Mzwanele Manyi has formally applied at Home Affairs to drop his forename Jimmy, which he labelled a “slave name.”
Manyi, the head of policy at African Transformation Movement (ATM), made the revelation on Twitter on Wednesday.
He posted a picture of the application forms along with the caption, “The process to remove the slave name, Jimmy, is officially ON course from today, 16 October 2019. #MzwaneleMustRise.”
ATM’s President Vuyo Zungula retweeted Manyi’s tweet with a hashtag of his own – #Decolonisation.
Manyi has long disowned the name Jimmy and has often been sensitive about it to the point of blocking those calling him the name on Twitter.
In February 2018, he tweeted, “I’m in a blocking mode. Just call me Jimmy on my TL, it will be your last time.”
Manyi is known for his “decolonisation” views. Before joining ATM, he was associated with the All African Decolonisation Congress.
The former head of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) made headlines in 2017 after buying TV news channel ANN7 and newspaper The New Age from the controversial Gupta family.
Manyi’s followers react
Manyi’s tweet sparked varied reactions from his followers, with some supporting his move to drop “Jimmy.”
@FellowAfricans replied, “Decolonisation, will follow suit. I’m named after a Zim coloniser Ian Smith.”
“That’s wonderful. I feel sorry for those with both white names and a surname but they are super black, [like] ‘Des van Rooyen,'” added @I_am_Phumudzo.
However, others were a little more sceptical. @Tormentn asked Manyi, “Please share, are you removing the name ‘Jimmy’ because it is English or there’s more to it? Also advice, will you be removing/stop using all things that was brought to Africa through colonisation? Thanks in advance.”
Sello Samuel wrote, “Mzwanele what you are doing is unnecessary. If you really want to get rid of Jimmy, then you will have to get rid of everything the English ever brought to your life.”