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2016 Is #TheYearWeMispronounceBack: Black South Africans Are Taking A Stand Against White Mispronunciation

Black South Africans are taking a stand against white mispronunciation with the viral hashtag #TheYearWeMispronounceBack.

Uzo Aduba on Late Night With Seth Myers in December 2014.


“If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky, and Dostoevsky, and Michelangelo, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka,” the mother of two-time Emmy Award-winner Uzo Aduba famously once said.

White people mispronouncing and oftentimes refusing altogether to say African names. We’ve seen it too many times before.

As comedian Loyiso Gola put it this week: “You mean to tell me you can pronounce Google but not Gugulethu."

This year, black South Africans are taking a stand.

The hashtag #TheYearWeMispronounceBack started when recent University of Johannesburg graduate Karabo Mahlase (@Spoonkz), 22, shared his wish for 2016 in a Tweet posted New Year’s Eve: “2016 is the year for acting like you don't know how to pronounce white peoples names”, he wrote.

The tweet has since garnered over 8.2 thousand retweets and has sparked one of South African Twitter’s first viral hashtags of the year. Trevor Noah has even got in on the action with a retweet of user @dubsphiwe.

Take a look at some of the best #TheYearWeMispronounceBack tweets below.

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