June 27, 2024

Kiswahili Word of the Month

Improve your Kiswahili vocabulary with our word of the month

Graduation at St Jude's: Graduation is one of the most important days on the school calendar.

mahafali /mah-hah-fah-lee/ noun


"Mahafali" is a Kiswahili word that means "graduation" in English. It typically refers to a gathering of people to celebrate an achievement, often related to education.

Historical and cultural significance

"Mahafali" is of Arabic origin, derived from "Mahfal," which means "gathering" or "assembly." The adoption of this word into Kiswahili highlights the historical influence of Arabic on the language, particularly due to trade and cultural exchanges along the East African coast in the 8th to 19th centuries.

The use of "mahafali" in Kiswahili aligns with the cultural importance of educational milestones and the ceremonies associated with them. It signifies the completion of academic requirements and a communal celebration of achievement and progress.

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