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President Ruto owns the right to ‘Mambo ni Matatu’ viral phrase

By Sam Kiplagat October 11th, 2023 1 min read

President William Ruto has officially trademarked the phrase ‘Mambo ni Matatu,’ solidifying its status as a protected intellectual property.

The catchphrase, which made headlines in recent weeks, gained prominence when President Ruto employed it as a stern warning to “cartels” in the sugar sector.

It has since captured the imagination of the public and the business community, leading to its widespread use in merchandise, including T-shirts.

According to legal expert Adrian Kamotho, anyone wishing to utilize the phrase alongside the iconic three-finger gesture will now be required to seek permission from President Ruto.

Kenyans on Twitter create memes around ‘Mwalimu wa Math’ and ‘Mambo ni matatu’. PHOTO| COURTESY

“The translation of the Kiswahili words ‘Mambo ni Matatu’ is ‘Things are three’ in English,” explained Mr. Kamotho.

President Ruto recently reiterated the phrase during the Climate Summit held in Nairobi while addressing the challenges associated with securing significant resources, the necessity of specialized skills, and the importance of affordability in achieving equitable development.

Also read: Ruto’s ‘mambo ni matatu’ remark turns Kenyans into memelords and entrepreneurs

“As they say in Kenya, mambo ni matatu,” President Ruto stated.

“Number one, speed is essential, as accessing meaningful resources often takes an inordinate amount of time. Number two, it requires skill because we’ve all recognized the demand for substantial resources. And number three, affordability is paramount to ensure that we all contribute equally.”

With the trademark now in place, ‘Mambo ni Matatu’ is poised to remain a distinctive symbol of President Ruto’s stance on crucial issues, reinforcing its significance as part of Kenya’s public discourse.