jp smith nzelenzele

JP Smith causes outrage for refusing to pronounce Nguni surname [video]

Andile Sicetsha - 08.09.2021

JP Smith said Abongile Nzelenzele’s last name has “too many vowels” and was “awkwardly placed.”

City of Cape Town mayco member of safety and security Alderman JP Smith has received backlash for outrightly refusing to pronounce the last name of an African man.

Watch: JP Smith says no to pronouncing Nguni surname

Abongile Nzelenzele was the MC at the Film Industry Engagement held at the City Hall on Wednesday.

Nzelenzele is a renowned broadcaster and host of Cape Talk‘s early breakfast show. At the event that was virtually live streamed, Smith was heard outrightly refusing to pronounce Nzelenzele, claiming that the surname had “too many vowels” and was “awkwardly placed.”

“I’m not even gonna try that surname, dude. Uhm, there’s too many vowels, too awkwardly placed. You need to have a nice, short, compact one like Smith. This also ensure anonymity. Nobody can find you in the old phonebook,” he said.

Social media reacts to Smith comments

The short clip from the security and safety mayco member’s address surfaced on the internet and went viral. Following the outrage that resulted from this clip, the City of Cape Town released a short statement on Twitter, claiming that Smith “has called and spoken with Mr Nzelenzele.”

“He confirms that he took no offence at the remark, nor did Mr Nzelenzele think there was any ill-intent,” the short statement read.

Here are some of the reactions we picked out from the viral clip: