Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
10 Oct 2019
11:24 am

Mpho Letsholonyane sparks tribalism debate with ‘Shangaan’ video

Citizen Reporter

The radio personality has since apologised for offending some of her Tsonga followers.

Mpho Letsholonyane. Picture: Instagram

Sports presenter Mpho Letsholonyane has found herself on the wrong side of social media users after sharing an old comedy video from Mdu Comics. In the video, Jesus’ character tries to commit suicide after receiving news from a doctor that his DNA is closely related to that of a “Shangaan” person instead of God.

The Jesus character also uses orange juice to scrub off his “shangaaness”.

Though Letsholonyane found the video to be amusing, her social media followers seems to disagree with her. “Shangaan” and “Mpho” have been trending since, with most saying her actions perpetuated tribalistic stereotypes.

Twitter user @ma_Ndosi wrote: “Horribly tribalistic towards Shangaan and Tsonga people. Please delete this as it’s so offensive & divisive for South Africans. Nothing cute nor funny about othering other South Africans,” while Floyd Nkuna said: “He Kulani, in that video it seemed as though being ‘shangaan’ is a curse. The guy was told that he was not Jesus (God’s son) but a shangaan. The guy went home to scrub the Shangaaness out of him. If it’s meant to be funny then I guess I have no sense of humour. Some time back.”

While some have been calling on Metro FM to deal with her, others, however, have jumped to her defence, saying she did nothing wrong.

Kgomotso Todd wrote: “Ausi waka, in my opinion, you did nothing wrong. It could’ve been me and I promise you no one would’ve checked for me. I get it though, I understand the backlash and I respect your apology,” while Gift Afika said: “Now I am Tsonga. That video made me laugh so hard. I am not going to dictate how other people should react. But South Africans are we now that sensitive? We usually laugh at ourselves and make fun of certain stereotypes it’s who we are. It’s a joke and should be treated like one.”

The radio personality has since apologised for sharing the video.

She said: “My intention was never to hurt anyone. It’s an old video. Didn’t put any thought into it because Mdu was on the TL and I came across the vid and reposted. An error in judgment on my part. It’s now deleted off my TL. Apologies for hurting/insulting you. It was not intentional.”

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