Spelling mistakes spark debate

Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
THE decision by the Bulawayo City Council to correct misspellings of some of its streets and suburbs has sparked debate among the city’s social analysts who argue that more needs to be done to create a local narrative and to redress colonial mistakes. The council in its recent report said it would shortly launch an exercise to correct the city’s misspelt suburbs and streets following a request by a resident, Khumbulani Maphosa.

Yesterday, social commentators welcomed the decision saying it was long overdue. However, they argued that council needs to go further and rename some of its buildings, suburbs and streets which still glorify colonialists.

The Chronicle yesterday spoke to King Mzilikazi’s descendent, Prince Zwide Khumalo, who said the renaming of buildings is crucial for identity purposes. He said the naming of buildings and places has a bearing on the preservation of a people’s history.

Khumalo said the council should not stop with misspelt suburbs and streets names but give relevance to historical names. “It’s so prudent to do so, particularly in the City of Kings. It’s not just about streets and suburbs but giving relevance to some of the existing names. Some of the suburbs such as Mzilikazi should be named King Mzilikazi suburb just like the school Queen Elizabeth which was named after the British Queen. Lobengula suburb should also be named King Lobengula suburb which befits his status” said Khumalo.

He said the city should aim to remain culturally relevant instead of just giving streets and suburbs new names with no cultural relevance. “Places should not be named for the sake of renaming them because if we do so, it will be retrogressive. This exercise should be done correctly to identify with the local people,” Khumalo said.

Playwright, Cont Mhlanga concurred saying names are a narrative and they tell a story about a people. He said a narrative that speaks to Bulawayo residents is missing in the local buildings.

“We’ve places like Tower Block and Babourfields Stadium which are meaningless to the local narrative. Names are there for creating and preserving an identity. Names are narratives and they should tell a local narrative. It is that narrative that becomes relevant a century later,” Mhlanga said.

He said Bulawayo was suffering from a serious colonial narrative which locals cannot identify with. “We have streets such as Fife Street, named after one of the Cecil Rhodes’ allies who formed the British South Africa Company. This is unacceptable,” said Mhlanga.

Bulawayo’s suburbs have a historical narrative with Mzilikazi being named after the King Mzilikazi and Njube after King Lobengula’s son. Emabutweni suburb was given the name to symbolise the Ndebele kingdom as a military state.

Pin It
  • jj

    Are they done with service delivery, infrastructural rehabilitation etc! Rubbish is piling up but you busy yourself with names of places and streets?

    • Mzala Tom

      As long as Zanu pf is running the country forget about service delivery . We all know the source of our problems. Let BCC do what they can within their capacity. They are solving a social/cultural problem. Its part of their mandate.

      • MUTONGI GAVA

        you are free to construct you own buildings and give the names of your choice like what these white people did you are killing history our children must know who was this BF and what motive was be hide what made every one in the then Government give him the go ahead to name the stadium BF

        • Zololo

          Manje kungani lina lantshintsha isazibeli , uyabo awulanggondo tshona

          • Top S’gelekeqe

            They are self centred. Yikho be njalo. They find nothing wrong in changing place names from English to Shona. But if they have to be changed to Ndebele names, they start talking about money and priorities!

  • Trevor Moyo

    Tribalism at its best. They want to turn everything into Ndebele and soon enough who knows whats coming. They better start focusing on the real problems being faced in the country and not this issues which don’t even matter, like for how long have things been like this? why change now if not tribalism and confusion

    • Mzala Tom

      I don’t see any tribalism in correcting spelling mistakes. What do you mean by turning everything into Ndebele ? I think we have a right to name our things the way we want. This issue is also a problem from a social and cultural point of view. I think your views are just misplaced and unfortunate.

      • Trevor Moyo

        You definitely got me wrong there, I didn’t mean tribalism in the correction of spellings but why would they want to change some other names from their original names to give them Ndebele names? Places like Fife street and BF? I see nothing wrong in Mzilikazi surburbs being called King Mzilikazi….Bulawayo is a city of kings and we respect that. Things just don’t have to be overdone

        • Zololo

          Hayi wena tshona u will never understand this

          • Trevor Moyo

            You will never understand this zololo coz definitely you one of the tribalists

          • Zololo

            Wena tshona tshona le kini usiyeke silungise izinto zethu

          • Trevor Moyo

            ita zvinhu zvako unyerere

          • Top S’gelekeqe

            Bulawayo is not Harare. We never interfer in Harare. So you do the same Kwa Bulawayo!

