Definition of harambee in English:



  • (in East Africa) an event held to raise funds for a charitable purpose.

    as modifier ‘harambee functions’
    • ‘While in Kenya, American medical student Shetal Shah discovered how harambee merges medicine with caring and culture and inspires families to learn how to give injections and take food to the hospital patient twice a day.’
    • ‘The harambee movement has since been politicized, weakening the partnership between the state and local communities.’
    • ‘Today, political leaders and other prominent people attend harambee functions and donate large sums of money.’
    • ‘Moi gradually turned harambee efforts into overt political events.’
    • ‘But the ngoma is equally used for popular uprisings and harambees - events where a wide group of people ‘pull together’ to benefit the community.’


Swahili, literally ‘pulling or working together’ (a slogan of the first independent government of Kenya).