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Swahili activists battle Disney over Hakuna Matata phrase

The Walt Disney Company trademarked 'Hakuna Matata' when they made the Academy Award-winning 'Lion King' 24 years ago.

Picture: Twitter/waltdisneyco

PRETORIA – Hakuna Matata means ‘no worries’ in Swahili.

To the Walt Disney Company, it sounded like the ka-ching of cash registers. Which is why they trademarked it.

Angry Kenyans accuse the US entertainment giant of stealing their culture.

The Walt Disney Company trademarked 'Hakuna Matata' when they made the Academy Award-winning Lion King 24 years ago.

They have brought their legal rights out of the cupboard for the live-action remake of the story, based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, due out in six months.

Swahili activists say the Walt Disney Company has no rights to one of their most used phrases just because an animated warthog sang it in their movie.

Some beg to differ.

And the lawyers are expensively paid to do this.

After all, they trademarked tennis star John McEnroe’s angry outburst: You cannot be serious.