"The first and the last"
Translation:Ya kwanza na ya mwisho
This screams for a Bible quote.
Jesus says in Rev 1:17 "Usiogope! Mimi ni wa kwanza na wa mwisho"
(Don't be afraid, I am the first and the last.)
and in Rev. 22:13
Mimi ni Alfa na Omega, Mwanzo na Mwisho, wa kwanza na wa mwisho
(I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.)
interesting that in both cases 'wa' is used.
Let's add some random quotes from the net
'Wewe mke wangu wa kwanza na mwisho”
(You are my first and last wife.) Here of course the wa is because of mke - like the m/wa class
kutoka sura ya kwanza mpaka sura ya mwisho ya Katiba
(from the first chapter until the last chapter of the Constitution) - here again 'sura' (n class sg) needs the 'ya'
Je, Maana Halisi ya Majina yako ya kwanza na ya mwisho ni gani?
(What is the real meaning of your first and last names?) majina (Ji/Ma plural> ya)
kuanzia hatua ya kwanza hadi ya mwisho
(from the first step to the last) hatua n - class sg>ya)
Magazeti ya Tanzania leo March 29 2015, page ya kwanza na ya mwisho.
(Tanzania newspapers today March 29 2015, the first and last page.) page (n class sg>ya)
Some determiners are articles (the, a), but there are lots of other determiners (e.g. my, this, that, any, either).
Here's a good explanation for English: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/determiners-the-my-some-this
Because Swahili has no articles, it uses the associative "-a" as the determiner here, as I understand it.