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South Africa holds state funeral for controversial Zulu prince … –

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SOUTH AFRICA, Ulundi – Thousands of mourners gathered in South Africa’s eastern town of Ulundi on Saturday for the state funeral of veteran politician and Zulu prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Buthelezi, a controversial figure during the apartheid liberation struggle because of his bitter rivalry with the African National Congress (ANC), died last week aged 95.

The founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) served two terms as Minister of Home Affairs in the post-apartheid government after reconciling with his governing ANC rival, Nelson Mandela.

By the time Buthelezi decided to bury the hatchet, 20,000 people had been killed and hundreds of thousands fled their homes in fighting between his supporters and those of the ANC, as a result of which critics dubbed the Zulu prince a warlord.

In a sign of residual hostility, a group IFP supporters tried to drown out President Cyril Ramaphosa’s eulogy, by singing struggle-era songs and chanting: “He is not our president”.

“Today is not a day to point fingers and cast blame,” Ramaphosa said, before Buthelezi’s coffin was brought out, draped in the national flag, for a 21-gun salute. “Let us look forward to the future with a … focus on what unites us.”

Some of the mourners were dressed in traditional Zulu outfits made of leopard and other animal skins and held shields crafted from cow hides. South African media reported that two giraffes and six impalas were slaughtered and skinned as part of the ritual preparations.

Buthelezi founded the IFP in 1975 and it became the dominant force in what is now KwaZulu-Natal. Like the ANC, Buthelezi was critical of white minority rule, which had relegated Zulus and other Black South African nations to downsized ‘homelands’.

But his Zulu nationalist movement became entangled in bloody conflicts with the ANC in the 1980s and 1990s.

The ANC was dominated by members of the rival Xhosa nation, and its leaders saw Buthelezi’s on-off willingness to work with the apartheid authorities as a betrayal of all Black South Africans.

The two parties made peace when Buthelezi decided to participate in South Africa’s 1994 election, the first national poll since the end of white minority rule, which brought Mandela to power.

KwaZulu-Natal became the stronghold of former president Jacob Zuma, a Zulu whom Ramaphosa’s ANC faction ousted after several corruption scandals. Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

“(Buthelezi) was not a man who let a burning issue slide … and yet he (had) an understanding of the immense difficulties we face in rebuilding this country,” Ramaphosa said. “He … defended the institutions of our democratic order.”

The Zulu chief stepped down as IFP leader in 2019. He underwent a procedure for back pain in July but was later readmitted to hospital when it did not subside.

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Zimbabwean names are still haunted by the ghosts of colonialism – Yahoo News

In African cultures, the names given to children play an important role because they are often laden with meanings.

As a team of professors of literature, linguistics and onomastics (the scientific study of names and naming practices) we have shown in our research that the names parents give their children at birth can help us make sense of many things, including a family’s heritage and events in history.

Our most recent research paper analyses naming practices in Zimbabwe. It shows that Zimbabweans in the former British colony in southern Africa still often choose English names like Robert or Oliver over traditional ones like Vulindlela or Ntombenhle.

We conclude that names make it possible to understand the effects of colonialism and, in more recent years, the importance placed on restoring tradition. Embracing traditional practices matters as a way of keeping culture alive so that people can benefit from its knowledge.

Relics of colonialism

English-language names are abundant in Zimbabwe today. This could be one of the effects of the introduction of colonial languages and the displacement of indigenous languages. It demonstrates the difficulty of erasing the mentalities acquired in the colonial era.

We argue that British missionaries and colonisers “invaded” the “mental” space of the colonised and significantly changed the way Zimbabwean people use English and indigenous languages to name children.

Read more: How schools use language as a way to exclude children

“Typical” English names maintain a connection to a time when schoolchildren would often be given new, English names to mould them into British-like subjects.

Names in literature

Literary works can help us better understand names and naming patterns. Celebrated Zimbabwean author Yvonne Vera’s novel Butterfly Burning, for example, shows how names in Zimbabwe’s Ndebele language were progressively abandoned for English ones.

This change saw the use of abstract English names such as Gilbert instead of meaningful indigenous ones like Vulindlela, a boy’s name meaning “open the way” that expresses the parents’ hope that the child will bring good fortune to the family.

This cultural shift can be considered a form of erasure of a significant component of indigenous cultures. Such erasure is part of the larger-scale losses suffered through colonisation. This cultural loss was never fully recovered even in the decades after independence in Zimbabwe in 1980.

Naming practices in Zimbabwe today

There’s evidence that, in the last couple of decades, parents in Zimbabwe use both English and indigenous languages to name their children. Naming practices from colonial times live on.

