Please Prince Mashele, we are Tsonga not Shangaans

Sowetan - - Opinion -

On Septem­ber 11 2017 Prince Mashele’s col­umn was pub­lished un­der the head­line “New SA na­tion back to sep­a­rate tribal kraals”.

Mashele plays an im­por­tant role in giv­ing read­ers food for thought. But I found it in­cor­rect for Mashele, him­self be­ing Tsonga-speak­ing, re­fer­ring to our eth­nic group as Shangaans.

We are Tsonga, that’s one of 11 of­fi­cial lan­guages of South Africa. The Shangaan name was given to our eth­nic group by the Euro­pean set­tlers in the early 1900s.

It’s a name derived from Soshangane who fled from what to­day is KwaZu­luNatal in 1820, run­ning away from Shaka Zulu. He ran to our ter­ri­tory and sub­ju­gated some of our tribes but not all of us, hence we can­not be called by his name. Maluleke Mkateko

Naledi, Soweto

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