Controversy surrounds Blantyre Clock Tower roman numeral five

Mixed views have ensued over the newly rehabilitated clock at the renowned Blantyre Clock Tower with Roman numeral five on the multi-million kwacha clock appearing upside down.

Clock tower in Blantyre

However, commenting on the matter in an interview, Public Relations Manager (PRM) for Blantyre City Council (BCC) Anthony Kasunde said there is no problem with the numbering of the clock saying the clock has been there for a while and the city has observed that before.

On his part, in a separate interview on Thursday, Innocent Khembo working at the Mathematical Department at The Polytechnic said that when the Clock Tower was being designed, they followed geographical mapping considering that the highway has four ways hence the use of such a figure to direct people where they are going and coming from.

Khembo added that normally, it is not right for the numeral number to be in that position; however for the sake of the area itself, it is sensible for the Roman numeral to look upside down as a way of directing and providing awareness to people on how they can use the road appropriately.

Therefore, Khembo said that the number was designed like that intentionally with the aim of letting people know how they can use the road properly.

In contrast, Education Activist Benedicto Kondowe said it is not right to use the figure in such a manner because it compromises what many people adhere to through their studies.

Kondowe said putting the Roman numeral number five in an upside down position on the clock will disturb many people and may also affect the young generation since this will contradict with that they learn in school.

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26 thoughts on “Controversy surrounds Blantyre Clock Tower roman numeral five”

  1. pixy says:

    Khembo ndiwe wausilu eti!!! Then that is no longer a five in roman numeral. Stupid man.

  2. Inspectah Deck says:

    Agalu inu, am saddened that such analysis can come from someone entrusted to teach in a higher learning institution. Mr Khembo, are you a clock expert? Please enlighten me how the clock will direct me to Ndirande?

  3. karonga says:

    There are rules attached to the writing of roman numerals and one of them says that “a numeral can not be repeated more than three times” which means that III is correct and IIII is wrong. To say that IV=IIII is completely wrong. Something is wrong with the manufacturers who think they can model roman numerals when in essence they can not be modelled! Ask the Romans and you will find the truth.

  4. Mgoloso says:

    This shows kuti a Malawi mulibe zochita – the whole human being wasting time with a numeral? It has stayed like that for decades and got to know the anomaly in 2017?

    Empty buckets indeed have enough time to make a lot of noise on everything that comes on their sight

  5. DANIEL says:

    ZA ZIIIIIII!! ZOPANDA NDI NCHELE OMWE….PALIBE CHOLAKWIKA APA….INUSO A NYASATIMES MUZIONA NKHANI YOMAIKA PA PAGE OSATI IZI……

  6. be humane says:

    Some discussions are useless. MR. Kondowe, this was put before you were born. Does that confuse you? Which generation then are you talking about? Do you then mean the next generation is more foolish than yourself? Why were you not confused all along up to your age. Yourself even never realized it until now when someone has said it. Don’t be wise in everything my friend. And such are people the country trusted to the useless Malawi Human Rights Commission. Shame on You Benedicto Kondowe

  7. Bonafide says:

    Stop wasting time here. tingoonetsa umbuli wathu apa. Just go on google and search clock with roman numerals, you will see there are so many clocks like that. Palibepo cholakwika apa. Crazy Malawian, aliyense amafuna akhale odziwa.

  8. dj says:

    i have just realized that Malawi is still backwards. there is absolutely nothing wrong with the watch.. IIII and IV is the same in roman numbers…. the is not issue their check all the watches in the world

  9. Nophiya says:

    Tell DPP cadets to attack it

  10. bt says:

    Palibe nkhani apa. I don’t see anything wrong.

  11. Raw stuffer says:

    The City Assembly should swallow its pride and day say it was wrong to place the number 5 (V in Roman numerals) upside down. They should come in the open and tell us the truth that it is the cost of correcting the mess that they fear. Besides, the biggest problem there if the number 4 (iv in Roman numerals) which has been written as IIII which is very wrong.

