By Mbekezeli Ncube
EXILED Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni, has welcomed a decision by Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to name streets in some of its suburbs after Ndebele chiefs, totems and surnames.
Chief Ndiweni, whose father Chief Khayisa is also set to have a street named after him, described the move as humbling.
The announcement was made by town clerk Chrsitopher Dube who added that street naming will be introduced in suburbs such as Mahatshula, Parklands East Extension, Emhlangeni, Harrisvale, Lochview, Sunninghill, Manningdale, Marvel, Newton, Neqi, Selborne Park, Willsgroove, Buena Vista and Donnington West.
The names will be based on Nguni chieftaincy surnames and totems.
Chiefs such as Chief Khayisa, Chief Tshitshi, Chief Nkalakatha, Chief Nyangazonke, Chief Bhidi, Chief Sikhobokhobo, Chief Mabhikwa among others will have streets named after them.
“As the Ndiweni family, of the Ndiweni clan in Ntabazinduna, we welcome the naming of street names after chiefs in Bulawayo. We applaud the new suggested names, it is a move in the right direction,” said Chief Ndiweni.
“It has taken us a great deal of time to arrive at this juncture whereby we are comfortable in who we are, in bringing our heritage, our customs and our traditions to the forefront. It is right and fitting that this is happening in the City of Kings, it can only happen there, this is our heritage, we should not be shy about it and we should not be nervous about it.
“Indeed as the family we are humbled by the BCC and the people of Bulawayo for having had the thought to remember Chief Khayisa Ndiweni.
“Inkosi yiNkosi ngabantu. That is to say, a chief is only a chief because of the people that make them a chief,” he added.
Ndiweni is currently in the United Kingdom (UK) on self imposed exile after being persecuted by the Zanu PF regime.
He said: “We need to celebrate it to its fullest extent because it identifies us as a people, it is a first step and there will be more powerful steps following this one until we realise that our culture and our heritage is a gift and it can make us complete.”
The renaming of the streets is guided by an 8 August, 1990 resolution where the council adopted guidelines for naming of public features including streets.
Residents and councillors were engaged in the current exercise to come up street names.