        • Top S’gelekeqe

          Bulawayo itself was founded by the Ndebele through King Lobhengula and King Mzilikazi. That is why the names have to be changed to Ndebele names. Harare can have all the Zezuru names for all we care. We will never complain.

      • Top S’gelekeqe

        Why are these people so keen on divorcing kwaBulawayo from its Ndebele history? The question is; why are they not doing the same with Harare – that is separating it from its Shona or Zezuru identity? Or Mutare from its Manyika identity or Masvingo from its Karanga identity? Why kwaBulawayo?This is simply plain anti Nguni anti Ndebele tribalism playing itself out. It’s clear; it has become fashionable in Zimbabwe nowadays to hate anything to do with the Ndebele because of Mugabe. These are the same people who claim they want to rid themselves of Mugabe. How do you rid yourselves of of someone you are copying? Sies!!

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Nothing wrong with respecting the origins of the city. Will it make sense to argue about Whange Town being Nambya in Character? Or Plumtree being Khalanga in character or Masvingo being Karanga in character or Dublin being Irish? Every place has a history. There is nothing wrong with that. This is what makes it interesting to visitors even international tourists. Why do you want to go against nature?

  • E Makhate

    As usual, Zanu supporters engage in petty issues while service delivery has collapsed. What is this narrative? Here in SA people protest about real issues not names. Zim will remain undeveloped.

    • benjamin

      You see how newspapers here are used to spread propaganda and drive sinister agendas. When I went through all the comments yesterday it seemed almost everyone was more concerned about why the Council is worrying about such petty issues instead of giving more energy, time and resources to various outstanding services or amenities like roads and their potholes, water provision, refuse collection, drainage unblocking etc. Now the Chronicle today tells us that people are even saying suburb names should change.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      You are lying – I live in Mzansi myself. People like you are the usal tribalists who want to see other African people’s languages and cultural identities decimated. In Mzansi language and culture are hot potatoes right now. Look at what is happening at Universities regarding the Afrikaans language? especially the University of Pretoria; University of the Free State; Rhodes; Cape Town etc? What was this Rhodes must fall thing all about? Every year South Africans display their cultural dress; food and identities – nobody tries to stop anyone in that. But why is that in Zimbabwe you people have a problem; especially if it’s from the Ndebele? Why? Why? Mara why? When will this hatred end?

  • Mzala Tom

    The writer continues with the wrong spellings ….. Emabutweni ………not Emabuthweni???? That’s ironic to me and shows his lack of seriousness.

    • Trevor Moyo

      Most probably the writer doesn’t really know what he is talking about in terms of spellings or maybe he was trying to put some clarity into what he was writing about

  • Msana we ngombe

    BCC should first repair pot holed streets before engaging in the luxury of. correcting spelling mistakes. Have the city fathers run out of ideas on how to improve the livelyhood of the residents.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      KwaBulawayo came about because of King Mzilikazi and Lobhengula. Everything about it should reflect this. None of us has a problem with whatever you do with Harare, Mutare or Masvingo. So why do you have a problem with our Bulawayo? You are very self centred and selfish!

  • benjamin

    This is all false. Common sentiment was that focus should be more on road repairs, waste collection, various essential services where the City Council clearly has a serious backlog. This article is so false!!! Please STOP this Chronicle!!

  • Changamire

    Hey Mr Khumalo,
    Lobengula and Mzili were not our kings, so i think the names should remain the same or even be removed, since they were nothing but cattle thieves and rapists running away from the long arm of Shaka’s law.

    • Changamira

      They are part of our history and they were kings in this region

    • Zololo

      Ulishona wena shona

    • Whyisvm

      Go fcuk yourself (expletive) lo thuvi.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      You are a Mugabe tribal desciple.

    • MakhosiXamu

      Insanity ranks supreme in your head.

  • gwereza

    Yes, just like many people who are idle, and can’t move forward in life, all of these fools are making loads of noises about correcting mis spelt names, renaming this and that building as if the resources are available. Whose money, will they use to erase history. These colonial names should remain and are part of our history. Just like Zanu pf, can you try and better the lives of our citizens by delivering better services in health, housing, water, roads, recreation facilities,libraries, etc than trying to misappropriate public funds. The citizens of Bulawayo will one day bring you to account for taking such stupid decisions in future. Stop this nonsense of wanting to misuse hard earned tax payers’ money. Money or the US$ don’t grow on trees.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Yes. Let’s rename our country back to its rightful name Rhodesia. You can’t erase history. Black people never founded a country. Rhodesia and it’s borders were founded by white colonialists.

