Bryant, 41, was travelling with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when their Sikorsky S-76 helicopter slammed into a rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. There were no survivors, AFP reports. A loss the world is grieving.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, an iconic figure who became one of the faces of his sport during a glittering two-decade career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant's death sent shockwaves throughout the world, with basketball stars stunned by the news. World leaders, players from diverse sports fields and celebrities mourned, sending out condolences on their social media platform.
In Tanzania, too, the 41-year-old's demise had Bongo stars, fans and businessmen mourning his loss by sharing Bryant’s inspiring quotes and stories.
Bongo-star and singer Vanessa Mdee was one of the first people to pay tribute to the legend. She shared a picture of Bryant, thanking him for his time and sending prayers to his family. She writes, “I grew up in the Kobe era. Where I come from Basketball wasn’t a huge part of our culture but KOBE BRYANT was.”
Mohammed Dewji, CEO of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) posted a picture of the 41-year-old five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist and an inspirational quote which read ‘Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise’. He tweets, “The world just lost one of the greatest athletes we’ve ever had the privilege to watch. Rest in power.”
Politician January Makamba also joined Mo Dewji in remembering Bryant. He shared a short film named Dear Basketball by Kobe Byrant on his tweet and writes “Appropriate time to re-watch Dear Basketball.”
Former International Model Tausi Likokola sent out her condolences to the families affected by the loss by posting a slow-mo video of her son playing basketball. She tweets, “My son played his last game of the season today shortly after learning of the saddening news of the passing of one of his favourite player #kobebryant.”
The son of former NBA player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, the Lakers legend was born in Philadelphia in 1978 while his father played for the 76ers. The elder Bryant played from 1984 to 1991 in Italy, giving young Kobe a global worldview as he grew up dreaming of following his dad into the NBA.