Many South Africans have embraced the change, though buying mastery in saying ‘Gqeberha’ hasn’t come straightforward for non-speakers of Xhosa.
“It will take a while for the majority of South Africans to learn how to pronounce the new name, especially white South Africans,” Kwena Moabelo, 46, instructed CNN Thursday.
“But it’s a good move in order to keep the indigenous names and languages of South Africa alive,” Moabelo added.
South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa introduced the title change Wednesday, together with different adjustments to names of cities and public infrastructure.
In an announcement Thursday, Mthethwa mentioned: “There was a need for the name changes as this is part of a Government Programme to transform South Africa’s Heritage landscape. The names of places we live in reflect the identity and cultural heritage of the people of South Africa.”
Lwazi Monyetsane, 33, instructed CNN that the title change was essential to make the nation extra inclusive.
“The country needs to have historical significance and relevance that does not glorify a past of oppression… So change the names — as many as you can, so the black majority of our country can finally feel included,” she mentioned.
Reacting to issues that Gqeberha was tough to pronounce, Monyetsane mentioned: “The beauty of education will solve that. If you allow yourself to learn while being tolerant and respectful — no name should be impossible to say.”
Zanele Mahatle, a resident of Johannesburg, prompt that the title South Africa also needs to be reviewed.
“Maybe at some point they have to rename South Africa,” she mentioned. “There are so many things that need to change and be decolonized, from apartheid leaders and enablers’ statues being removed to renaming streets,” Mahatle mentioned.
“Having English street names and buildings keep our colonizers’ names and legacies alive. So step by step let’s have a country that represents us,” she added.