  • Thabani

    That is so true and so much on point.. Long live King Mzilikazi. However we Ndebele in our pursuit of maintaining our cultural identity should also honour the Lowzi and Mapungubwe Kings who many of our ancestors followed besides it’d would go some ways to regain their favour for prosperity. And on Rhodes.. well he was a visionary … He had a vision that eclipsed even that of King Mzilikazi… His vision and statesman craft should be remembered with a nod of great respect till Zimbabwe is no more.

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      You should not forget that the definition of who a Ndebele is has been revised in Zim since 1980. Even in Ndebele folklore, people told stories about Mambo and Mzilikazi. I only started to hear people in Matebeleland say they were not Ndebele after 1980. The white Missionaries declared everyone in Matebeleland Ndebele and everyone in Shona provinces Shona even if Shona is essentially Zezuru. So the Lozwi and Mapungubwe Kings that you mention were also included. It’s just that after Mugabe came to power people started to claim they were not Ndebele for whatever reason. As things stand today, I actually don’t know who is Ndebele today because even those from Zululand will tell you they are Nguni not Ndebele!

  • blarazonke

    Kkkkk, Cont Mhlanga is bitter about a street named after a rhodes general called Fife when the province itself is content to keep Rhodes own grave and bones well protected in Matebeleland. Hahahahahahahahahahaha, how many coins does that province generate from Rhodes descendants who come to pay tribute to that robber’s grave dug in the holy African rock shrine of Matopos ?? I was there one time and did not see any tourists at all except a lot of unkempt bushes around the rock. Its funny nobody has ever thot of blasting that offending grave using some panners dynamites. I admire the SA varsity students for standing up and getting rid of these colonial relics. No amount of money will justify their continuos existence. Only the famous Munhumutapa of UZ tried to do the right thing only to receive stiff resistance from the Mtwakazi comrades who belief that rhodes grave belongs to them. LOL!!!

    • Doctor Do little

      The tourist ate not there because Zimbabwe was dubbed by foreign media as an undesirable tourist destination coupled up by bad treatment of visitors by the police. Most of the tourists you see a Victoria falls are bookef into Zambian hotels and cross back and forth to see our side with a better veiw.

      • Thabani

        His bones need to be exhumed and buried elsewhere, because he was deliberately placed to rest in a very sacred area… Which was meant as an insult to the thousands of men who fought for their faith, land and spiritual leader Mlimo.

        • Doctor Do little

          That has nothing to do with my statement. Removing or keeping his bones has nothimg to do with my statement

          • Zuze

            Jotham is busy today with his many names

          • Gumede

            Kikik when you see the word prriod.kikiki

    • De Afrique

      I have a question: if there are bones in that grave, how do we know they are really his in the first place. Who knows may be these buggers on seeing their reign at its likely end used someone else’s bones. Is there anything in that grave?

      • blarazonke

        I wonder why the rhodies never realy took care of that shrine. They may have buried a donkey in that hole. There is just a sheet of iron covering that hole in the rock. I was very happy to pee on it last time I was at that place.

        • MakhosiXamu

          Anything is possible but Rhodes’s grave still remains his, take it or leave it.

          • blarazonke

            There you go!!

    • Jotham

      Can I trust you to blow Mugabe’s bones from the heroes acre when the time comes?

      • blarazonke

        So rhodes is yr hero?

  • Trevor Moyo

    one issue all of us are ignoring is that this wasn’t an issue worth to be written about. its jus a matter of diverting us the citizens from the problems in our country and Bulawayo as our city. Really they could have done it without telling us but because they don’t want us to talk about the dead roads and all they give us a topic to battle upon. Its high time we stand united(Ndebele or Shona) and figure out ways to repair our country as one Zimbabwe

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Problems in life come to an end only when you die. As long as u are alive, there will always be problems. You can’t therefore say let’s attend to this first and that later. Whilst it’s important to prioritise; matters of cultural pride and identify can never take second place because it is these issues that make humans hold their heads high and fight for their own progress. If you lack a sense of who you are; a sense of identity – how can you succeed in anything else in life? Read Steve Biko’s writings. A lot of wisdom there.