In Zimbabwe these English names fall into different categories. There are typical English names like Ashley and Jean. There are also biblical names, like Isaac and Peter. We also find Africanised biblical names such as Jowero (Joel) and Mateu (Matthew).

And then there are “Zimbabwean English” names like Decent and Choice: English names translated from indigenous names. Zimbabwean English names offer an opportunity to understand the potential of drawing from traditional African knowledge – where names record personal experiences and aspirations – through using English. Colonial entanglements reveal adaptations of traditional forms.

We also notice “religious” names translated literally from indigenous names – like Takomborerwa (We have been blessed). The alterations are clear effects of colonialism, emanating from the establishment of Christianity. Examples of these “vernacular Christian names” include the Shona language names Tapiwanashe (We have been given by God), Tawananyasha (We have found God’s grace) and Anotidaishe (God loves us).

Biblical English names and Africanised biblical names

Like the English language, Christianity was at the heart of colonialism in Africa, spread through missionaries. This saw the increased popularity of biblical English names in Zimbabwe.

“Africanised biblical” names are related to Christian biblical names, adapted to “fit” indigenous language rules of grammar. Since the translated Bible remains an “English book”, Africanised biblical names do not become indigenous names, rather they remain biblical English names. For instance the Shona name Ruka is adopted from the biblical name Luke. Ruka is simply a Shona version of Luke.

Zimbabwean English names

Besides typical English, biblical English and Africanised biblical names, a large category of Zimbabwean English names are popular at present. These have also been called “non-standard” English names to disrupt the dominance of British English that created tropes like “hilarious names”. Examples of such names are Bastard and Darling – used in Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo’s award-winning novel We Need New Names.

The majority of Zimbabwean English names are literal translations of indigenous personal names, illustrating the enduring power and assumed prestige of the language of Empire. At the same time, translating indigenous names shows a clear interest by Zimbabweans in retaining indigenous values and naming patterns.

Refashioning imperial debris

In these uses of English names with and without indigenous equivalents, the long-term effects of the language of colonisation are made visible.

Read more: How the history of Zimbabwe played out on the country’s cricket fields

So, on the one hand, these names tell a story about how indigenous ways of life were looked down on and how this colonial disdain still influences people’s naming choices. This could be a result of an internalised colonial mentality in which the English language continues to index the power and prestige that it accumulated through the violence of the colonial era.

On the other hand, we see how these Zimbabwean English names draw on longstanding indigenous traditions and creatively reclaim the English language for local purposes. From this perspective, we interpret naming trends in Zimbabwe as a creative refashioning of imperial debris that helps keep traditional knowledge alive.

This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. The Conversation is trustworthy news from experts. Try our free newsletters.

It was written by: Tendai Mangena, University of Leeds.

Read more:

Tendai Mangena received funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the project on Names in Zimbabwe and the diaspora on which this work is based.

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Letters: A review of the August 23 elections – NewsDay

It is with great embarrassment that we find ourselves celebrating the absence of violence as the primary measure of a free and fair election.

I WRITE to you today with a heavy heart and a deep sense of concern regarding the recent Zimbabwe elections held on August 23-24, 2023.

As a proud Zimbabwean, I feel compelled to express my dismay at the state of our electoral process and the alarmingly low expectations we have set for ourselves as a nation.

It is with great embarrassment that we find ourselves celebrating the absence of violence as the primary measure of a free and fair election.

Are we truly content with defining the credibility of our democratic process solely on the premise that we refrained from brutalising and killing one another?

Such a mindset is not only disheartening, but also an insult to the principles of democracy that we should hold dear.

While the ruling Zanu PF party may argue that the elections were free and fair due to lack of widespread violence, we must not allow ourselves to be deceived by this façade.

The numerous irregularities that plagued the elections cannot be ignored.

The banning of opposition rallies, the exclusion of opposition voices from national television, and the manipulative tactics employed by fringe groups like Forever Associates Zimbabwe are blatant examples of the erosion of our democracy.

Furthermore, the deliberate hindrance of the opposition’s ability to participate fully in the electoral process, including the delay in delivering voting materials to their strongholds, are grave injustices.

By forcing citizens to vote in darkness and disenfranchising them, we undermine the very essence of democracy and disregard the fundamental rights of fellow Zimbabweans.

We must not allow the absence of violence to blind us to the truth.

Our elections have become nothing more than a farcical display, designed to deceive the international community while leaving us, the citizens, disillusioned and disheartened.

It is high time we demanded true accountability and transparency in our electoral processes.

As Zimbabweans, we must rise above the complacency that has engulfed us.

