Saturday, 17 December 2016

The misfortunes...

We started having problems right after Papa's  death. My elderly sister lost her job, and Neo was also fired after trying to steal a box of milk. Mama said papa's death brought so m any misfortunes in our home & sometimes she also felt like taking her own life because of poverty. We became very poor and sometimes we would go to bed on empty stomachs. I didn't understand as to why papa's death would bring us such, did he enjoy watching us from Heaven suffering, was he that heartless?. I know that he and mama used to fight but I didn't know that we all would be punished one day because of their fights.

Papa was a traditional man who believed in badimo(the uncestors), the old man had a lot of stories to tell about badimo. According to him, they were the reason he married our mother, & the reason they had us. Mama on the other side was a very submissive woman who supported everything Papa did or said even when she didn't really agree but she would for peace's sake and that's when I knew that mama was no longer happy in their marriage. Papa was a polygamist with three wives, mama was his third wife, right next to our house lived his first wife Mme Sebolai and in a Hut next to that one lived the second childless wife Makhumalo.

After Papa's funeral Makhumalo did not waste time but packed all her belongings and went back to Mpendle(a small village in Kwazulu Natal). Mme Sebolai had three kids with Papa and they all had moved to the city for greener pastures. All three of my brothers we taking a good care of their mother, it was only my sister Dineo & my brother Neo who could not take care of our poor mother. I on the side was still in high school but on Saturdays I would go work in the farms for extra cash & a bag of potatoes. Yes! a bag of potatoes that's what the white man would give us when we were done working for the weekend. A bag of potatoes that would become our seshebo & sometimes pap when we did not have maize meal.  Mama would boil the potatoes & when they were tender she would then add a pinch of salt and mash them with our big wooden spoon. This was our only decent meal & before every meal we prayed and thanked God for it. 

Mama's illness started the moment she discovered my sister Dineo's pregnancy. Awwwwwwwwwww! Dineo o mpolayile(you have killed me) how could you? " Your peers are giving birth to qualifications and houses wena o tlisa ngoana? " I am sorry mama" my sister said. "You are sorry Dineo, well sorry is not going to feed that baby" awwwwwwwwwww Dineo ngoana ka" why mara,  why Dineo?....

To be continued

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The train...

The train…

The train was jam-packed and some people were forced to either stand or sit on the floor. Right next to me there was a heavily pregnant Zulu woman, the woman was also forced to stand as she could not find any unreserved seat. No one was willing to give their sit up for the heavily pregnant woman. "Sonke sikhokhile", they said, "& we all are exhausted, so ubani uzosukumela umuntu angamazi? They whispered & giggled all at once. A hawker entered selling steamed sweet corn, the heavely pregnant woman wanted to buy but the boy was way too fast for her. “Umbila umbila R7.00” he said, whilst walking past those who were seated & standing.

As I was still listening to all sorts of noises, a young blind man came in with an old man who had an enamel cup full of coins. They sang out loudly & the good Samaritans started throwing their loose change into the man’s enamel cup. 

A few minutes later came umfundisi carrying his bible; he greeted and started preaching, pleading people to accept Christ. As soon as he was gone, a young thug reached out and snatched the gold chain from around the heavily pregnant woman’s neck and quickly ran out. She screamed but no one could help her... everything happened very fast. 

This was a train where you meet students, hawkers, both unemployed men and women, newspaper readers, noise makers, and preachers. The train had brought all together, from all corners of life, we all were equal in the train...yes equal.

This was Jozi as some call it, the city of Gold, Jozi had swallowed our loved ones & left many children including myself fatherless.

Back in the villages you'd hear children saying "ubaba use Goli, uzobuya ngo December". And December would come & pass…

To be continued…

Saturday, 26 September 2015

A cry of the African Child!!!

The Ireland was surrounded by trees and an ocean on the other side of it. Under the trees were a number of men some were building small boats whilst others had cups of tea on their hands.

These men were in groups and it was as if life was all about building small boats and telling tales. I could just tell that they’d never been introduced to a better life style besides their usual boat building kind of a life style. I didn’t care much about what they were doing, what struck me the most was a little girl standing next to one of the trees. It was as if she couldn’t move, maybe the blazing hot sun was one of her reasons for standing under one of the trees.

