'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
Ramaphosa has three months to hire new NPA boss, Abrahams' position invalid

Ramaphosa has three months to hire new NPA boss, Abrahams' position invalid

The ConCourt has confirmed that the appointment of Advocate Shaun Abrahams as prosecutions boss is constitutionally invalid.

Happiness and fulfillment aren't the same. A clinical psychologist enlightens

Happiness and fulfillment aren't the same. A clinical psychologist enlightens

Happiness is often linked to hedonism and can be a fleeting emotional state, says clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane.

Debating Mbeki's economic legacy

Debating Mbeki's economic legacy

Pundits discuss how South Africa’s economic trajectory performed under former president Thabo Mbeki's administration.

 Multi-racial relationships in South Africa still draw attention say couples

Multi-racial relationships in South Africa still draw attention say couples

Couples in interracial relationships sit down to discuss the difficulties of being in such relationships.

 Radovan Krejcir claims there's a conspiracy to keep him behind bars

Radovan Krejcir claims there's a conspiracy to keep him behind bars

In an exclusive interview with EWN, the convicted criminal says senior police officials framed him for crimes he didn't commit.

Naked Scientist: Are phobias hereditary?

Naked Scientist: Are phobias hereditary?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, demonstrates science experiments and answers questions from the listeners.

Popular articles
[WATCH] 'I write about the world that I see' - Indian author Arundhati Roy

[WATCH] 'I write about the world that I see' - Indian author Arundhati Roy

Indian writer Arundhati Roy shares profound insights about her literary life and what inspires her to put pen on paper.

[LISTEN] Is your phone listening in on your conversations?

[LISTEN] Is your phone listening in on your conversations?

MD at World Wide Worx Arthur Goldstuck explains how your phone may record your voice conversations.

Family of missing Hangberg 'poacher' want answers from authorities

Family of missing Hangberg 'poacher' want answers from authorities

Violence broke out in Hout Bay on Sunday after the disappearance of a suspected poacher and the arrest of two other fishermen.

[Listen] Good Samaritan recounts saving cyclist shot with several bullet wounds

[Listen] Good Samaritan recounts saving cyclist shot with several bullet wounds

Jon-Jon Pietersen says the police were quick to arrive at the scene where a cyclist was shot on Saturday.

Hout Bay residents wreak havoc over death of a poacher

Hout Bay residents wreak havoc over death of a poacher

City's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith says residents cause havoc every time the police catch poachers out.

'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society film will leave you hooked'

'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society film will leave you hooked'

Film reviewer Gayle Edmunds chats about 'The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society' film, and what movie-goers can expect.