Vanessa Bryant is sharing her new tattoo in memory of her late daughter Gianna. Bryant revealed to fans on Instagram that she got Gianna’s nickname, “Mambacita,” written in script across her forearm.
That nickname is a play on another famous moniker—Kobe Bryant’s famous Black Mamba nickname. Kobe and Gianna were both killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020 on their way to one of Gianna’s basketball games. Kobe was 41 years old at the time—Gianna just 13.
Vanessa Bryant has been very open about her grief since the tragic crash, frequently sharing photos and fan art of both Kobe and Gianna. Just ahead of the first anniversary of their deaths back in January, Bryant reflected on the difficult times she’s faced since then—and how her other daughters have helped her stay strong.
“Grief is a messed up cluster of emotions,” she wrote on Instagram. “One day you’re in the moment laughing and the next day you don’t feel like being alive. I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it’s hard. I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason.”
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For Bryant, that reason is daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri. The 18-year-old Natalia even joined her mom in the new tattoo session. An Instagram video posted by Vanessa showed Natalia getting a tattoo on one of her fingers that says “Muse”—reportedly a possible nod to a documentary released back in 2015 exploring dad Kobe’s life and career.
In addition to the new tattoos, the family is also keeping Kobe and Gianna’s memories alive with the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping young women athletes. Bryant recently told People that the spirit of her late husband and daughter is still a driving force in everything she does. “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” Bryant told the magazine. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day.” Though they may be gone, they’re still very much alive in the hearts of their loved ones.