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Eatery Nixes Advert Over Ndebele Spelling Error

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Fast food eatery Chicken Slice was forced Tuesday to pull down a display wall advert in Bulawayo after locals expressed outrage over a Ndebele spelling error.

The Harare-based outlet opened its first joint in the second city on Saturday and immediately ran into language problems with Bulawayans.

“Umkwenyana uqobo uyabuya leChicken Slice,” read the commercial that some Ndebele speakers found offensive.

Though there are variations, the advert should have read: "Umkhwenyana oqotho uza leChicken Slice," meaning "A good son-in-law brings home Chicken Slice."

A battering on social media forced Chicken Slice to replace it with another one written in English.

NetOne is also in hot soup over a wrong spelling of “Amhlophe” in a newspaper advert.

Several other companies and entities, including the government, have faced similar criticism.

“There are people who can write proper Ndebele who can assist with the correct or accepted language,” said Ndebele linguist Samukele Hadebe.

“But with this prevalence of misspellings, one can attribute it to either ignorance or sheer errors or lack of responsibility.”

Hadebe's sentiments were echoed by Masvingo State University lecturer Takavafira Zhou.