Kikoi and Kiondo; No longer Kenyan!!!

Patents have been in the news recently as Amazon.com and other Internet companies have used patents to obtain monopoly rights in certain inventions. Although many object to anyone having a monopoly on an idea or invention, such monopoly rights have always been a fundamental part of the patent system.

Last year saw the Far East Countries take up patents for the Kiondo invention. In today’s Nation, a British firm is seeking to trademark the name Kikoy.

At this point in time, my anger is boiling over. If you have been following my previous posts, I spoke of an art rage over the looting of African Artefacts by the Brits. It seems these guys just don’t know when to stop.

Do a search on google or dogpile for kikoi and Kiondo. Tell me if the two craft items were invented by the chinese or the Britons!! Not only is it Ridiculous, one would be forgiven to think that its a sick joke, coz seriously thats what it is. Unfortunately, the joke is on us Kenyans and our artists and craftsmen.

The Kikuyus and Kambas who invented the Kiondo, the craftsmen who popularised the Kikoy cannot comprehend what effects a trademark or a patent on these items will have on their lives.

And what is the Government doing about it? There is the so called KIPI(if you ask me, they are just jokers)they always cry over spilt milk as no campaign was launched to contest the patenting of Kiondo.

I was watching Blood Diamond the other day and I quote Leonardo DeCaprioTIA(This is Africa), God left this place a long time ago”

Kikoy’s chief executive, Kim McKenzie, said that Kipi was “off the mark”. “I wanted to create a brand, a word that is not in any dictionary. The reason I registered the trademark is to stop people copying me to the extent that they do. It will not stop one shilling of exports.”

Soon, you will not be able to use such words as Akala, Kitenge, barkcloth, Lesso,hang’i, Njora while selling the items abroad(yes that is the implication of trademarking and patenting the names)

Now, I might come out as being paranoid but I am seeing a constant exploitation and dis-dismemberment of the little that is left of our culture and it seems like I am the only one concerned by this. Or am I?

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Showcasing the best in Kenyan Arts;Music,writing,Poetry,fine art and art reviews as well as info on emerging art trends. “Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite…getting something down.”