JP Smith causes outrage for refusing to pronounce Nguni surname [video]
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.
[WATCH] Here's the short clip of the DA's JP Smith's unfunny remark to Abongile…. just watch.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) September 8, 2021
Then wait for 1652 Twitter telling you "It's just a joke FFS!" pic.twitter.com/fIemt6Mycx
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:
JP Smith said "I ain't even hiding my racism"— 🟣 Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile (@Gao_Phala) September 8, 2021
Don't be so hard on JP Smith. You only learn how to pronounce awkwardly placed vowels in your honors year.— Wesley Fester (@wesleyfestersa) September 8, 2021
He didn't complete his honors remember.
The DA’s JP Smith joked that he couldn’t say Abongile Nzelenzele’s surname. There’s gonna be a lot of silly debate about it being ‘just a joke’. Here’s how that works… pic.twitter.com/Pnj0ObemX0— Chester Missing (@chestermissing) September 8, 2021
If JP Smith’s refusal to address Mr Nzelenzele by his full name wasn’t problematic enough, behold this response from @CityofCT to the understandable outrage caused by his conduct: https://t.co/R1uKjLPZDs pic.twitter.com/wBq9GTDf7r— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) September 8, 2021