Taita language

Taita is a Bantu language spoken in the Taita Hills of Kenya. It is closely related to the Chaga languages of Kenya and Tanzania. The Saghala (Northern Sagala, Sagalla) variety is distinct enough to be considered a language separate from the Daw'ida and Kasigau dialects.[3]

Daw'ida and Saghala contain loanwords from two different South Cushitic languages, called Taita Cushitic, which are now extinct.[4] It is likely that the Cushitic speakers were assimilated fairly recently, since lateral obstruents in the loanwords were still pronounced as such within living memory. However, those consonants have now been replaced by Bantu sounds.[5]

The Taveta language was mistaken for Daw'ida by Jouni Maho in his (2009) classification of Bantu languages. However, it's a distinct language, lexically and grammatically closest to Chasu (Pare).

Native toKenya
EthnicityTaita people
Native speakers
(370,000 cited 1992 – 2009 census)[1]
  • Daw'ida
  • Sagala
  • Kasigau
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
dav – Taita
tga – Sagala


  1. ^ Taita at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
    Sagala at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Taita–Sagalla". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  4. ^ Gabriele Sommer, Matthias Brenzinger (ed.) (1992). Language Death: Factual and Theoretical Explorations with Special Reference - "A survey of language death in Africa". Walter de Gruyter. pp. 392–394. ISBN 3110870606.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst, Fritz Serzisko (ed.) (1988). Cushitic-Omotic: Papers from the International Symposium on Cushitic and Omotic Languages, Cologne, January 6-9, 1986. Buske Verlag. p. 99. ISBN 3871188905.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Maroon Commandos

Maroon Commandos is a musical group from Kenya. It is a military band belonging to 7th Kenya Rifles Battalion (Kenya Army Infantry) of the Kenya Army. They are based at the Langata Barracks in Langata, Nairobi. The group performs benga, rumba and other styles of music. They perform both original and cover versions. The band plays often at state functions.The group was formed in 1970 by bandleader Habel Kifoto and some other member. The next year they signed with Polydor Kenya and released the hit "Emily". In 1972 the band had a traffic accident, which left some of their members dead. After the accident the band was dormant for five years before releasing their album Riziki Haivutwi after 1977. They also released the song "Charonyi ni Wasi", whose lyrics were written in the Taita language. "Charonyi Ni Wasi" became Maroon Commandos' first major hit.The band had a 10-year recording break which ended with the release of Shika Kamba album in 2007, released by the Sound Africa label.The band has had several line-up changes since its formation. Former bandleader Habel Kifoto has retired from the military and is currently (as of 2009 )the chairman of Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). One of its former core members, David Kibe Left the band after he rose in the military ranks and had no more time for the band. Another former member was Laban Ochuka, who also played for another army band, the Ulinzi Orchestra. Ochuka died in May 2006.Diwani Nzaro was the band leader still in 2009. From late 90s he was part of the Malindi-based "Magazines"-band, that disbanded in 2002. He subsequently joined Kenyan Army and their band Maroon Commandos. He contributed for the two latest albums of the group, Shika Kamba and Kenya Unite. While still a band member, he released his debut solo album in 2009. On the album he performs traditional giriama songs. The group has also had female members, like singers Doris Chepchumba Tanui and Barbara Chepkoech Kiprotich (aka Waridi).The album Kenya Unite was written in the response of the 2007–2008 Kenyan post-election crisis. David Kombo is the current band leader, who joined the band in the late 80s and is the longest serving current band member (as of 2010). In the recent past the group has also had some members outside the military ranks.Habel Kifoto died on 31 July 2011 in Nairobi as he collapsed due to a suspected heart failure.


Taita may refer to:

Taita people, a Bantu ethnic group in Kenya

Taita language, a Bantu language

Taita, New Zealand, a suburb of Lower Hutt City

Taita Hills, a mountain range in Kenya

Taita Cushitic languages, an extinct pair of Afro-Asiatic languages spoken in the Taita Hills

Taita falcon, a small falcon found in central and eastern Africa

Taita Line, a railway line in Gifu prefecture, Japan

Taița, a tributary of Lake Babadag in Romania

Taița, a former village in Hamcearca Commune, Romania

Taita, another name for the leavened flatbread injera popular in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Taita, a fictional character from The Egyptian Series, beginning with the novel River God, by Wilbur Smith

Taita, another name for a yage shaman in Colombia.

Taita Cushitic languages

Taita Cushitic is an extinct pair of South Cushitic languages, spoken by Cushitic peoples inhabiting the Taita Hills of Kenya, before they were assimilated into the Bantu population. Evidence for the languages is primarily South Cushitic loanwords in the Bantu languages Dawida and Saghala (which are sometimes grouped together as the Taita language), as well as oral traditions of the Dawida and Saghala.

Official languages
Sign languages
Urban languages


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