Let's talk about the abuse of names as a political weapon

sowetanlive.co.za

- sowetanlive.co.za | a month ago

I added a more recent example, the insulting reference to ANC MP Tandi Mahambehlala by an EFF MP as "Mahambelahla".

I wondered aloud why some of us would find this acceptable given our colonial history and the fact that one of many ways in which our conquerors trampled on our dignity was to refuse to call us by our chosen names. Why would we think it is "fair political game" to change a Zulu to a "Zooloo" or a Mahambehlala to a "Mahambelahla" when we know that, in most of our cultures a surname is not just a reference to that individual but an acknowledgement of a clan they are from? I could have added other examples.

For instance this newspaper, an institution founded by great and humanist editors such as Aggrey Klaaste, had a satirical columnist who insisted on referring to then social development minister Bathabile Dlamini by an insulting and insensitive, given her medical condition, name of "Badakiwe".

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