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Kenyan boy caught in online storm over “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle Monkey” label

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

A Kenyan woman who goes by the name of Terry Mango has claimed that she is the  mother of a black boy at the centre of a racism storm involving Swedish-headquartered  multinational clothing retail company, H&M, which has branches all over the world, including the United States.

In a photo which has gone viral, the boy, who is modelling for American fashion powerhouse, wears a green hoodie with the message “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

The image has been condemned across the board, with some calling it “blatant insult to the black race.”

What is even more disturbing is that two white boys pictured with the black boy do not have any derogatory label on their clothing.

On Wednesday, H&M sent out an email to all its customers apologising over the racial slur.

However, the mother shocked internet users when, in a series of social media posts, said categorically that there was nothing wrong with the message on “My son’s hoodie.”

The woman says she is a Kenyan who works in Sweden.

“I am the mum and this is one of the hundreds of outfits my son has modelled. Stop crying wolf all the time … Get over it. If I bought the jumper and put it on him and posted it on my pages would that make me racist? I get people’s opinions but they are not mine,” wrote Ms Mango.

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APOLOGY

In its apology, H&M said it had taken down the image. It further stated the hoodie has also been removed from its product offering.

“We would like to put on record our position in relation to the controversial image of our hoodie. Our position is simple, we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry,” read part of the statement.

The social media went wild over the use of the black boy in the ad. Many posted messages accusing the clothing brand of racism for using a black child to convey the message written on the hoodie.

Many artistes took to Twitter to protest saying they had cancelled any kind of partnership with H&M.

Celebrated NBA player Lebron James wrote: “[H&M] u got us all wrong! And we ain’t going for it! Straight up! Enough about y’all and more of what I see when I look at this photo.”

EMBARRASSED

“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…” tweeted one musician.

There were also reports that American rapper, P Diddy, has offered the boy a modelling contract worth Sh103 million ($1 million) to work with his clothing line, Sean John.

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Elsewhere, Manchester United player Romelu Lukaku also posted an altered version of the advertisement with “black is beautiful” inscribed on the hoodie.

Lukaku wrote: “You’re a prince, soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different #blackexcellence.”

Below is the full apology from H&M:

H&M STORE.

H&M ISSUES UNEQUIVOCAL APOLOGY FOR POORLY JUDGED PRODUCT AND IMAGE

To all customers, staff, media, stakeholders, partners, suppliers, friends and critics. We would like to put on record our position in relation to the image and promotion of a children’s sweater, and the ensuing response and criticism. Our position is simple and unequivocal – we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.

9 JAN, 2018

H &M is fully committed to playing its part in addressing society’s issues and problems, whether it’s diversity, working conditions or environmental protection – and many others. Our standards are high and we feel that we have made real progress over the years in playing our part in promoting diversity and inclusion. But we clearly haven’t come far enough.

We agree with all the criticism that this has generated – we have got this wrong and we agree that, even if unintentional, passive or casual racism needs to be eradicated wherever it exists. We appreciate the support of those who have seen that our product and promotion were not intended to cause offence but, as a global brand, we have a responsibility to be aware of and attuned to all racial and cultural sensitivities – and we have not lived up to this responsibility this time.

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This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn’t mean we don’t take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused.

We have taken down the image and we have removed the garment in question from sale. It will be recycled.

We will now be doing everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in future.

Racism and bias in any shape or form, conscious or unconscious, deliberate or accidental, are simply unacceptable and need to be eradicated from society. In this instance we have not been sensitive enough to this agenda.

Please accept our humble apologies.

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Peter Mbugua ties knot again, 8 years after Wambui’s death

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When wedding photos of Peter Mbugua looking dashing in a brown suit emerged, he made headlines, not for the glamour, but because the 25-year-old had married a 67-year-old widow. The widow happened to be Ms Virginia Wambui Otieno. The marriage was criticised by many, but also defended by others.

