Siya Radebe defends surname change: I am Mthembu!
Award-winning actor Siya Radebe has lashed out at reports about his recent surname change‚ calling it disrespectful towards his culture and family.
Siya’s surname became a talking point recently after reports that he had changed it to Mthembu. According to Sunday Sun‚ Siya’s surname change became an issue when he was reported to have got back with actress Lerato Mvelase who shares the same surname.
The star had altered his social media handles to reflect the surname change but in a lengthy Instagram post on Friday lambasted those who had discussed the change.
“When the media wants to play surname games and they want to write about my surname on their print media‚ they must also please write about what a surname means in Zulu culture...looks to me like the media is so disrespectful towards my clan‚ my father‚ my seed‚ my existence in this South Africa‚” Siya wrote.
He also defended his decision to change his name‚ posting a video of his father and writing: ‘I love this man. I am his son‚ I am Mthembu. I am the man I am because of his teachings and his presence in my life. I am the seed of uMthembu‚ a Zulu man who grew up in the ghettos of this country without a father of his own but he became the world’s greatest father to me“.
He repeated this plea that the conversation move to the meaning of the surname instead of the change.
“Mthembu was forced into the ghettos of South Africa...if the media is really that worried about my surname‚ why not also say that our African surnames came with land‚ cows and all the things a human being needs to live‚ they must speak about what the surnames of the tribal people stand for‚” Siya said.