Mambacita meaning explained: Vanessa Bryant launches clothing line in Gigi's honour

Eve Edwards May 2, 2021
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

We explore the meaning of “Mambacita” as Vanessa Bryant announces the launch of her new clothing line.

In February 2020, after the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna, Bryant’s Mamba Sports Foundation changed its name to ‘Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation’. The organisers wrote in an Instagram post: “In commemoration of Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, Mamba Sports Foundation will now be known as the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. The Foundation exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy in youth sports and beyond.”

Kobe and Gianna passed away on 26 January 2020.

“Mambacita”: Meaning explored

Mambacita is a nickname for Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s late daughter, Gigi. It is derived from Kobe’s own nickname “Black Mamba.” This nickname was used throughout the second half of his NBA career.

In Spanish languages, adding the suffix -ita to a word emphasises its smallness or to show affection. This is added to mamba to show that Gigi was a little Kobe. She, like her father, loved basketball and the two were often spotted sitting court side or playing together.

According to People Magazine, Bryant filed to trademark “Mambacita,” and had plans to use the nickname on athletic clothing. His wife Vanessa has carried out Kobe Bryant’s wishes.

Vanessa Bryant announces Mambacita clothing line

On 30 April 2021, Vanessa Bryant shared a series of images to Instagram, modelling the new Mambacita clothing line.

In an Instagram caption, Vanessa wrote: “In honor of my Gigi’s 15th Birthday”

She also added: “Happy birthday, Gigi! 100% of the proceeds go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation”

In a second Instagram snap, shared 1 May 2021, Vanessa can be seen modelling the new clothing line with her daughter Natalia Bryant. The clothing is available to purchase from 1 May.

Vanessa Bryant shared a further heartbreaking post on what would’ve been Gianna’s 15th birthday.

She wrote to her Instagram followers: “When I thought about how best to celebrate Gianna’s birthday with so many who loved her, I knew it had to be a combination of sharing her bright and fun personality with her sense of purpose and passion that would help make a difference in this world. […] what Gigi would love most about the Collection is that 100% of the proceeds will support the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports. Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports, and it’s fitting that this capsule represents her values.”

Vanessa concluded: “Please know our family deeply appreciates the way the world continues to celebrate our sweet girl, and we look forward to paying it forward to future Lil MAMBACITAS and Lady Mambas through the work of our Foundation.”

Eve spends her days writing about everything culture-related. From celebrity news to music, film and television, Eve covers all bases. When she’s not writing you can find her making music or mastering the art of homemade pasta.