It's just a kettle you say? Proudly SA brand Zuluish gets lukewarm reception on social media
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It started with an innocent enough tweet by local appliance brand Zuluish marketing their latest addition to their product line-up.
The company is owned by local entrepreneur Yandisa Zulu.
But things soon went downhill from there when their Zuluish kettle started trending on Twitter.
From the onset, many social media users took issue with the name of the kettle in particular.
Your first mistake is the name, your market will be limited to Zulus, you should consider rebranding. Otherwise, well done for creating the product.— IRONDUKE 👊 (@mabkhoza) August 22, 2021
Maxhosa is proudly south african but we don't even know their factory...we don't even care! Stop hating— Ngwebedla (@Magudulela_M) August 22, 2021
Even local designer MaXhosa was brought into the thread, making tribalism a topic for heated debate.
“Do you have the same mentality about Maxhosa clothing brand?” asked one tweep, while another argued that “I'’m not Zulu but I feel like many people just hate everything written ’Zulu’ nje. There are countless brand named after their founders but it’s no big deal. Mercedes Benz, Louis Vuitton, Maxhosa by Laduma, Dolce and Gabbana, to count the few. ”
A proudly African product pic.twitter.com/3zliGUxSJi— Zuluish (@Zuluish_) August 22, 2021
The debate soon escalated into the origins of the kettle.
Someone pointed out that it can’t be a truly proudly South African product if it was reportedly manufactured in China.
“Before we celebrate, where is the factory for these kettles? Are they manufactured in SA or we just labelling Chinese products to Zuliush? If it’s creating employment from the production of parts to assembly,then its proudly South African,” they commented.
“Maxhosa is proudly South African but we don't even know their factory ... we don’t even care! Stop hating,” said another in response.
Others accused Zuluish of ripping off other similar products and punting them as their own.
Let me leave this here🚶🏿♂️🚶🏿♂️🚶🏿♂️🚶🏿♂️🚶🏿♂️ pic.twitter.com/TLldJOn9y0— Mmina Nare🐃 (@Modula_Thoko) August 22, 2021
Despite the online backlash, for owner Yandisa Zulu, Zuluish is a step closer to his dream becoming a reality after launching the first product of his electronic appliance brand.
“I started doing research seven years ago. I was checking what is on the market, what is missing from the market and what other companies from other countries are doing. Working for different companies has also helped me gather the information I needed to make this dream a reality,” he told IOL sister publication The Mercury.
Zulu said that his brand specialises on appliances, but they have launched a kettle for now.
Fortunately, it appears all the online dragging has done wonders for the brand. Their Twitter page has been inundated with orders and enquiries about the kettle. In this case, it totally worked to their advantage.