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President Ruto trademarks 'mambo ni matatu' phrase

You will now have to ask President Ruto for permission to use his "mambo ni matatu" phrase for commercial purposes

President William Ruto addressed the official opening of the Heads of State Session of the Africa Climate Summit held at KICC, Nairobi on September 5, 2023

President William Ruto has trademarked the popular phrase “mambo ni matatu”.

According to documents from the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the trademark application was filed by lawyer Adrian Kamotho.

KIPI is mandated to administer industrial property rights under the Industrial Property and Trade Marks Acts in Kenya.

This means, that anyone intending to use the phrase in its original form or alterations such as “Mambo ni 3” or “mambo ni mangapi” + three human fingers, must seek President Ruto’s permission.


This is a blow to Kenyans who had taken to the popular phrase and used it to sell merchandise.

President Ruto’s first reference to 'mambo ni matatu’ phrase was during a tour of the Western region, where the head of state warned corrupt people.

He also repeated the phrase during the Africa Climate Summit where he advocated for a fair global financing model that was not discriminatory against Africans.

Earlier in the year, Ruto’s deputy, Rigathi Gachagua secured a trademark for his Riggy G nickname.


DP Gachagua applied for a trademark for "Riggy G" with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI).

The application was accepted, and he was granted the trademark on May 7, 2023.

This means that he now has the exclusive right to use the nickname in connection with the goods and services specified in the trademark application.

Gachagua trademarked his nickname to protect his exclusive right to use it and prevent others from using it without his permission.


Trademarking his nickname also helps to build his personal brand and protect his reputation.



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