But how do we pronounce Mr Sexwale’s name? Certainly not ˈseksweɪl.
If you search on-line, you find no authoritative answer and several conflicting pieces of advice from amateurs.
An exchange on reddit went
● Spoiler: Tokyo Sexwale is not pronounced the way it's spelled.and then
● Yup. As my South African-parented girlfriend immediately pointed out, it's "Seh-tongueclick-wah-leh."
● The 'x' in the Sex part is pronounced like a soft 'g' in afrikaans.
Meanwhile the online Telegraph told us firmly
Tokyo Sexwale (pronounced seh-wa-le)…
This is one of the names I decided to add to the most recent edition of LPD, so I actually checked it out a few years ago (blog, 3 July 2007).
My initial expectation was that the letter x in his name would stand for the voiceless lateral click, as it does in Xhosa and Zulu, where xoxa ‘tell’ is pronounced ˈǁɔːǁá (or, if you prefer greater explicitness in click symbolism, ˈk͡ǁɔːk͡ǁá).
However, my further researches seemed to suggest that Mr Sexwale’s ethnicity is not Xhosa or Zulu but Venda (or Venḓa — the diacritic indicates a dental, as opposed to alveolar, place of articulation). And in Tshivenḓa the letter x has its IPA value, representing a voiceless velar fricative. So he’d be seˈxwaːle.
The BBC Pronunciation Unit confirmed this.
Yes, the IPA for our entry [for Sexwale] indicates a velar fricative. The recommendation is based on the advice of colleagues in Focus on Africa, who, according to our history note from 1993, were adamant that the orthographic 'x' is pronounced as a velar fricative.
(That is indeed also how the orthographic g of Afrikaans is pronounced.)
Conclusion: in English we should call him seˈxwɑːleɪ or, failing that, seˈkwɑːleɪ.