A petition calling for Disney to release its trademark on the words “Hakuna Matata” has attracted more than 52,000 signatures from people calling it cultural appropriation of the Swahili language.
The phrase, which translates to “No problem” or “no worries,” was made popular by the 1994 film “The Lion King” and has since re-emerged due to the popular children’s musical. Although Disney applied for the trademark in 1994 and was approved in 2003, an activist from Zimbabwe is arguing that a culture’s language can and should not be patented. Shelton Mpala launched the Change.org petition calling for Disney to release the trademark it has on “Hakuna Matata” likening it to “colonialism” and “robbery.” The petition has garnered more than 52,000 signatures at last check, and continues to grow. See the petition HERE.