No more father’s surname for kids, MP

via No more father’s surname for kids, MP – NewZimbabwe 25/07/2015 by Nkosana Dlamini – Chief Correspondent

“I don’t want to continuously apologise for being Ndebele because somebody has decided that your definition is Shona because the sperm that produced you came from a Shona man.

“The last (survey) result that we had showed that 72 per cent of local men were duped of paternity.”

FIREBRAND MDC legislator and feminist, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga says she plans to formally challenge a requirement for children to adopt their fathers’ surnames as opposed to those of their mothers.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said she planned to use her own case, where she was born a Misihairabwi, but will switch surnames to Ncube, her mother’s family name.

“I am actually going to change my name to my mother’s name,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga told in an exclusive interview weekend.

“I want to deal with this notion that says when a child is born, they are a father’s child, which is ridiculous because a father is actually a ‘may-be’; the person you really know is actually your mother.”

The MDC top official said she had no issues against her dotting late father, a Shona from Mashonaland Central’s Chiweshe area, or her husband Christopher Mushonga (also late), whose surname she pairs with her own family name.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga had no children with her husband.

The lack of spawn, she added, has buttressed her resolve to permanently abandon his name whose continued use she admitted was unnecessarily dragging the deceased’s surviving family members into controversies she occasionally runs into as MP.

The tough speaking legislator said her new stance would pave way for younger Zimbabweans who feel the same but fear the consequences of challenging a cultural norm.

“I think that that debate needs to come to the centre,” she said.

Although she hails from a Shona background, Misihairabwi-Mushonga was cultured into a Ndebele system under her mother Laiza Theresa’s family.

She explained: “I don’t want to continuously apologise for being Ndebele because somebody has decided that your definition is Shona because the sperm that produced you came from a Shona man.

“I am not saying that the sperm did not come from Misihairabwi. It could very well have; but it may not necessarily have been. If the definition of Priscilla is by her name, then I am going to get a Ncube name.”

Attention seeker?

The former MDC secretary general denied attention seeking and trying to stir controversy.

“I am not joking,” she said, “This is going to be serious debate. I am going to get a Ncube name! That is my mother’s name. It is my name. It is in my blood line.

“I am certainly going to be doing that just to make that point to say there is nowhere where it is written that you have to take your father’s name only and that the definition of who you are as a person is by your father’s name.”

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said she planned to strengthen her argument from recent statistics availed to the Harare magistrate’s court where 72 percent of men who challenged paternity through DNA tests were found to be negative.

“I am not necessarily choosing between the father and the mother. I am just basically saying that these two people have equal rights to this person that they brought to the world,” she said.

“My comment about the insistence of people to give a person a father’s name as that it suggests the mother is a lesser being.

“is that in fact biologically correct? The person that you genuinely have hundred per cent connection to and do not need to do a DNA is your mum.

“Just like the last result that we had, 72 per cent of local men were duped of paternity.

“So if we need to use those figures, then we will have a debate right now on whether children should be carrying their fathers’ names because we don’t know.”


  • comment-avatar
    Mhosva 7 years ago

    Yet another MP wasting time on unnecessary issues. There are much bigger issues to talk about at the moment. Her party needs her to talk sense not pursue some trivial issues which will not bring any food onto the table of struggling Zimbabweans. Ncube or Misihairabwi or Mushonga who cares?

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      chitundumuseremusere 7 years ago

      Is it really necessary ? You have a lot to do, leave our sperms alone iwe. gomba harina mwana mhani

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago


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    people who waste time talking these stories are beaches because they don’t know who pregnant them instead of planning how to built Zimbabwe

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    Sorry! The house is burning this can wait.

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    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    It looks like Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is taking an issue personal to her to a national level when there is no need for that.

    People over the years have changed surnames, first names etc and there are processes already in place to do that. It’s really a personal issue and we have seen children by the same mother choosing to use whichever surname they like. A popular example would be Leo Mugabe uses his mother’s surname whereas Patrick his brother doesn’t and this is personal to them.

    What Misihairabwi-Mushonga needs to know is that there are other more serious issues affecting girls/women that she should be raising. These issues include among others child prostitution, child trafficking, child labour, forced marriage etc that she should be advocating.

    Her change of surname is of no relevance to anybody and I can’t see her in Parliament again beyond this current Parliament following the fallout in her own party.

    She looks like a person so hung up and overly obsessed by surnames hence it’s not surprising there is a hyphen in her surname but that’s not a pressing issue for most people.

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    gomba 7 years ago

    The woman is not just sure of her father she should resolve her issue privately

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    Well, I believe that the Jewish people say, “You always know who your mother is – but you can never be sure who your father is”

    Makes sense to me!

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    Reverend 7 years ago

    “I am not joking,” she said, “This is going to be serious debate. I am going to get a Ncube name! That is my mother’s name. It is my name. It is in my blood line.” ???
    This poor uneducated lady does not know that the bloodline comes from the father, not from the mother.

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    FromTheHip 7 years ago

    People with the argument posed by Misihairabwi don’t seem to see the absurdity of their position. If she calls herself Ncube (her mother’s (father’s) name) how does she know her mother was actually a Ncube?…and even if Ncube was her mother’s mother’s name, how does she know her grandmother was a Ncube? … infinitum. Daft.

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      murerwa 6 years ago

      logical analysis, she should just throw the surname issue away cause its a vicious circle. there are better issues this lady should spend her energy on

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    Observation…it’s 72% of men who were doubtful. The sample is not representative. If the sample was random, the percentage will go down significantly….

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    Mr President 7 years ago

    This girl is a bad tooth with no remedy and should be rooted out and let those with life changing ideas take her place. There are important issues at hand to better the life of zimbabweans who are struggling to make ends meet. Who cares whether u are Misihairabwi – Mushonga or you are Ncube, nobody cares. Debate about how to make Zimbabwe a prosperous nation and a better place for everybody therein. That’s why you are an MP. DO YOUR JOB

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    mlilo 6 years ago

    some people would surely want to waste time on things they are aware of. If that is not her surname, she should just follow the correct procedure and revert to her real surname period. Why enlist the services of everyone in your personal matters.