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Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase that can be translated literally as "There are no worries." Its meaning is similar to the American English phrase "no problem" or Australian English phrase "no worries" and is akin to "don't worry, be happy". The phrase was made famous by the movie The Lion King.
In 1980, the music of Kenyan hotel band Them Mushrooms (now known as Uyoga) released the Swahili song "Jambo Bwana" ("Hello Mister"), which repeats the phrase "Hakuna matata" in its refrain. The song was written by band leader Teddy Kalanda Harrison.
A few years later, German group Boney M. released "Jambo - Hakuna Matata", an English-language song. Liz Mitchell provided the song's lead vocals, backed by Reggie Tsiboe, Frank Farian, Cathy Bartney, Madeleine Davis, and Judy Cheeks. The single was intended to be included in the group's untitled seventh album, to be released in the fall of 1983. Due to a poor chart performance (#48 in the German charts), the single ultimately was not included in the album (which was completely reworked and not released until May 1984 as Ten Thousand Light years).
Main article N-Dubz
N-Dubz originally performed under the name Lickle Rinsers Crew, however the group shared a mutual love of the 1994 Disney film The Lion King, they all identified with the Hakuna Matata philosophy, and would often sing the song during rehearsals and during warm-ups before shows.They planned to change the name of the group to Hakuna Mata, however decided against it after advice from their legal counsel . They then decided upon the name No Worries, however there was already an Indie band performing under that name on the Manchester circuit . The group performed one show under the name N.W an initialism of No Worries, until it was pointed out to them that confusion may be caused performing under that name due to the 90's rap troupe N.W.A.. Finally the crew settled on the name N-Dubz a syllabic shortening of the initialism N.W, with the W being shortened to Dub, and the addition of the z to highlight the plurality of the lack of worries.
In the mid-1980s, the saying appeared in the Swedish comic book Bamse by Rune Andréasson. Bamse the bear's baby daughter Brumma's first words are "Hakuna matata," which no one understands except the tortoise Skalman. He later made it his and Brumma's secret motto, and the phrase has reappeared several times in the cartoon, Skalman gave readers several clues as to what language the phrase came from but never said directly that it was Swahili.
In 1994 the Walt Disney Animation Studios animated movie The Lion King brought the phrase international recognition, featuring it prominently in the plot and devoting a song to it. A meerkat and a warthog, named Timon and Pumbaa respectively, teach the main character, a lion cub named Simba, that he should forget his troubled past and live in the present. The song was written by Elton John (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics), who found the term in a Swahili phrase book. It was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1995 Academy Awards, and was later ranked the 99th best song in movie history by the American Film Institute on a list of 100.