We must unite in our demand for meaningful reforms that address the systemic issues plaguing our electoral system.

This includes dismantling barriers to political participation, ensuring equal access to media for all parties, and establishing a genuinely transparent and inclusive electoral process.

It is imperative that we reclaim our dignity as a nation and restore the faith of our fellow citizens in the democratic ideals we hold dear.

We cannot allow ourselves to be content with this illusion of democracy.

We must strive for real change, for the sake of present and future generations.

I implore you, esteemed editor, to use the power of your platform to shed light on the plight of our electoral process.

Let us foster public dialogue and encourage a collective commitment to a genuine democratic progress.

Together, we can bring about the change that Zimbabwe so desperately needs. – Concerned citizen


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From Zimbabwean refugee to ‘wine poet’ in South Africa – New

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By Forbes Africa

BARELY two years after his first sip of wine, Joseph Dhafana was head sommelier at the iconic La Colombe restaurant in Cape Town and began to explore making his own wine. His Mosi Wines and Spirits is a household name today.

With its prolific wine region and world-class restaurants, Cape Town has long been the jewel in South Africa’s tourism crown. Yet the industry isn’t powered by good food and wine alone, but rather, by the dedication of its people.

People like Joseph Tongai Dhafana, sommelier, wine judge and founder of Mosi Wines and Spirits. Impressive title aside, it’s Joseph’s story that truly sets him apart.

Dhafana now lives in Cape Town but grew up in Zimbabwe, an entire world away from his current life. He was raised in Chirumhanzu in the Midlands province, by parents who were subsistence farmers.

“I remember waking up as early as 03:00, going to the field to till the land with an ox-drawn plough. Then, when the sun rose I would run back home via the river to take a bath and get ready for a 12km walk to school – sometimes barefoot,” he explains. “These early mornings before school were very tough but they made me who I am today.”

This resilience is what would ultimately change the course of his life forever. In 2008, at the peak of Zimbabwe’s crisis, Dhafana made the difficult decision to leave his home country in search of better opportunities in South Africa. “Leaving was very painful and I had never dreamed of living outside Zimbabwe,” he says.

Initially, he worked as a gardener in Riebeek-Kasteel, a small town 80km outside of Cape Town, which led him to work in the garden for a local bar.

Here, he moved to washing dishes and waiting tables and was soon promoted to barman, where life took another fortuitous turn.

Here, Dhafana celebrated his 29th birthday and had his first taste of wine – a sparkling wine from nearby Riebeek Valley Wine Co. His first thoughts? “I didn’t like it,” he says simply.

“I remember, the wine was quite tart and astringent with cutting acidity and that was very foreign to my palate.” He adds, “Now I can describe it but back then I had no words to explain how I felt. They now call me the ‘wine poet’.”

Despite a rocky start, this taste of wine awakened something in Dhafana, and before long he had enrolled to do a course at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust; he joined the Cape Wine Academy and eventually, the South African Sommeliers Association, the Michael Fridjhon Wine Judging Academy and Court of Master Sommeliers Europe.

Barely two years after that first sip, Dhafana was head sommelier at the iconic La Colombe restaurant and began to explore making his own wine.

“I had saved money and bought grapes to make a barrel each of Chenin Blanc and Syrah… in Riebeek-Kasteel, where it all started.”

Today, Joseph’s Mosi Wines and Spirits – named after breathtaking Victoria Falls nestled between Zimbabwe and Zambia – is a household name.

Regularly appearing on the wine lists of the country’s top restaurants, there is no denying that his hard work and determination have paid off. “Seeing people swirling and sipping my wine just melts my heart,” he says.

“I believe wine is a bottled story and this brand has a lot to say.”

Dhafana’s story is nothing short of remarkable, but as he says, there are a lot of stories like his out there.

“I am proud of the person I am today but I am thankful to those who helped me.”

He doesn’t take this gratitude lightly and now helps others wanting to enter the industry.

“The journey has just started because I am already helping young up-and-coming sommeliers and wine stewards to do better than what I did.” And it doesn’t end there.

Along with his work as a sommelier and a wine judge, he also helped establish and captain Team Zimbabwe at the World Blind Tasting Championships in 2017 and 2018, documented in the documentary, Blind Ambition.

He is a board member of the Black Cellar Club, a non-profit that aims to promote a responsible wine and beverage industry in South Africa and is a judge for the country’s biggest annual restaurant awards, hosted by Eat Out magazine.

Having triumphed over immense challenges, Dhafana’s continued commitment to wine has enriched the industry. “We can’t all be actors or artists to tell our stories but I chose to tell mine by bottling it,” he adds.

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