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Tennis star Osaka launches Hana Kuma media firm, KOT reacts

Sports loyalties Naomi Osaka and LeBron James have partnered to launch a new media firm, whose name has left Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) in stitches.

The media company is named Hana Kuma which is loosely translated in Kiswahili to mean one without a vagina. The 24-year-old has set up the firm in partnership with SpringHill, a fast-growing entertainment, marketing, and products company co-founded by the basketball star.

The Japanese tennis star said in a brief Zoom interview that her ambitions for Hana Kuma, which stands for “flower bear” in Japanese, include scripted and unscripted television series, documentaries, anime, and branded content, which is entertainment programming that has embedded or integrated advertising.

Hana Kuma is also working on unspecified documentary content for Epix, a premium cable channel now owned by Amazon.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka was last year ranked as the world’s highest-paid female athlete, having earned Sh6.7 billion ($57 million) in 2021, mostly from sponsorships.

Osaka has 12 sponsors, including Nike, Mastercard, Louis Vuitton and Panasonic.

Her longtime agent and business partner, Stuart Duguid, who is a co-founder of Hana Kuma, said some could be involved with Hana Kuma content.

The name of the company is the one that has raised eyebrows in Kenya and other Swahili-speaking countries.