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.
I saw "Hana Kuma" trending at night and thought it's another protest by Kenyan women. Kumbe it's a company 🤣
— Lisomo (@Real_Lisomo) June 21, 2022
Imagine working at Osaka's company as a reporter and always ending your story with "Njung'e Kang'ethe, Hana Kuma, Nairobi" 😂
— G (@RealGich) June 21, 2022
I’m so happy for the moves Naomi is making while she recovers from the achilles injury but the name of her new media business will get Swahili speakers choking on food or drink
Hana Kuma has a whole other spicy meaning in Swahili 😅. Jesu Cristo. Let KoT not catch this 😂 https://t.co/6fLlRPX2ya
— Victoria Uwonkunda (@Msuwonkunda) June 21, 2022
I want to thank you on behalf of my countrymen, this thing has seen downfall of many men here and with the introduction of Hana kuma version is a mile stone in this struggle. Sasa imebaki pombe na a nyama iondolewe wanaume we thrive. Thank you again Naomi.
— kimani nyutu (@samlecx) June 22, 2022
The awkward silence that would follow when your parents tell you to switch tv channel to Hana Kuma awatch kitu.
— Bedan (@IamBedan) June 22, 2022