'Muvhango' creator Duma Ndlovu: The sick mentality of tribalism is still very much with us

22 June 2020 - 07:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Producer Duma Ndlovu has called for young people to be educated about tribalism. .
Producer Duma Ndlovu has called for young people to be educated about tribalism. .
Image: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Elvis Ntombela

While the battles gender-based violence, police brutality and the Covid-19 pandemic, director Duma Ndlovu has also called for an end to the scourge of tribalism.

Duma recently took to Facebook to slam those who mocked Venda people after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation, a court case involving alleged VBS Bank looters hit the headlines and production of the soapie Muvhango was halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Yesterday in the top 10 list of trending topics on Twitter there was a curious entry that twitteratti was quick to point out. Three of the 10 trending topics included people who speak TshiVenda, the minority language spoken by people from Limpopo.

“In a normal country there should actually be no reason to point this out, but, as the twitter generation would remind us, this is South Africa circa 2020, and the sick mentality of tribalism, which was entrenched and legalised by the apartheid-mad scientists, is still very much with us!” he wrote.

Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Duma said he had to speak out after seeing a rise in tribalism, especially towards TshiVenda speakers, over the last few years.

“If you look at it historically, there was a massive chasm between different groups of speakers because of the apartheid system of putting people who speak a certain language in certain townships. They massively succeeded in separating us.

“The black consciousness movement helped us come together, but when tribalism rears its ugly head again, it means some of us in society have failed to teach our children about the ills of tribalism.”

He said the surge in tribalism came from the younger generation who were not properly educated on the topic and were influenced by “white supremacy”.

He called on the government to consider making it compulsory for everyone to learn TshiVenda at school.

“Families must go back into their cocoons and teach their children the right way. Mass education is failing us drastically because it is being manipulated. Some of this is unintentional, some of it comes from ignorance.

"With the massive influence of our history, some of us want to be like our masters, which is to be expected. The responsibility is on us to teach our children and grandchildren to be good to other people, regardless of their race or tribe.”