Hana Kuma: Naomi Osaka responds to viral feedback on name of her new media company
tennis star Naomi Osaka has finally broken her silence following the mixed
reactions elicited online by the name choice of her new media company.
Osaka on Tuesday announced her sojourn into the glitzy world of Hollywood with the birth of her media company, named ‘Hana Kuma.’
While ‘Hana Kuma’ means “flower bear” in her Japanese language, it has a completely different meaning to the Swahili speaking nations, among them Kenya, which have since called for a name change owing to what they perceive as its explicit nature.
The four-time Grand Slam champion has since taken to Twitter to respond to the massive reactions, saying: “prayers for all my overthinkers. We be going through it.”
prayers for all my overthinkers. We be going through it 😔
Hana Kuma, according to a statement, will produce stories that are "culturally specific but universal to all audiences."
LeBron James and Maverick Carter's The SpringHill Company will provide "essential production, development, and strategic resources" to Hana Kuma.
"There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform," Osaka said in the statement.
"In the streaming age, content has a more global perspective. You can see this in the popularity of television from Asia, Europe, and Latin America that the unique can also be universal.
"My story is a testament to that as well. I'm so excited for what we are building at Hana Kuma. We will bring stories to life with this goal in mind: to make unique perspectives feel universal and inspire people along the way."
The production company is the latest project between Osaka, 24, and her long-time agent Stuart Duguid. The pair also has a sports agency named Evolve, which signed Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios on Monday.
According to Forbes, Osaka became the world's highest-paid female athlete in history by earning about $37 million (approx. Ksh.4.3 billion) in 2020 thanks to a long list of sponsorship deals.
She will not be competing at Wimbledon this year because of an ongoing issue with her Achilles.
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