2016 - The year we mispronounce back

2016-01-04 16:53


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WATCH: Penny Sparrow called these beachgoers 'monkeys'

2016-01-04 15:49

KZN's Penny Sparrow started a heated race debate in SA when she referred to black beachgoers in Durban as "monkeys". Here's a look at the beach on New Year's Day. WATCH

Cape Town – Penny is now Phindile, and Dianne is Dipuo.

If Twitter is to be believed, 2016 could be the year that sees the names of white South Africans getting a lekker local twist.

Frustrated that many of their lighter-skinned compatriots cannot or will not say their name properly, black social media users have taken a stand.

"2016 is the year for acting like you don't know how to pronounce white people’s names", tweeted Karabo Mahlase on the last day of 2015.

#TheYearWeMispronounceBack started trending the next day. The trend pokes fun at English speakers who find it easier to use short, anglicised versions of African names.

One user, @QiqaGqobo, tweeted: "Hi there, I'm McKenzie. Nice to meet you Mkhize. Mc-Ken-zie. I'll just call you Mkhonto Wesizwe for short."

Another, @Mandisa Gaba, contributed: "Hi, my name is Michelle. Hi, Mtshali. No, it's Michelle. Mshele? Mi-chelle. That's hard, I'll call you Masheleni." User @Tlalane lamented that she had been called Kalani, Shalani and Talani. She said she was waiting for someone to call her Salami.

In reference to a song from the musical film Mary Poppins, @mandydewaal1 said it was interesting that "most whites can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at age 5". 

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa weighed in: "If you can say Gert or Gatvol then surely you can say Radebe."

In another tweet, he said while there may be humour in the hashtag, it spoke to the dignity of man, "whose dignity lies in their name".

Comedians did not miss a beat.

Donovan Goliath said white people could make a "clicking sound when calling a horse", but still said "Khosa instead of Xhosa".

"You mean to tell me you can pronounce lawyers, but not Loyiso", added Loyiso Gola in a tweet. 

"I’ve been called Luwisa, Lowizo, Luiza. This is the year rha! Amandla."

Read more on:    twitter  |  racism  |  social networks

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