Letter from Africa: How not to mangle African sports stars’ names

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The Liverpool player’s Senegalese name is rarely pronounced correctly

In our series of letters from African journalists, Sierra Leonean-Gambian writer Ade Daramy explains why he gets hot under the collar when seeing Africans doing well in sport.As I watched coverage of the World Athletics Championships in Qatar, like most Africans, it was a case of tutting: “Oh, no, not again…” when someone from the continent was victorious.This was not because I did not glory in their performance but because of how their name was mangled beyond recognition in the commentary and medal ceremonies. Many non-African commentators seem to have a particular thing against West African names, as these seem to be the ones that come in for the most savaging.

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Nafissatou Thiam, whose father is from Senegal, won silver in the women’s heptathlon in Doha earlier this month

Take multi-medal-winning athlete Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium as an example. She is still having her surname pronounced as “tee-am”.As her father is Senegalese, her name is pronounced “cham”, as in (appropriately) champion, whic

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