  12. KWESIKWESI says:

    Old age conundrum!! Lets stick with what we know!! http://mentalfloss.com/article/24578/why-do-some-clocks-use-roman-numeral-iiii

  13. Mlopwana Khanleriwa says:

    The standard 5 for watches is IIII and not IV. Check all the clocks in homes, or wrist watches. Anthu mungopanga comment musakudziwa eti. There is nothing with this clock. A Nyasatimes nso sakudziwa kanthu. Angotengera pa facebook which was all wrong.

  14. m sizini says:

    On the faces of traditional pocket-watches, the number 4 was usually shown as IIII. It was believed that this increased the aesthetic balance of the watch-face.

  15. Mzokoto king says:

    Bola BT things are happening, si nkholokolo tikuweta mu Lilongwe zi. When u get 2 bunda roundabout umangoziwilatu kuti uku nde tiona nsete za capital city.

  16. Ine says:

    This innocent khembo is also a very stupid baboon. How can an upside down 5 in Roman numerals direct people to where they are going. Mwasowazonena?

  17. ujeni Phiri says:

    The major problem is in to; an numero 4 which is supposed to be iv not llll

  18. pido says:

    A Kondowe musamangoona mavuto pa zinthu zoti ena apanga kale. Bungwe lanu lili abstract palibe chomwe likuchita mmalawi

  19. Kent Y.G. Mphepo says:

    My real problem here is the 4 (written ‘IIII’ instead of ‘IV’). I think that this is a big mistake and must be corrected. I am wrong??

    Kent Mphepo – Blantyre

  20. BIMA says:

    THATS MY MALAWI I KNOW !! DOING THINGS UPSIDE DOWN AND WE
    CONSOLE OURSELVES BY
    SAYING (IT DOESNT MATTER ) REALLY ??

    WHEN WILL WE PEOPLE LEARN TO SAY NO WHEN WE ARE SOPPOSED TO SAY NO AND SAY YES WHEN REQUIRED TO SAY YES ??

    TO MOST OF US MISUSE
    THESE WORDS AND CONFUSIONS ARISE

    WHY CANT SOMEBODY
    WAKEUP AND SAY YES !!
    GUYS ITS A MISTAKE WE GONNA RECTIFY THE PROBLEM IN THIS WAY AND SUCH PERIOD OF TIME ?

    THATS WHAT WE PEOPLE EXPECT FROM TJISE IN AUTHORITY

    DONT DRIVE US TO SAY/ THINK THAT THINGS
    WERE BETTER DURING
    COLONIAL/KAMUZU ERA
    YOU COULDNT DO SUCH A THING IN THOSE DAYS AND SAY IT
    DOEDNT MATTER OR ITS
    OK
    WHY ??
    IT WAS SERIOUS BUSINESS EVERYWHERE

    NOW !
    FULL OF JOKERS IN HOT SEATS

    #COLLEGES CLOSED
    STUDENTS LOITERING IN
    STREETS /VILLAGES LIKE NOBODYS BUSINESS

    YOU GO AHEAD CHANTING WINING ELECTIONS IS A GAME OF NUMBERS WHICH NUMBERS ?? THESE STUDENTS ARE ALMOST FROM ALL CORNERS OF
    MALAWI
    NOTE #THIS IS SUICIDAL 000000H !!
    #TOO MANY SACRED COWS
    #MOMBERA UNIVERSITY A
    JOKE
    #MZUZU AIRPORT A JOKE
    WITH KAMUZU EVERY DISTRICT HAD AN AERODROME NOW TURNED INTO GRAZING
    AREAS FOR GOATS
    #MZUZU STADIUM A JOKE
    #OUR HOSPITALS A JOKE

  21. Charombanthu says:

    I have a problem with the 4 which is shown as IIII and not the V (5) in this article. A Roman numeral 4 is iv and not IIII. As for inverting the V, my take is that most of these gadgets are now coming from the Far East/china and it would appear that there are a lot of shortcuts. These shortcuts will definitely mislead our youngsters.

  22. Chibaca says:

    IV = 4 not IIII

    1. Bihale says:

      Good observation.

  23. Observer says:

    I think the issue should have been the four which is not rightly presented.

  24. Songo says:

    How about IIII?

  25. zakeyu says:

    The writer got it all wrong,the issue here is not the V looking upside down but tomani numeral IIII which appeears on the clock does not exist….IV is the correct roman numeral for 4

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