'Don't take liberties' - Mbhazima Shilowa on reclaiming and imposing names

What's in a name?

Names (of people and places) are significant and are loaded with meaning, history and identity.

In South Africa in particular, names are a contentious issue, considering the country's colonial past.

The mispronunciation or erasure of names has been a controversial talking point in some South African spaces, as illustrated by recent hashtags including #TheYearWeMispronounceBack and #OurNamesMatter.

Anti-apartheid veteran "Terror" Lekota opted to use his African name, Mosiuoa, and retired politician Sam Shilowa similarly became Mbhazima Shilowa.

Shilowa explains why he took the decision to refer to himself as Mbhazima instead of Sam.

Born Mbhazima Samuel Shilowa, the former premier says his name was not a "slave name", however, people made no effort to pronounce his indigenous name.

Also read: Ex-Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa on retirement and his next chapter

He says he prefers to reclaim his name as Mbhazima in order to reinforce a single identity.

It's one thing for people to call me Sam, I don't take any offence. But I, myself, should not participate in that process.

Mbhazima Shilowa, former Gauteng premier

It's also important that one doesn't take liberties.

Mbhazima Shilowa, former Gauteng premier

I take offence when I meet someone and call myself "Mbhazima Shilowa" and they say "Oh, Sam".

Mbhazima Shilowa, former Gauteng premier

He has warned people not to impose names on others, regardless of whether or not they understand the reason for someone to change their preferred name.

Take a listen to his explanation and other callers:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Preview into 'Khwezi...Say my name' - the play

Preview into 'Khwezi...Say my name' - the play

Poet and playwright Napo Masheane provides insight into her play based on Redi Thlabi's book.

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, answers this and other questions from listeners.

Ever wanted to know who funds political parties? Now you can

Ever wanted to know who funds political parties? Now you can

The Concourt rules that political parties should disclose their private funders and donors.

Koeksisters and Koesisters, what's the difference?

Koeksisters and Koesisters, what's the difference?

Food anthropologist, chef and author, Anna Trapido, explains the difference between two South African specialities.

You aren't legally entitled to an annual increase (and why your contract is key)

You aren't legally entitled to an annual increase (and why your contract is key)

Employment law litigator Joe Mothibi explains that an annual increase is not a given unless stated otherwise in the job contract.

Will making teaching an essential service prevent teachers from striking?

Will making teaching an essential service prevent teachers from striking?

Pundits discuss whether teaching should be made an essential service.

Popular articles
First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

The City of Cape Town welcomes the first-ever ShotSpotter-linked conviction and sentence, handed down this month.

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

The instruction from Moyane to the official was to allegedly avoid speaking to KPMG investigators during 'rogue unit' inquiry.

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Reverend Solomuzi Mabuza says he is considering laying charges against the woman for calling him a ka***r.

Why Ethiopian Airlines (not SAA) is Africa's biggest and best airline

Why Ethiopian Airlines (not SAA) is Africa's biggest and best airline

State-owned (but not managed) Ethiopian Airlines is profitable. Bruce Whitfield interviews Africa correspondent Lee Kasumba.

Willemse will take Supersport to Equality Court over walk-out findings

Willemse will take Supersport to Equality Court over walk-out findings

On Tuesday, SuperSport released the findings of an investigation by Advocate Vincent Maleka.

Career sabotage and an alleged 'sex pest' CEO - Grant Thornton's culture exposed

Career sabotage and an alleged 'sex pest' CEO - Grant Thornton's culture exposed

Former director Nerisha Singh says Grant Thornton SA sabotaged her job prospects after speaking up about sexual harassment claims.

46 women rescued in Joburg sex trafficking raid

46 women rescued in Joburg sex trafficking raid

An expert on human trafficking explains how the syndicate operates and how women are lured into dens.

Max du Preez opens up about money (and losing everything on Vrye Weekblad)

Max du Preez opens up about money (and losing everything on Vrye Weekblad)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the famed and fearless journalist about his money history, hopes and beliefs.

This video doorbell lets homeowners check on the front door from their phones

This video doorbell lets homeowners check on the front door from their phones

On Technobyte this week the traditional doorbell goes hi-tech, Uber wants to fly you and Google is launching an AI lab in Ghana.