Then just 25 years old and naive, Mr Mbugua had defied the norm in African culture and married a woman 42 years his senior in a civil wedding. They later had a church wedding in 2011. The controversial freedom fighter died on August 30, 2011. and was buried at the family farm in Upper Matasia in Ngong, marking the end of the marriage.

But yesterday, Mr Mbugua was celebrated as he walked a young woman down the aisle in a colourful church wedding. He tied the knot for the second time at Archbishop Harrison Ng’ang’a’s Christian Foundation Fellowship Church (CFF) in a mass wedding.

And yesterday, unlike his wedding in 2003, Mr Mbugua, now 45, was this time in church to solemnise his marriage to the mother of his three children, who is 10 years his junior.

Wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt, a floral tie and a pair of black shoes, he walked majestically into the church, at 9am, hand in hand with his spouse, Ms Anne Wangari Njuguna, who was dressed in a cream wedding dress.

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They walked, their faces beaming as they kept glancing at each other.

Standing at slightly over five feet tall and having added some weight, the shy man has adopted a new attitude to life.

Mr Mbugua and Ms Njuguna were among the 40 couples who took their marriage vows in a mass wedding organised by CFF church.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation, Mr Mbugua intimated that his first marriage was marred with controversy, especially after his wife died. Although the marriage had its ups and down, he says, their age difference did not bother him.

Mr Mbugua said before the dust had settled, he was embroiled in a property tussle with his stepdaughters.

He was kicked out of the Matasia home, and forced to move to Kitengela to make a fresh start. His life journey became bumpy and lonely.

“When my wife, Wambui, died, I felt as if a part of me had gone with her. Little did I know that the battle had just begun. I was being fought from all directions by my stepdaughters, so I had to maintain a low profile, away from the Matasia home, for

the situation to cool down.

‘‘But our marriage certificate protected me and shielded me from being disinherited. That was one phase of my life and I have never regretted,” said Mr Mbugua. He said he has never visited his late wife’s graves and has moved on.

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Although his life was bumpy and lonely after his first wife died, Mbugua has found love, and has two sons and a daughter with Ms Njuguna. Mr Mbugua, who now operates a glass merchant shop in Isinya town, has since shed off his youthful look.

“The law allows me to remarry after the death of my spouse. The first marriage certificate is not longer binding,” he said at the CFF church, occasionally looking at his wife.

Sometimes he appeared in deep thought, his eyes misting over with tears as if he was reflecting on some painful memories. Bishop Ng’ang’a, in his witty style of preaching, did not disappoint, urging the newly-weds to show tolerance for each other and to respect the tenets of marriage.

“Marriage must be respected as stipulated in the Bible. A man is allowed to have only one wife and can remarry only if he is a widower. All couples who have renewed their vows today must be transparent and respect each other,” he said after the couples took their marriage vows.

Mr Mbugua revealed that, since he remarried, he had been toying around with the idea of solemnising his marriage so when the church floated the idea of a mass wedding, he seized the opportunity.

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‘’Life has taught me how I can secure my family in case of any eventuality. The young generation fears weddings, not knowing the danger they are courting.

‘‘It is God’s idea that a man and his wife should solemnise their marriage. My wife and relatives have been supportive, aware that the past has nothing to do with the future,” he said.

His wife said she has no problem with his first marriage and declared undying love for him, describing their love as “unimaginable’’.

Speaking to the Nation, some of Mr Mbugua’s relatives who attended the wedding said they were happy their son had married a young woman who had borne him children.They hold no grudges and want the past forgotten.

That the couple was happy was evident as they walked from the church to join a waiting small convoy headed for Kitengela.

After the church service, visitors and relatives were treated to a grand reception at the family’s Milimani home in Kitengela.

His late wife’s relatives did not attend the wedding.

source:nation.co.ke

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How Kenyan celebrities marked Easter in 2019

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As much as many people in Kenya go to church during the long Easter holiday, quite a number don’t.

