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40 Inspiring Hakuna Matata Symbol Tattoos & Its Meaning – A Life Without Worries

Hakuna Matata symbol tattoo has a global appeal, and you can find it on the bodies of people from different societies and culture. It is one of the few symbols that most people will have it inked on their body even without knowing its meaning just because it looks cute.

However, it is also very easy to ink, and so any artist can create it, and this is another thing that makes it very attractive. This tattoo has many variations, and new ones are always coming up but before getting one, it is a good idea to find out more about it by knowing its history and the three types available.

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History of Hakuna Matata

Few tattoos if at all any have a better or a more interesting history than the Hakuna Matata. The phrase has always been there, and native Swahili speakers in East Africa have been using it for generations.

However, the first notable mention of this famous phrase was in 1982 where it appears in the song “Jambo Bwana” by a Kenyan band that went by the name “Them Mushrooms’. This song was the brainchild of the band leader, John Katana.

Katana Uses this phrase as part of the chorus, and although this song is more than three decades old, it is still quite popular in East Africa where there has been several renditions and modern bands use it to welcome and entertain tourists in hotels.

The phrase also appears in a 1983 song that goes by the same name by a German group (Boney M). However, the song was just an English version of the Mushrooms’ song that came a year before.

But, it was not as popular as they had hoped and so it did not even make it into their album which was their original intention for the song. But, the popularity of this Swahili phrase increased significantly because the English version presented it to a new audience.

Even with the two songs featuring the words it did not become as popular as it is today. In fact, you would hardly hear anybody talk or write about it outside East Africa, but things changed tremendously when Walt Disney released “The Lion King” in 1994.

The popularity of this movie was immense with a viewership of millions across the globe. Featuring this Swahili phrase in the plot of the film prominently and dedicating a song to it meant that more and more people would naturally develop some interest.

In the Movie Timon and Pumba use the song to teach Simba the troubled lion cub that he should forget about his past worries and only focus on the present. The song for the movie is a composition by Tim Rice, who came up with the lyrics and Elton John, who Walt Disney Credits with the music.

The Hakuna Matata phrase also appears in some comic books from the 1980’s with the most famous one being the Bamse a Swedish comic by Andréasson Rune. In this comic, the phrase makes up the first words that the main character Bamse’s daughter, Brumma, the bear uttered.

There are many other mentions of this phrase in the post-Lion King era in books and comics with the latest one being in the recent TV show “The Lion Guard” by Ford Riley.

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Hakuna Matata Symbol

Just like almost everything else concerning this tattoo, the Hakuna Matata symbol comes from the “The Lion King” movie, and it is a pictorial representation of this favorite phrase.

However, what most people do not know is that the symbol does not come from Swahili because the language does not have any pictorial form of representing words or phrases. This famous symbol uses the Latin alphabet and some artistic creativity in its development.

However, everybody who sees it knows that it means Hakuna Matata.

This symbol provides an excellent alternative for conservative people who would not like to have the actual phrase on their body or the Simba drawing that also have the same meaning.

It is also very easy to draw it compared to the other two ways of representing this phrase and so it is also ideal for any person who cannot withstand a lot of pain when tattooing their body.

Most people will also have it as a small tattoo on the back part of the neck or in places such as the upper arm or lower back where they can easily hide it if they wish.

Placement of this symbol should not be a problem because its meaning and pattern make it ideal for having it in any place that you want. However, coming up with a design for your symbol might be the tricky part especially if you want it to look distinct.

You can have the simple version in the traditional black ink or come up with something more creative like having it in white ink or 3D.

It is also a good idea to combine it with other markings such as an inspiring quote or even stick with the “Hakuna Matata” phrase by drawing it above the symbol to ensure that everybody that sees it can tell what your tattoo means.

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Hakuna Matata Phrase

“Hakuna Matata” is a traditional Swahili phrase that means “no problems” or no worries and it is popular in the Island of Zanzibar and Kenya.


However, contrary to what most people may expect it is not very common in Tanzania which happens to be home to one of the highest Swahili speaking population. Tanzanians prefer to go with “hamna taabu’ or “hamna shida” to express the same sentiment.

This phrase has a global appeal, and it is one of the most popular tattoos especially with people who grew up in the 90’s when the “Lion King” came into the scene. The phrase was the first to get inked on people bodies among the three.

Most people prefer to have the words in Swahili, but the English translation is also quite popular.

It is also not uncommon for people to have it in their native language and the translation into Chinese is also becoming popular due to the fantastic pattern that the words form when you ink them using the Chinese calligraphy.

If you prefer going with the phrase, then the only thing that you have to do is to choose a suitable calligraphy and font. And for this, the options are limitless because there are different tattoo calligraphies that you can use to write the two words on your body.

However, it is also important to consider things such as the size and location of your totem. For example, if you want it to be your half sleeve you have to go with a font like Pentagon because it makes huge tattoos easy to read.

And if you want something unique you can go for the Crux font that replaces letters with symbols to make your phrase more interesting.

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Hakuna Matata Simba Drawing

A small lion cub drawing anywhere on your body is enough to tell anyone that you want to mean Hakuna Matata. This lion drawing is the image of Simba, who was the main character of “The Lion King” and any fan of this popular movie would love to have this amazing tattoo.

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You can have the straightforward sketch that most artists know how to draw almost effortlessly as it will not take much time and its simplicity also means that it is also not very painful.

If you want to keep up with the trend, you can always spice up your tattoos with some modern fonts and styles. For the Simba image, this can entail something like drawing it in a more realistic 3D design and using various colors to bring out the different physical attributes of a lion.

Nowadays it is also not uncommon for people to have Simba in the jungle or with other characters from the movie instead of just having the traditional sketch. Combining the drawing with the phrase is also popular, and if you want to do this, you can have it above or below the image.

However, the most common style entails having the word “Hakuna” above the lion and “Matata” below it.

Your Lion King Tattoo might be pretty with all the colors and patterns that define a beautiful tattoo, but if you do not place it in the right area, it will not look stunning. Although placement area will mostly depend on your personal preferences, some locations look good with certain types of tattoos.

And for the Simba drawing the upper arm, wrist, lower back and also the shoulders are the ideal places to have it. However, it also depends on your gender because ladies and men will prefer to have their Simba in different locations.

The іize of the totem might also affect where you place it, but the most important thing is to have it in the place that you feel most comfortable having it.

Life is too short not to be happy or to waste it worrying about things, and so you should live a worry free life. To ensure that you always live by this philosophy you should have the Hakuna Matata symbol, phrase, or the drawing of Simba.

You can also combine two of them or even have all three on different parts of the body. The good thing about these tattoos is that they are available in many variations, and you can even come up with your unique design that still maintains the same meaning.

And so anybody looking for a beautiful modern tattoo with a profound and inspiring meaning should try one of these Hakuna Matata tattoos.

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