A language of Kenya

Alternate Names
Agiryama, Giriama, Giryama, Kigiriama, Kinyika, Nika, Nyika

944,000 (2009 census), increasing. 752,000 Giryama; 25,400 Kambe; 98,700 Rabai; 14,500 Ribe; 52,900 Kauma.


Kilifi and Kwale counties: north of Mombasa; Tana River county.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Chwaka, Kambe, Kauma (Chikauma), Rabai, Ribe (Rihe). Dialect speakers may understand Chichonyi-Chidzihana-Chikauma [coh]. Lexical similarity: 72% with Chidigo [dig], 63% with Mrima [swh], 62% with Mvita [swh], 61% with Amu [swh], 59% with Kipfokomo [pkb] and Bajun [swh].

Language Use

Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. School children learn English [eng]. Also use Chichonyi-Chidzihana-Chikauma [coh], Kipfokomo [pkb], Swahili [swh]. Used as L2 by Chichonyi-Chidzihana-Chikauma [coh], Kipfokomo [pkb], Waata [ssn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 15%–25%. Poetry. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Bible: 1901.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Giryama is the people name and largest group of the Mijikenda community, which is formed by 9 ethnic groups. Strong traditional social system. Traditional religion, Christian.