A good percentage of Kenyans use this opportunity to unwind, meet up with friends and family or go for trips they have been longing for.

Kenyan celebrities are no different. Some went to church others took trips within and outside the country while others went on with their businesses as usual.

Here is how some of your favourite celebrities celebrated Easter.

King kaka

The C.E.O of Kaka Empire spent his Easter holiday in Dubai with a fan who won herself a trip after attending the rapper’s Eastlando Royalty Album launch last year.

King Kaka posted a video of Susan, the winner of the trip on his Instagram page letting his fans know that their dreams are valid.

“I keep my promises, last year while launching my 5th album Eastlando Royalty I promised to take one lucky fan to Dubai. @_susan_ndungu bought a regular ticket and won. Thanks to @trippygotours who were the official tour partners for the Album Launch. Dreams to reality. For your information, ilikuwa mara yake ya kwanza kufika airport@, kaka wrote.

King Kaka (Photo: Courtesy9

Larry Madowo

BBC Africa Business Editor, Larry Madowo enjoyed his Easter holiday with his extended family in France.

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The Kenyan journalist attended a church service where two of his nephews were baptised and dedicated.

“My grandma just saw 2 more of her great grandkids get baptised and everything is perfect! May we all live this long. Happy Easter!” he posted on his Instagram

Larry Madowo and family

Victoria Kimani

The singer went on Safari for Easter. Victoria who was all dressed up in an animal print two-piece posted pictures of her refreshing trip to the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. She shared videos of the breathtaking view of animals mingling on her Instagram.

Victoria Kimani

H_art the band

Kenyan music group H­_art the band celebrated Easter at the coast.

The band took advantage of the extremely hot weather and took a road trip down to Sarova White Sands Beach Resort & Spa with friends including popular Lucy singer, Ben Soul.

The band took advantage of the extremely hot weather (Photo: Courtesy)

source:standardmedia

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How drunk woman paid staggering Sh36,000 on Uber

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A drunk graduate had to cough up a staggering Sh36000 after forgetting to change her home address on Uber – and ordering a cab more than 300 miles in the wrong direction.

Helen Dryden, 25, enjoyed a boozy day out in Shoreditch, east London, with friends and ordered a cab to take her home afterwards.

She had hoped it would take her to Guildford, Surrey, but she forgot her Uber home setting was set to her previous address in Newcastle, 303 miles northeast.

And the bungling Newcastle University graduate fell asleep in the back of the cab and when she woke up an hour later she was 60 miles north – near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

The driver did a U-turn and eventually took Helen to Guildford, a journey which cost the woman Sh36,000.

“I couldn’t believe it. The whole day ended up costing me about Sh52,000,” she said.

“I feel so embarrassed. I was a bit too drunk and just fell asleep. I was devastated when I woke up. I feel really stupid and completely ridiculous.”I got too drunk. I’m supposed to be getting more responsible as I get older but it’s not happening so far.”

Helen had been drinking with two friends in Shoreditch and missed her last train home.Her only option – other than shelling out more than Sh13,000 for a hotel room – was to order an Uber for the 30-mile trip to Guildford for Sh10,000.She added:

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“I fell asleep as soon as I got in the taxi. I woke up at Milton Keynes and I couldn’t believe it.”I thought I said I wanted to go to Guildford when I got in. But I can’t remember what his reply was.”He woke me up and said ‘are you sure you want to go to Newcastle?'”I said ‘what, no! Why would I want to go to Newcastle?’

I ended up getting home at about 4am.

“I take responsibility for it because I got too drunk. It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this. I’m devastated by it. It’s too much money to comprehend.”To add insult to injury, Helen says she still hasn’t paid the bill because the card she paid on has insufficient funds.

The payment will be processed on pay day at the end of the month.Incredibly, Helen went out again on Saturday night and ordered an Uber home.

This time Helen made sure she asked to be taken home.An Uber spokeswoman said: “We are currently looking into this issue.”

source:the mirror

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