my dad was from old moshi,Idont know what Iwill tell my children now about chagga,thank you.

  22. you know what mazee chaggas tuna uzalendo wa kiukweli au sio? ndo maana 2po juu big up 2 ndesamburo& all riches in mo town

  23. Asante sana dada, my ribs hurt!!! Im not a mchagga have alot of chagga friends and lived in moshi for a good year and enjoyed every bit of it. I wonder what would have been the answer if your girlfriend suggested Tanga au Zanzibar?

  24. mmh mwana tupo juu….

  25. well done , but mh!

  26. […] […]

  27. I’m chagga also & I wish a going to marry chagga gal coz language we can speaker all the tm

  28. Gals should marry their cousins then…

  29. hahaha,so so hap at least ma clan TEMBA’S appeared 1st…dz z amaizn…u made ma day thru..sahara soul food!

  30. Keleuwiiiiiiiiiiii this absolutely made my day LOL. Will share it with my “msungu”. Haya kulale nicha mae!

  31. Ha ha ha!!!!HIGHWER Learning

  32. Its all about money to wachagga.. ROMBO-Ruhusu Ongezeko la Mapesa Bila Ombaomba MARANGU-Mungu Angalia Raia Ngawira Utuhakikishie MAMBA-Mungu ahidi mapesa bila ajira KIBOSHO-Kila Ikipungua Baba Ondoa Siasa Hela Ongeza URU-Usitunyime Riski Uchumi MWIKA-Mungu Wekeza Ishara Kwenye Akaunti MACHAME-Mungu Atupe Chanzo Halisi na Ambacho Mapesa ni Endelevu. KISHMUNDU-Kwetu Ikikosekana shilingi mungu nakuapia dunia utaichukia MOSHI-mungu onyesha sehemu/sasa hela ilipo. honest im proud to be chagga from marangu..

  33. Its all about money to wachagga.. ROMBO-Ruhusu Ongezeko la Mapesa Bila Ombaomba MARANGU-Mungu Angalia Raia Ngawira Utuhakikishie MAMBA-Mungu ahidi mapesa bila ajira KIBOSHO-Kila Ikipungua Baba Ondoa Siasa Hela Ongeza URU-Usitunyime Riski Uchumi MWIKA-Mungu Wekeza Ishara Kwenye Akaunti MACHAME-Mungu Atupe Chanzo Halisi na Ambacho Mapesa ni Endelevu. KISHMUNDU-Kwetu Ikikosekana shilingi mungu nakuapia dunia utaichukia MOSHI-mungu onyesha sehemu/sasa hela ilipo. honest proud im chagga from marangu..

  34. Mbavu zangu,bt chagga around the global.

  35. i wanted to hear about warombo…. im purely chagga from Rombo but I didnt have any clue about all these fun fun fun talks about my people of my origin….. your mzee can influence your marriage??? even at this moment? for sure ts shameful lols…………

  36. We’re moving mountains, huh?

  37. Asanteni sana hakuna kama mchagga….

  38. Mchagga is good…

  39. am lottly surprised to see many people claims the machame people for witchcraft..i have personally been there for many years and only what I learned is culture of working hard and smartly to earn life,the income is most important thing to them..many outsiders are surprised by these people and tend to believe is witchcraft simply because they believe it exist…u need to get there to see things with your own eyes..

    • Hi Emanuel,
      I am a Chagga too – from Uru, the so-called washamba as far as the Chagga clan is concerned. And I take joy in this joke since I know we are not backward. But it is something light that puts a smile on my face at the end of a hard day. Just like the Chagga series are intended to.
      Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Emanuel, and do keep well.

  40. I LIKE THIS and I appreciate,
    (though fictious&highly exaggerated)

    But much of the story’s incidents are true and often happen in Chaggas’ daily lifestyles.

    They are much seen true stories than fictional

    I AM CHAGGA TOO. (with Paternal&Maternal ancenstry purity)

    “People have to learn from us (Chaggas) only the good things and leave the bad ones go as no-comunity can be 100% civilized&perfect.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: