Aug 8, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Swahili smash for Naomi Osaka’s new venture

The name of Hana Kuma, the new venture of Japanese tennis ace Naomi Osaka, has caused a stir in Africa as the term has a suggestive meaning in Swahili.

The former world number one and four-time Grand -Slam player The winner announced this week that she will be launching a media platform in partnership with NBA star LeBron James.

Hana Kuma means “flower bear” in Japanese. But in Swahili it has a clearer meaning – that a woman has no vagina.

Use of the phrase has sparked an online brouhaha in Kenya Many users are claiming Osaka, whose father is Haiti-born and whose mother is Japanese to reconsider.

“If you keep the name #hanakuma, the name will override the news and stories you choose to share”, said one Twitter user.

“East Africans can’t even whisper that,” added e in another.

Osaka said the media platform launched with James’ SpringHill company aims to produce content that “focuses on stories that are culturally specific but universal.”

Swahili — a Bantu language — is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and is one of the 10 most spoken languages ​​in the world, with more than 200 million speakers.

Osaka, now ranked 43rd in the world, tweeted on A veiled response to the controversy on Wednesday, saying: “Prayers for all my overthinkers. We’ll get through it.”

Osaka’s tweet, while not specifically mentioning the Hana Kuma controversy, was accompanied by a thoughtful face emoji.

In 2021, the 24- became the highest-earning female athlete in the world, according to Forbes, with a fortune of $57 million.

On Saturday, she retired from Wimbledon for the second straight year, blaming an Achilles tendon injury.

< p>The UN cultural organization UNESCO has declared July 7, 2021 as World Swahili Language Day.