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Source: Disney/Twitter

'The Lion King's "Hakuna Matata" Is Under Fire for Cultural Appropriation

By Pippa Raga

As of this moment, there are almost 59,000 signatures on a petition accusing Disney of cultural appropriation and "colonialism" for holding the trademark on probably the only Swahili phrase you know, "Hakuna matata."

The petition calls for Disney to drop its trademark ahead of the 2019 release of the live-action remake of the film, in which Beyoncé, Donald Glover, and Billy Eichner are set to star.

"Hakuna matata" literally translates to "no problem" or "no worries," which you all know from Timon and Pumbaa effectively adopting it as their catchphrase. 

According to the petition, "the word 'hakuna' means 'there is not here,' while 'matata' means 'problems'." In Africa, the phrase rose to popularity in 1982 when Kenyan music group Them Mushrooms used "hakuna matata" to make the expression something of a "a lifestyle – of fun, of leisure, of happiness,” The Guardian reports. 

Source: Disney