In Johnson's Standard Swahili-English dictionary (1939) the meaning of the verb-Shika is described as follows:
hold fast, take hold of, keep hold on, seize, grasp, keep. A common word with a wide range of application, e.g. (1) get hold on, press hard on, be on the mind, put in difficulties; (2) keep a hold on, persevere in; (3) hold to, keep to, observe, remember, attend to, obey; (4) determine, resolve, make up the mind to; (5) also as Intrans. have a hold, prevail, be urgent.