  • Thembalami

    Lobengula,Lobhengula,Mzilikazi, King Mzilikazi. !!!! Will that bring electricity to these places, Will the bread cost 50c, will that creat jobs, iDunlop izavulwa, iHunyani layo izavulwa, will that help creat employement? Will that stop our kids with Degrees from being airtime vendors? Come on. Instead of changing the so called “misplet” places ASIKHUPHENI I ZANU. PERIOD

    • Gumede

      Even if you are on that waveleagnth does it mean you stop debating and teaching our children history? No. You multi task.

      • Thembalami

        Have you ever imagined how it is difficult to “multi task” in the dark(no ZESA), multi task on an empty stomach and multi task nxa ungela msebenzi. Yes History is very important ngiyavuma but now what does Maslow Hirachy of needs say”the basics first”. Lets put food on our tables(they can start by creating employement) first. Once izisu zigcwele abantwana beHappy, ZANU gone we can start the debate of name changing. Vele the names MUST be “spelt correctly” but not manje. Manje kunengi esisakudinga. Spellings are TERTIARY lets look at the PRIMARY NEEDS first

        • Top S’gelekeqe

          Why did you rush to change the name of our country from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. Did you have electricity, especially in rural areas?

          • Zuze

            As i said Jotham the octopus

          • Thembalami

            Top. Cant you see that the “powers that be” are trying to divert attention from the REAL issues lapha. The reason why they changed the name so fast is they wanted to heal the “Colonial:” ills of Cecil/Smith. If they were serious about addressing these ills at National level they should have changed amabizo amalokitshi then. Why wait 36 years to realise that Pumula should be Phumula and Makokoba is Makhokhoba. Can you imagine the money that will be spent in this exercise. Thats money that can be well spent to finish the water project that has been outstanding since the dawn of independence.

          • Top S’gelekeqe

            No. There is no diversion la. This is a request from a resident of kwaBulawayo. It’s not their initiative. Even if it were a diversion; it’s fine given the 36 years of attempts to destroy uMthwakazi. Mthwakazi survival is crucial; even more important than the potholes. We didn’t have roads during the Kingdom days. If you are proud of yourselves; you can and will overcome anything!

    • Mugavimbi_Naledi

      YES!!!!!!!! YES, and YES AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nhamodzenyika

    whats all this obsession with dead people? At this rate we are going to have 90% of Zimbabwe renamed to honor the old rag Mugabe, we need to do away with such primitive methods. Bulawayo needs Jobs and better housing instead of renaming a pot holed road just to feel a connection with an ancient ideology. If its about history, even Cecil Rhodes bears a strong connection with the country and so do we eradicate that evil part of history and keep the good part of history? That is nonsense and BCC must see beyond such redundant policies

    • Top S’gelekeqe

      Yes the country is Rhodesia not Zimbabwe. We wasted money changing this name.

      • MakhosiXamu

        Ubulema bakho, ndoda: you are sick in the head.

        • Top S’gelekeqe

          You are also sick in the head if you believe “Phelandaba” is “Pelandaba”; “Whange”is “Hwange”; Makhokhoba” is “Makokoba”etc. Very sick indeed!!

  • Machowiro

    I really wonder. People have time and money to waste on things which don’t put food on our tables. Do you really know how much it will cost Bcc to do this nonsense. You won’t even be able to update those stupid names on the internet and Google maps for people to be able to find the places. What a waste of resource. Open our industries. I stay in lochview there isn’t a tarred road there. Yet I am paying rates every month. So pleaaaase stopit.

    • Zuze

      Tell the Government to stop it. To you the names are stupid. Not to me

  • man

    these shona guys are really a problem why diid they change gwelo to gweru. did that needed not a lot of money. internet and whatever we dont mind, durban was changed to ethekwini so is pretoria to city. if you go on internet gwelo the present day gweru is not even in the midlands region but in matebeleland north

  • Mk

    Just a waste of ratepayers money, what will all those changes do for the betterment of our lives????…Just a sick idea from an idle mind,

  • Mkonyovo

    To change these miss spelt names will cost the city which is already struggling with infrustracture, it doesn’t bother me njengoba kuzabhala yona imgodoyi yemphulanga ibuye ilahle izipelingi ngoba they have hijacked okungu mbono khonoko mxii

  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    madoda … laba abahlaba umkhosi manje, singakaqali lokuqala …
    shame kakhulu …!!!!

    ayihlokozwa bantu …
    umsila webhubesi awudlaliswa…

    manje selikhala …. already. Klwaaaaaaaaa …………………….!!