An online advertisement made by Korean Air announcing the start of non-stop flights from Korea to Kenya sparked a flurry of angry Tweets and Facebook postings Monday over the description of Kenyans as indigenous people full of “primitive energy.
The advert reads in part: “Fly to Nairobi with Korean Air and enjoy the grand African savanna, the safari tour, and the indigenous people full of primitive energy.”
The words ‘primitive energy’ have apparently annoyed many Kenyans on the social media who have demanded an apology.
Muthui Kariuki, who is handling public relations for Korean Air in Kenya, said that the notice had been removed from the website and that the word “primitive” was a result of a mistake in translation from Korean to English.
“Regarding our recent promotional notice of Nairobi, we are checking on this issue accordingly. We sincerely apologise for this situation,” the airline posted on twitter on Thursday at 11:22 am.
“After ‘checking’, it will be appropriate to issue an apology to Kenyans on your website and mass media,” Kimunya Mugo told the airline on twitter.
The airline has already pulled down the offending advert.
Explaining the development on twitter, the airline said: “The recent feedback of our notice of Nairobi had been removed from our website, and we will resume the page after revision.”
“You’d better be thoroughly apologetic. We are not very pleased with our primitive energy,” said Nick Walubengo on twitter.
“Seems like they have realised that the people they thought were primitive aren’t afterall,” Nomkhoni Warui added.
Kenya is a regional hub where passengers can connect to flights to other countries in the region and in Africa.