Byo residents call for renaming of suburbs to reflect city’s history

Bulawayo residents have called for the renaming of suburbs to reflect the city’s history and culture.

Siphatho Ncube, of Habakkuk Trust, noted that the local authority has for many years been engaged in rebranding the names of suburbs, as the current names have not always reflected the city’s Ndebele heritage.

Ncube said that local suburbs should be rebranded to carry the rightful titles of members of the Ndebele kingdom who founded the Ndebele state.

He bemoaned that some colonial rulers have several places named after them in the city, but the same is not being done for local kingdoms.

“In 2015 our cultural organization called Umhlahlo We Sizwe sika Mthwakazi had a visit to the mayor and requested that there be rebranding of the city of Bulawayo. We suggested that the title, city of Kings be made more meaningful. We have Princess Margaret Clinic, Queen Elizabeth Primary School, we then requested that all the suburbs we have in the city and are named after the Ndebele Kingdom which was established by King Mzilikazi,” Ncube said. 

He said that suburbs should be changed to reflect what Mzilikazi means to the people of Bulawayo, such as King Mzilikazi, King Lobengula, Princess Nguboyenja, Prince Njube, Chief Magwegwe, and Princess Famona.

Ncube said that Bulawayo is a heritage city and that must be reflected by the way it is named. He said that if the city can have King George and Queen Elizabeth schools then it should also have schools and suburbs named after its own kings and queens.

Cllr. Mpumelelo Moyo concurred with the sentiments, noting that the rebranding would also benefit children to understand the history of the city and it will also enable the preservation of the knowledge about the founders of the Ndebele state.

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