Trademarking “Yoruba”? Shame on you, Timbuktu (the UK company)!

It’s been a while since I talked about news around the world, but I saw this video which ticked me off so much that I just have to talk bout it.

There’s a British company called Timbuktu who had the temerity to trademark the word “Yoruba”. For those who don’t know any thing about that word, it refers to an actual African ethnic group and language associated with Nigeria, Benin, and Togo although Nigeria has a huge Yoruba population. Some famous people of that ethnicity involve actor John Boyega, basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon, and rapper Wale to name a few. The Nigerian community got infuriated by this trademark controversy and rightfully so. They were raising awareness to this issue. Also, am I the only one who noticed that this company is named after the famous Malian city?

This is just blatant cultural appropriation and I hope Timbuktu gets enough pressure to drop the trademark. I never bought anything from them and I hope there’s a giant boycott against them for what they did. What’s up with these companies trademarking African things? You have this recent case, Louis Vuitton making “luxury” Maasai cloths, and (I will not stop repeating this example because this company deserves the smoke) Disney freaking trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata”! These corporations need to stop doing this and I hope people stop buying their things. Think about it, they trademarked the name of an ethnic group consisting of millions of people around the world and not just in Western Africa. How would people react if Timbuktu or any company trademarked the name(s) of another ethnic group such as Irish Travelers, Sicilians, or Ashkenazim? I’m sure there would be even more outrage if anyone dared to do so. Nobody should be turning ethnicities into intellectual property.

The fact that people tell me that cultural appropriation isn’t bad or doesn’t exist is just idiotic because they never had to deal with their heritage being slighted in the least.

6 thoughts on “Trademarking “Yoruba”? Shame on you, Timbuktu (the UK company)!

  1. Unbelievable! I’ll give you another example of cultural appropriation. I recently went to a restaurant name Jamaican Jeffs. It was white-owned by a former military guy who spent a couple of years in Jamaica. The only thing I saw Jamaican on the menu was jerk chicken. The owner bragged that it was his secret recipe, and it was the best. I was passing through so about a week later, I had dinner there, and was excited to eat jerk chicken. It was horrible, and it wasn’t jerked. I didn’t eat it. Considering how he bragged about the jerk chicken, I thought he would want my feedback. Not at all. I was probably the only Jamaican to visit his restaurant. It bothered me that the restaurant’s name had Jamaica in it, and it didn’t serve Jamaican food, not even a patty.

    Now they can trademark our culture and call it theirs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It truly is unbelievable.

      Wow, that’s so disrespectful with that restaurant. You certainly had a right to be livid at Jamaican Jeffs. It would be one thing if the restaurant was owned by a Jamaican or at the very least someone of Jamaican descent while doing their best to have delicious and accurate food, but that’s just mind-numbing with the severe lack of Jamaican food and being terrible as you say. It must have been super frustrating, but I’m not surprised something like that would happen in America.

      Cultural appropriation is something that needs to be discussed and to make sure it doesn’t happen.

      On a more positive note, what are some good examples of Jamaican cuisine? I’m not to familiar with the food from that country or the Caribbean at large besides plantain chips.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The name is actually Jamaica Jeffs. Oxtail, curry goat and rice, Escovitch fish, rice and peas, stew peas and rice, ackee and salt fish to name a few. Lots of different soups, porridges, fruits, vegetables…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay. Thanks for clarifying. I had to look up what ackee was and it looks delicious. I also found out that the name of it came from the Akan language (native to Ghana) “Akye fufo” and it was brought over to the Caribbean. It would be fun to try some of that food and try to make some of those dishes as I’ve been doing my best to step my culinary game up.


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