‘Thighs of a virgin’ — it’s a KZN school name

2012-11-16 00:00

“THIGHS of a virgin”. “Drink”. “Obscene”. “Ugly man”.

No joke — these are the names, in Zulu, of some of the schools in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said not only does this province’s schooling system need a turnaround, but these names have to go too.

The MEC was speaking about transformation of the schooling system at the Durban University of Technology’s Indumiso campus yesterday, when he said these names were “uninspiring” and “inappropriate” for children.

“How can you have a school called Mathangetshitshi [thighs of a virgin] Primary?” the MEC asked.

To laughter, he said he cannot recall coming across a professor who said they were from Mathangetshitshi Primary School.

Phuza Primary, at Umbumbulu, also raised eyebrows.

The name’s direct translation is “drink”.

“Imagine asking a parent where they are taking their child and a parent replies, ‘I’m taking him to drink’,” the MEC added.

The senior general manager for institutional development in the department, Judy Dlamini, said: “While naming of schools speaks to local character, local achievements and eminent personages, in many instances, school naming [was] done unilaterally.”

Other school names that featured were Bambinkunzi (rob or mug), Nkawu (monkey), Mgwazeni (stab him) and Isilwane (animal).

Dlamini said the department will engage with local communities and other stakeholders where the schools concerned are situated to propose better names.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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