As Francistown celebrated turning 120 recently, President Ian Khama suggested it was time the second city dropped their ‘Ghetto’ nickname.
Despite its negative undertones, Francistowners often use the term with a sense of pride when referring to their home city.
With Khama’s remarks in mind, Voice reporter Christinah Motlhabane took to the streets of the northern capital to find out how locals would feel about stopping the ‘Ghetto’ tag.
AUPA MOSINYI, 65, MAPOKA VILLAGE
I do not know why the government wants to change the name Ghetto because it’s Francistown’s nickname.
The government failed to develop Francistown – they killed our city, no one else. It is not even the second city anymore – Palapye is! They should not change our Ghetto name.
MORRIS NGETAI, 34, MAROBELA VILLAGE
No, why is he stopping the use of the name Ghetto? Maybe he can tell us the reasons for banning the name.
We found the name and we like it. To me it is a good name, even though I do not know what it means!
If it means something bad, then he can ban it. And why are they stopping it now, when everyone in the country knows it and uses it!
We have Ghetto artists and The Voice born in the Ghetto – that name is here to stay!
NKANYEZI ANTTONETE, 42, MATSILOJE
At my age I do not have a problem with the name Ghetto being stopped.
Having said that, when the youth refer to Francistown as Ghetto I do not have a problem either.
Growing up, we knew Gaborone as being the Ghetto.
Francistown is a good name, we don’t need the Ghetto description.
EDWARD SETOMO, 47,
Ghetto is Ghetto because the government is not developing it.
It is okay as Ghetto because of its current state – nothing is being done here, the government is focused on Gaborone and Palapye.
They failed to develop it as the second city; for example when you look at Gerald, there is no shopping mall.
One has to travel a long way to do shopping. Even when I am in Gaborone, I get exited telling those in GC that I am going to Ghetto.
The name is just okay; it shakes those who have regrets in their hearts.
BEE KAISARA, 72, TATISIDING
I do not have a problem with banning the Ghetto name, as it is just a way of making Francistown sound more enticing.
It is not a serious name. But even if they ban it, when someone asks me where I stay, I will proudly tell them I am staying in the Ghetto.
We will never forget it; it has been used for so, so long!
ELIZABETH BOKHUTLO, 45, NSWAZWI
I want the name Ghetto to be stopped completely. I want Francistown.
Ghetto to me is a youthful name. I don’t think it is a dignified label.
If I may ask you, where does this ghetto name come from and what does it mean? Let it be burned.
NB: For those unsure of the word’s meaning, The Cambridge English Dictionary defines Ghetto as: An area of a city, especially a very poor area, where people of a particular race or religion live closely together and apart from other people.