The little girl looked fourteen and poverty was written all over her face, dressed in her rumpled dirty school uniform. I’m sure the color of her school shirt was once white but because of not being washed it looked brownish. The little girl had no shoes on her feet and the soles of her feet had cracked. She had a flaky skin, and her lips were extremely dry, was it because of protein poor foods maybe?. I had a number of questions maybe, it was because I had only seen such girls on those “Feed African children’s kind of posts but now it wasn’t on the net it was right before me.

Her head was covered with one of those "head coverings" worn by "Muslim" girls as an expression of modesty. I imagined where she was coming from, a one bedroom mud house with no bed but an old sponge used as a bed. Was I judging the book by its cover?

She reminded me of an old class mate by the name of Amina. Amina was a black muslim girl who always covered her head with a hijab. At that time I didn't really understand why the hijab was worn by young women like her. I mean I couldn't imagine myself being forced by my parents to wear the hijab while my mates were braiding & ironing their hair.

Amina's case was a bit complicated, she was from a home of two different religions , her mother was a born again Christian & her father was Muslim. Amina's three younger brothers would go to church with their mother , & her on the other side chose to follow her father's religion of which I think was a bit complicated just like any other religion but yet interesting.
 
Amina's father didn't care much about his wife being christian , all he wanted was her to dress modestly by covering her breasts, genitals, & also not to wear tight dresses &trousers. One day mama Amina wanted to attend a Gospel concert, so she went & bought a very beautiful white maxi dress. She came out of her bedroom dressed in a white dress with red sandals.

"Mama that dress is too tight" said Amina in a very loud voice

"Who asked for your opinion?" Mama Amina replied in a very harsh tone

"She is right my wife, a woman of God doesn't dress like that" papa Amina said, it was as if his daughter's comment kind of forced him to comment

Mama Amina was a very opinionated woman, so surely she wasn't going to let this whole thing slide. She opened her big eyes & raised her eye brows.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

When loving him hurts...Chapter 1

She had been married to her abusive ex-husband for 5 years; they had a three year old beautiful daughter named Mbali. I first met this lady in a bus & somehow we ended up talking about relationships & her abusive marriage. At first i thought it was going to be one of those beautiful love stories of how & where they met, the things he used to do for her... but then it turned out not to be one of those girl met a guy, they fall in love, get married, have children & live happily ever after kind of stories. She smiled as she started telling her story...

“I met my then loving ex-husband in a conference. He looked so handsome & well dressed. He introduced himself as James & I remember telling him that I was going to call him James Bond (laughed).The conversation continued & we ended up exchanging numbers. Six months down the line he married me & bought a beautiful house. I remember how envious my single friends were, they all prayed for a man like James...he was every woman's dream & i was thankful for having him as my husband.

When I became pregnant James started treating me badly. He became cold and I started questioning if being with him was a right choice. We started arguing a lot & those arguments turned into punches. Before I knew it, he would disappear for a couple of days & come back drunk. I spent most of the times lonely & stressed, I couldn't even tell my friends & family what I was going through...I had to paint a picture of a happy wife.

I remember lying on the bathroom floor; I couldn't believe how ill I felt. I lifted my head over the bowl and was sick, my husband was nowhere to be found & his cell phone was off. I tried calling an ambulance & luckily it arrived within 20 minutes. I gave birth to my daughter before we could even get to the hospital. She was so tiny but adorable. I couldn't even put her down. She was the most beautiful gift I had ever received & that's when I realized that I had to protect her from her own father.

” The tears began to flow slowly at first & then became heavier as I listened to a beautiful but damaged woman's story. Sindy was wrapped in despair & her beautiful face still displayed dark bruises she had received Months back from her ex-husband. She started sobbing & couldn't continue for at least three minutes to be exact as if she knew that I wanted her to stop talking. I wanted to comfort her but somehow I couldn't. She had gone through so much & the words "I'm sorry" were the last thing she wanted to hear, she needed more than that. She knew that her pain was better shared with a stranger, a woman who knew nothing about her, someone who'd never judge her & that someone happened to be me.

"I'm sorry" she said for what? I asked
"For telling you all this, it’s just that I needed a shoulder to cry on "
You don't have to apologize
"The awkward thing is I haven’t even introduced myself” she said …

...to be continued