Atwoli denies attempt to copyright 'Alaaa' phrase, says Kenyans free to use it

Atwoli denies attempt to copyright 'Alaaa' phrase, says Kenyans free to use it

PHOTO/Citizen

  • Atwoli said the idea to patent the expression was initially proposed to him by his lawyers.
  • He says Kenyans are free to use the phrase.

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has dismissed reports claiming he intends to copyright the now popular phrase ‘Alaa’ that he came up with at the spur-of-the-moment during an interview on Citizen TV months ago.

Speaking on Citizen TV’s JKLive show, Atwoli said the idea to patent the expression was initially proposed to him by his lawyers simply because of its originality and uniqueness.

“Those were my lawyers talking. Everything that is creative and original has a trademark. They thought it was a good idea because it was imaginative and unique to me. You prompted me to come up with the phrase so my lawyers thought that I should copyright it because of its originality and also because many Kenyans took a liking to it and started using it occasionally,” Atwoli said.

When the show host Jeff Koinange asked the COTU boss if Kenyans are free to use the phrase, Atwoli was quick to agree saying that most people enjoyed using the phrase and even some people call him ‘Alaa’.

"My Lawyers were happy about it just as everyone was happy about it. Recently I was in Mombasa at a nyama choma place and everybody was coming to me like, Alaaa, Alaa,…I would want to have a photograph with Alaa,” Atwoli added.

Atwoli came up with the phrase during a past interview on the same show as the heated discussion on political succession was on its peak.

I have told you  I don’t know who will be the president, including Raila, but i know who will not be the president, Alaa, Alaa…” Atwoli told Jeff on May 5th 2021 in his usual humour as the two guffawed.