Nov 19

Interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe

by in Community, History & Memories

IMG-20140924-WA0003Summary of an interview with Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi about Mshayazafe in Inanda:

Mr Mnqayi is one of the very few elderly men who came at Inanda at the age of 24 and became very active so that today he still resides in the community even though he was not born in Inanda. In the interview he speaks about being a co-founder of the Thembelethu primary School. Due to the ANC and the IFP Riots which lasted for ears from 1987 – 1990, the area was divided and ruled according to two parties, the IFP area and the ANC area. Those who were from the IFP area were not allowed in the ANC area and those from the ANC area were not allowed in the IFP area too. However this resulted to the children from IFP area being excluded from the ANC schools and there was a need for parents to intervene in such situations and Mr Mnqayi was the one and his idea became very successful. Mr Mnqayi further states that there was a high need for the school because their children were no longer safe once they are caught in the ANC area they get injured and even killed and there were no schools for their children at all and the Thembelethu Primary School was formed through the cottage that was left by the Indians while the blacks were forcibly invading the Indians houses, shops and farms.

In the beginning Mr Mnqayi talks about the environment of Inanda on how it was divided during the apartheid government; Inanda was divided into two – the white government and the Zulu government which was according to chiefs (Ubukhosi ) and great leaders (Izinduna).

Mshayazafe means ‘beat him/her to death’. That’s how the name Mshayazafe came about. Mshayazafe was a tavern that was owned by a woman, but you could swear it was a man, the way it was operating. Mshayazafe was having her bouncer who will take you out if  are troubling them and she was having her people specific for her tavern helping when there is someone whose troubling her. KwaMshayazafe you were not supposed to do wrong things because if you are caught they will beat you to death and when you are caught with the knife they beat you in such a way that no one can even try to help you; once you are caught you are dead already. However people enjoyed drinking and partying at KwaMshayazafe because this women was having radios and other equipment that were scarce at that time and because she was a women she used to cook (Usu) inyama yangaphakathi and sell it to her clients. So many people from different places such as eMawoti came to KwaMshayazafe to drink and also to play cards. There was a man called Nyathikazi, who was appointed by an Indian to give land to people who want to stay at Inanda. He was also a spy working with the Polish called Oqonda; he was from the KwaMshayazafe area, so when people want development they just used uMshayazafe and the place was called Mshayazafe Development but they can still point themselves that this one is from eZihlabathini,this one from Vutha, this one from Mnyama road etc.

Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi has a good memory because he was recalling the years in which these things took place and even the names of the people who were involved during their implementation of the school . He can recall everything and emphasised that you can go to any of the houses at Inanda, but you cannot find any information about Thembalethu Primary School and Mshayazafe Development. He also stressed the point that at school they had never done anything for him but only come to him when they want the history of Thembalethu primary School.

The sad thing, said Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mnqayi, is that heroes like him will only be recognised once they are gone!

Interview and summary:  Andile Mkwanazi 24 September 2014



This post is also available in: Zulu

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