Desperate to passionately express Kanu's support for the opposition coalition Nasa during its launch a few week ago, Kanu’s Secretary General Nick Salat moaned, “Kanu iko ndani ndaaani ndaaaani ya Nasa”, leaving Kenyans tickled, especially by the dramatic antics he used to make that expression.
This, however, was a few weeks before he was forced to eat humble pie, when Kanu forced him to announce that the party was not part of the opposition and will thus support the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
This turn of events, however, did not stop the catchphrase, which loosely translates to ‘deep deep inside’, from going viral, with almost everyone now using it in their own ways and contexts.
“Tuko ndani ndaaani ndaaaani,” is arguably the most popular catchphrase in Kenya at the moment, not because it was well-thought out but just because of the passionate and hilarious way the originator first said it.
Different people now use the statement in different circumstances and situations, especially as a show of solidarity for this or that or when expressing support for a cause.
But unlike the way it has always been with Kenyans, where popular catchphrases are turned into mobile phone ringtones or printed on T-shirts or used for other commercial uses by marketers, DJs and musicians, the same may not apply to Nick Salat’s “tuko ndani ndaaani ndaaaaani” catchphrase.
Shocked and excited at how popular the witty statement has become, the politician now plans to patent it and make money from it.
Mr Salat made the revelation when asked by a TV host if he intends to copyright the popular statement and make cash out of it. “Definitely... I have lawyers working on it,” he said. “I don’t care how people use it, so long as it serves them in whatever context it is used,” he added.
Once granted exclusive rights as the originator or inventor of the catchword, the politician will demand a fee for anyone using it for commercial purposes or sue those who infringe upon that legal entitlement.
This, however, is not the first time a politician has tried to copyright a popular buzzword. In 2004, the current US president, Donald John Trump, then as a business man, unsuccessfully tried to patent, “You are fired!” catchphrase.
A popular, repeated utterance the tycoon had popularised when his TV show, “The Apprentice” became a hit with the American audiences. He often used the phrase when sending away eliminated contestants.
Unfortunate for him, his bid to have exclusive rights to use the words for commercial purposes like on clothes, shoes, on casino games among others were rejected by the US Patent and Trademark office.
The lawyers claimed it not only resembled an already existing slogan but would also be mistaken for the already trademarked Franklin Learning’s educational game board “You’re Hired.”
Trump was concerned that all over the US and in other parts of the globe, there was someone using the phrase, yet he, as the originator, was not getting any money or credit for it. “Every time you walk down the street people are screaming, ‘You’re fired!” he complained to press back then, before unsuccessfully attempting to copyright it.