It’s bad enough that most European commentators mangle African names it’s actually worse that even Africans follow these Europeans to mis-pronounce African names.
Let us start with Senegal international and Liverpool Forward, Sadio Mane. His first name is not pronounced “sah-dee-oh”, but “sah-jaw”. How many people knew that?
Bear with us because the list is long:
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, which she once was.
These same commentators who have no problem pronouncing Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta’s last name can trash the two-syllable surname of Mohamed Diamé, the former Senegalese international who now plays in Qatar.
Let’s take a look at the correct pronunciation of some African names:
1. Diamé – it is not pronounced “dee-ah-may”, but “jammeh” exactly as the surname of that former Gambian President Yahyah Jammeh
2. The first name of England’s Dele Alli is shortened from the Nigerian name “Bamidele” – and therefore does not rhyme with “telly, jelly
or smelly”, but with “waylay”
3. The surname of Stoke City’s Mame Biram Diouf, from Senegal, is not pronounced “dee-oof”, but “joof”, rhyming with roof
Badou Ndiaye is also with Stoke and from Senegal – and his last name does not sound like “in-de-eye” or “en-gee”, but “nj-eye”
4. For Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara, who is of Mauritanian descent – pronounce each syllable “ka-ma-ra”
5. The last name of Moussa Wagué of Senegal, who plays with Barcelona, does not rhyme with “vague”. It is pronounced “wah-geh” lastly,
6. Pape Bouba Diop to score the goal that defeated defending champions France in the first game of the 2002 World Cup. He was always referred to as “Papa Bouba Dee-op” – for the record, the first name is pronounced “pap”, which rhymes with trap, cap or slap, and the surname rhymes with “robe”.