So the theme for this year’s Late Late Toy Show has been revealed – it’s The Lion King.
Tune in to RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player at 9:35 PM TONIGHT to enjoy the show with music full of great songs from the classic film. One of the most famous tunes is Hakuna Matata!
But, did you know that the famous phrase is actually from the Swahili language ??
Here, Nam Kibacha, originally from Tanzania, tells us a little more about his mother tongue. She is the founder of Swahili Point and works with other groups to promote the language in Ireland.
Where does the expression Hakuna Matata come from?
The expression comes from East Africa, the Swahili-speaking countries of Tanzania and Kenya.
The word “Hakuna” means there is none.
“Matata” can mean trouble, trouble, or worry.
So put them together and you can say Hakuna Matata = no worries!
The phrase can be used on any occasion depending on the situation you find yourself in. It can be used to make yourself comfortable or to put someone else at ease or to show confidence or be positive. It helps you calm down any situation.
Where do we speak Swahili?
You will find the Swahili language and culture practiced on the coasts of Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and the islands of Zanzibar and Comoros. It is also found further afield in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi.
What is the culture related to the language?
Swahili is mainly a mixture of local Bantu languages and Arabic. This cultural mix is seen in the food, clothing and dance which are all influenced by Indian and Arab cultures as well as the Bantu.
Some of the foods that Swahili eat every day include fish, tropical fruits, coconut rice, ugali (a dish made from cornmeal), all mixed with exotic spices.
Do people use the expression Hakuna Matata a lot?
Yes we would use it and there are other more informal ways of saying it like “Hakuna Shida” and you would hear teenagers saying “Hamna noma” to each other on the street.
They all have the same meaning but the other versions are just more relaxed in Swahili.
If you want to learn more about Nam’s work in promoting Swahili, follow these pages on Facebook:
@TanzaniansInIreland and @Swahilipoint
And don’t forget to check out RTÉjr Radio’s Mothertongues if you want to learn more about the different languages spoken in Ireland.
You can read all the Mothertongues articles on RTÉ Learn HERE!
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