The boy, whose image in a hoodie bearing a message that has been widely criticized as being racially prejudiced could be of Kenyan origin, it has now emerged.
A woman, who goes by the name Terry Mango on social media and who identifies herself as Kenyan working in Sweden, is claiming to be the child’s mother.
The viral photo, which has has divided opinion on social media, shows the boy modelling a green hoodie with the message ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ for Swedish fashion label H&M.
And while the hoodie and its message has been roundly criticized by number of international celebrities, the woman has said she see nothing wrong with it.
In a series of posts on Instagram, the woman said:
“I am the mum and this is one of the hundreds of outfits my son has modelled. Stop crying wolf all the time unnecessary issue here. 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.”
Nairobi News could not independently verify her claims. We got in touch with her via Facebook but she had not responded by press time.
Her views are in sharp contrast to the opinion of several international celebrities who are accusing the clothing brand of using a black child to convey a racist message.
Musician, The Weekend, announced on Twitter that he has cancelled any kind of partnership with H&M, while rapper P Diddy expressed his displeasure with H&M and even offered the boy a modelling contract worth $1 million to work with his clothing line Sean John.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) January 8, 2018
H&M has already issued an apology saying they have taken down the image and the hoodie has also been removed from their product offering.