It depends on the noun class, cha/la/wa/ya/za all mean 'of'. If you accidentally use the wrong one while learning, native speakers will understand you
Habari is a word for salutations. For example:
How are you?
Habari / Habari yako? (lit.: Your news?)
How are you today?
Habari ya leo?
How are you this morning?
Habari ya asubuhi?
How are you this afternoon?
Habari ya mchana?
How are you this evening?
Habari ya jioni?
From Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Swahili_phrasebook
From Arabic خَبَر (ḵabar).
From Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/habari
(and the same as Indonesian "kabar", news)
How are you?
literally "What news?"
From Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kabar
Since "habari" (news) is plural, it would be... And "ya" is the inflected form of -a (singular only).
In Wiktionary there are two different examples, so I think the two forms can be used:
habari ya asubuhi? (good morning)
habari za jioni? (good evening)
At least in Kenya it is! But you woul pronounce it more like "habari yasubuhi"
Interesting how it literally translates to "news of the morning," but can also mean "good morning."
What is the difference between "ya" and "za"? Both "Habari ya asubuhi" and "Habari za asubuhi" seem to carry the same meaning.
I think a better translation is: How is your morning? Because the answer is: good, fine, ... It's a question, not a statement. You wouldn't answer this with the same question back, like you would with "Good morning". And it's not "How is THE morning", it really should be "How is YOUR morning", because that is what it means.