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[edit] Word or phrase of Ugandan English

Kyeyo (noun, adjective)

[edit] Meaning or equivalent in standard English

In Bantu languages, literally means "broom". Used to refer to:

  1. Work, activities, or lifestyle of Ugandan economic immigrants to other, more developed countries.
  2. Part-time work; work on the side; work undertaken in addition to one's regular employment to supplement one's income.

[edit] Usage of the word or phrase

To "do kyeyo" or to "be on kyeyo" is to earn one's livelihood in a foreign, often more developed country or to do work on the side.

A person who does kyeyo is called "nkuba kyeyo" (literally "I sweep" or "I use the broom"). They may also be referred to as "kyeyo man" or "kyeyo woman".

As an adjective, kyeyo is used to describe the situation or circumstances of an economic immigrant or someone doing kyeyo. One may thus talk of "kyeyo lifestyle" or "kyeyo behaviour".

[edit] Origin of the word or phrase

Ugandans started immigrating to foreign countries, mostly the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, in the 1970s as a result of the unfavourable political and economic environment under President Idi Amin. Most of these immigrants worked as unskilled labourers in factories, restaurants and "sweeping the streets", hence the term "Kyeyo". Although used in a derogatory sense in the beginning, the term has increasingly gained neutrality and used to refer to Ugandan professionals working abroad as well. While some people may object to being described as "doing kyeyo", others don't mind it and describe themselves as such.

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