July 20, 2018

Boy at centre of racism with Swedish modeling firm has roots in Kenya

A photo of the young black boy with a hoodie that has alleged racist inscription. [internet]

A black boy roped into a racism storm involving a Swedish multinational clothing retail company, H&M, has his roots traced to Kenya.

According to Daily Nation, the mother of the young boy modeling for the firm is a Kenyan by the name Terry Mango.

Photos of the young boy have been doing rounds in social media. He is seen donned in a green hoodie with the inscription “coolest monkey in the jungle”.

This has caused uproar among social media users citing racism in the inscriptions in the hoodie the young black boy has worn.

However, his mother, who has identified herself as a Kenyan who works in Sweden, sees nothing wrong with the inscriptions.

She has vehemently defended H&M in a series of posts against allegations of racism.

“I am the mum and this is one of the hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. 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,” she wrote in one of the posts.

When contacted on the matter by the Nation, she did not respond.

The American fashion powerhouse has since issued an apology. It has taken down the image of the young black boy in the hoodie.

“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 a statement issued by H&M.

The firm found itself at odds with sections of the public who took to social media to hit out at it for using the young black boy to convey racism remarks.

Musician, The Weekend condemned the firm and went ahead to cancel a contract he had with the modeling firm.

“Woke up this morning shocked and embarrassed by this photo. I’m deeply offended and will not be working with @hm anymore…,” he said in a tweet.

Manchester United’s Romelo Lukaku in condemnation of H&M altered the inscriptions on the green hoodie worn by the young black boy. His read: “black is beautiful”.

He later captioned the image, “You’re prince, soon to be a king. Don’t let anybody tell you different #blackexcellence.”

NBA player Lebron James similarly, captioned the same image: “[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.”

American rapper P Diddy, cite media reports, has offered the young black boy a modeling contract worth Sh103 million ($1 million) to work with his clothing line Sean John.

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