Zakumi turns 16 on Youth Day

Helen Zille arrested for trademark infringement

Zakumi, the strange green-maned cartoon leopard that has landed the dream job of mascot for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, turned 16 yesterday, according to his Wikipedia entry. However he is far from being a 'sweet sixteen' year-old if stories doing the rounds are to be believed.

A fan wishes Zakumi happy birthday ZAKUMI's name is derived from the international abbreviation for South Africa (ZA) and "KUMI" (meaning ten in many African languages), as a reference to the year 2010.

He was born in 1994 on June 16th - a day celebrated as Youth Day in his native country in recognition of the contribution to democracy made by the youth of Soweto in 1976.

The Rastafarian lion/leopard hybrid celebrated his birthday by watching his national side lose 3 - 0, to Uruguay. The team also lost its goalkeeper, to a dodgy decision.

Andries Odendaal, a designer who lives in Cape Town, is believed to be Zakumi's natural parent and creator, although it is understood that FIFA adopted him in September 2008. The global football monopoly now owns Zakumi's name, image, spots... in fact everything that makes his very being.

Zakumi was always destined to become the 2010 Soccer World Cup mascot, according to his officially appointed biographers S Francis and Rico. They have recorded his path from humble beginnings to stardom in a series of nationally published cartoon strips sponsored by a large credit card brand.

Since his adoption and subsequent rise to fame, Zakumi's image and all associated intellectual property have been strongly protected by his title holders, who also own international rights to the colour orange, the year 2010, mini skirts, soccer, Table Mountain, South Africa, and the sky. 

Unconfirmed reports have it that FIFA's Trademark Police arrested DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in the early hours of this morning, for sporting a hairstyle similar to that of the World Cup mascot.

Approached for comment, a FIFA spokesperson would only say that "Zakumi® is a registered trademark™ of FIFA® which in turn is owned by SEPP BLATTER® who is answerable to nobody", but warned Africartoons not to quote them on this "because all statements made by FIFA® spokespersons were copyrighted© and as such may not be used, or repeated".

Zakumi joins a menagerie of FIFA owned mascots (pictured below), many of whom have not been seen since the final game of their respective World Cups. FIFA has strongly denied rumours that they have been sold to organ harvestors. They have also rebuked any suggestion that Zakumi merchandising has been subject to a dodgy tendering process, and then outsourced to foreign sweatshops.

But the governing body warned  Africartoons not to publish these denials, because "all statements made by FIFA® spokespersons were copyrighted© and as such may not be used or repeated".

Zakumi's FIFA sanctoned motto is "Zakumi's game is Fair Play."

- Africartoons Reporter.

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Posted on Jun 17, 2010 by Africartoons Bookmark and Share