Nigerians have expressed outrage across various social media accounts after two Brits trademarked the word “Yoruba” for their business, thereby making it impossible for others to use it.
Timbuktu Global, an outerwear clothing retailer owned by two White-British people from the North of England, trademarked Yoruba, opposing anyone else from using it, not even Yoruba people.
Not only that, their name, Timbuktu is a city in Mali, Africa, yet they claimed on their website that Timbuktu is a “fictional location which literally means ‘the middle of nowhere’, a location that has intrigued mankind for centuries.”
Well, the discovery that this company has trademarked “Yoruba” was made by CultureTree TV when they tried to trademark their programme that teaches children Yoruba language, called “Yoruba Stars”. They discovered then that the word “Yoruba” is off-limits.
CultureTree TV went ahead to trademark “Yoruba Stars” for their programme but later received an email from the IPO that Timbuktu Global has opposed them from registering the name or have anything to do with Yoruba at all.
This is despite the fact that Timbuktu Global “does not offer any services, products or have anything to do with Yoruba at all.”
CultureTree took legal steps but Timbuktu Global stood its ground then later offered to sell the Yoruba trademark, an offer that was rejected.
After this information was shared, Nigerians joined CultureTree in accusing Timbuktu Global of “robbery” and “cultural appropriation”.
Nigerians have also trooped to the social media pages of TimbuktuGlobal to demand an explanation.
Below are tweets explaining the situation.