UK company Timbuktu wey trademark ‘Yoruba’ reactions plus wetin Intellectual Property Office tok about di mata

EU and UK flags

Wia dis foto come from, Reuters

Nigerians on Twitter don criticise one British clothing retailer for trademarking di word ‘Yoruba’.

Timbuktu Global, wey base for north-west England, file papers to trademark ‘Yoruba’ wit di UK Intellectual Property Office for 2015.

But dis only come to light wen on Sunday, Gbemisola Isimi, di owner of one cultural organisation for London, say di company bin challenge am afta she try to trademark di phrase ‘Yoruba Stars’.

Dat na di name of di programme she run to teach parents, children and toddlers di Yoruba language.

Wia dis foto come from, Twitter

Gbemisola tell BBC say “I tink say e dey strange to allow dat to happun. I explain to dem say Yoruba no be just word, na di pipo, di religion, one language of over 50 million pipo all over di world, not just for Nigeria,”

Ms Isimi say Timbuktu Global first oppose her to use di word before dem later propose make she buy di trademark from dem.

“I feel dis na di height of cultural appropriation,” she write on Twitter.

“I tell dem say I no tink Africans or di global media for dat matter go take kindly to a company with roots for north of England wey attempt to claim sole ownership of birth right wey belong to pipo of anoda continent.”

Pipo don retweet thousands of times and e don lead to di hashtag #YorubaIsNotForSale.

“How one language/heritage of one tribe for Nigeria go dey trademarked for England?”, one pesin write.

In response to Ms Isimi’ tweets, di UK Intellectual Property Office say dia decisions dey based on existing laws and dem tok say di public fit challenge di validity of any trademark.

E appear say Timbuktu Global don since close down dia Twitter and Instagram account and dem don shut down dia website.

Dem don also send mail to Ms Isimi to say dem don file application to surrender dia “Yoruba” trademark registration.

One representative of Timbuktu Global tell BBC say “dem don conclude di mata”.


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