Why Kenyans Give Businesses Funny Names

  • File image of businesses in Mumias, Kakamega County
    File image of businesses in Mumias, Kakamega County
    Daily Nation
  • Kenyans are often caught off-guard by hilarious business names.

    Sometimes, it is these names that attract loyal customers.

    So what's in a name? A lot, it turns out. Brand experts agree that the right name has helped the growth of several businesses.

    In Kenya, the funniest business names are often catchy phrases, questions and name combinations.

    It is also common to see trending events or well known-personalities inspire unusual names.

    An aerial photo of Nairobi
    An aerial photo of Nairobi
    Eddy Mwanza

    When picking a name, many small business owners in Kenya also consider the location and surrounding landmarks sometimes resulting in funny names.

    Kenyans online on Monday, August 31 revealed some of the funniest names they have seen on stores and businesses across the country.

    The stories behind the names are, in many cases, funnier than the names themselves.

    An urban legend goes that one rally driver's last-born often reacted to seeing their father race with the phrase "Gari ya daddy ndio hio! (There is daddy's car)"

    When the driver started an auto repair business in Nairobi, he named it Ndio Hiyo Auto Garage.

    Many drivers who frequent the location are often taken aback by it's unique name.

    One popular bar goes by 'Oh Yes!' while another pub in Pumwani, Nairobi is known as 'Even if'.

    Along with bars, butcheries are also known for funny names, with one known as 'Baby Pewa' while another goes by the name 'Loss Nyingi'.

    Hotels and restaurants have found themselves trending several times for being named after personalities including former US President Barrack Obama and fiery deported lawyer Miguna Miguna.

    It is also common to see small hotels adopt the names of well-known five-star establishments, creating a sometimes funny contrast.

    In Kenya, even the names of companies implicated in corruption scandals have become the subject of discourse, with several considered distasteful.

    City lawyer Donald Kipkorir on Monday, August 31 questioned whether the Registrar of Companies was enforcing rules on inappropriate names.

    Dennis Rioba, who runs a Nairobi-based advertising agency, told Kenyans.co.ke that while the value of products and services was supreme, company names were also important.

    "At the end of the day customers will remember the quality of the product or service offered more than anything else.

    "But there are several studies linking catchy and unique names to business success," he stated.

    Rioba advised prospective business owners to focus on simplicity and creativity when picking names.

    "Ask yourself is it a name customers will remember, and display it prominently," he stated.

    An aerial view of Mombasa Town
    An aerial view of Mombasa Town