A lot of people will never get to do a thesis or a dissertation but let me tell you this with absolute certainty, it is the most difficult peace of document you will ever write. The amount of research you have to get just to get the topic approved let alone agreeable is immense. It is not for everyone and that is what makes it so hard. This was such a cruel and low blow I had done but my question was this, why did he get to go to school with no worries whilst I had left my two week baby alone so I could study. Where was he when I suffered that? He had the nerve to tell me that his thing was more important than our baby? Let’s see then. I was willing to die to feed my child so was he willing to die to save his paper. I did not run away. I went back and sat down where he left me. I wanted my son back, today but not without an answer. I knew for a fact Mudenda could never afford to put Amo next to Meladi without it being a problem. He had to make sure that baby was gone. When he came back he was more arrogant than ever,
He said as though I was his servant.
I asked him.
“To my house to pick your child up!”
I did not fight this, I wanted to my baby I had not slept well at all thinking about him. I went into my sisters car and we drove behind him. I knew this place so well I could go there with my eyes closed. When I got there there were other cars outside. I guess he had called a family meeting. This was not a good idea any more. I asked my sister to come in with me. Judith was not scared of anything this girl. We went in and found everyone seated. It was his mother, father, Kodane (the sister whose wedding I had helped with) and then my sister, Mudenda and I. I greeted politely as a proper makoti should and only the mother and Kodane greeted back. I guess the father was still in shock but he will get over it. As soon as I sat down he open his mouth,
“Yesterday you humiliated me. I did not even go to the office today because I was so embarrassed. What kind of a girl does that?”
I looked down and did not respond.
“As for the damages you demanded, that will be done next year. You don’t get to demand such. Where do you think that money will come from? It does not grow on trees!”
He said fuming. Here he could raise his voice however loudly he wanted. There was a silence in the house which made me know it was my turn. I tried very hard to keep my voice low,
“You make it as though I am a bad person for wanting my baby to be fed and dress up!”
I responded to them.
“Now your family has gone around telling people that I lied that the baby is Mudenda’s when you know truly well that he is. Look at him and tell me that he does not look like your son!”
“Until you pay damages I am going to pull stunts like this without fail. Next I am going to be on radio discussing families like this! I will take my child to Khumbule’khaya if I have to! That much I can promise you!”
I said furiously but I did not raise my voice. These people were playing with me. Paying next year for what? Damages were to be paid at the end of this month to my mother! I was being unreasonable yes but I was being unreasonable for a reason. If you don’t play hardball then clearly you have killed your own child. Eventually the sister Kodane spoke,
“Papa, I know you will not like this but Faith is right. This is my nephew and your grandchild. Meladi was in this house helping her pregnant friend prepare for my wedding. We then reject the pregnant makoti for her friend simply because her father is who he is. Aowa papa we are wrong here. We need to do right by this girl!”
You had to have been there to have seen the glare they all gave her. I forgot to mention that Meladi came from a very powerful rich business family with political ties. To her credit she had never been a show off and in fact you wouldn’t know all this unless you investigated deeper. What Mudenda’s family did not know was that they were stingy as hell. She was daughter number two in a family with three boys ahead of her meaning they had six kids in all. Mudenda’s family was no different. I know a girl who dated a rich guy for over four years and when he dumped her he married her little sister and everyone was cool with it, family included. As long as the money does not go elsewhere no one gives a fuck about whether it’s wrong or right. That’s why I had been sacrificed, because my mother was a nurse! Kodane was clearly not sleeping at home tonight.
“You are going to ruin everything for Mudenda and Meladi. How can you be so selfish my child?”
The mother asked me. How was I being selfish? Kodane put her hands in her face when her mother said that and even his father looked stupefied. Now I was her child. She was buttering me up.
“Selfish? How am I selfish mama? You know me, I was on my knees in this house, we cleaned the curtains together and you kept saying it was bad for my pregnancy you did not want your grandchild to be a cripple. You said I reminded you of your little sister, the one who passed away when you were kids because I had a big heart and having me in the family would be a breath of fresh air!”
I asked a bit surprised. She had said all this and you could see by the look on her face that she was embarrassed to look me in the eye.
“You are standing in the front of his happiness. Yes he messed up with you but that’s life you win some you lose some.”
Had this woman not been listening?
“What about my happiness? I don’t want your son back because when kharma comes back to haunt him, and it will, I don’t want to be there. All I am asking is for your son to pay damages for my child and I and pay maintenance then we are done! I will not come to your office, his office or your home. I won’t have a reason to! However, as long as those things are not done I will teach him, his new rich wife and you a lesson you will never forget!”
I said standing up defiantly. My baby was crying. I went to his Moses basket, took him out, sat down where I was and took out my breast and stuck it in his mouth. You should have seen the look on their faces, even Kodane. I had done it on purpose though after the little speech I had just given. I had shown them how really ratchet and ghetto I could be. I am sure they will discuss me for many years to come. This thing of breastfeeding is a touchy issue.
“For today we will give you money to go home, buy food and so on!”
The father said looking down. It’s like my boob would turn him to stone if he looked up. Amo didn’t care one bit, he was enjoying his milk.
“Papa I am not a bad person. I do not want to cause problems for you or your family. I have so much respect for you and I always have. Mudenda’s sins are not your own but my child, his son, your grandchild should not suffer because he is not man enough!”
I said. There was silence in the room. My sister whispered that now it was the time to leave which was funny because with everyone quiet it was not necessary. Meladi came up with me holding an envelope. I said my goodbyes and took my baby basket and walked out. My sister took the basket from me.
“I am so sorry Faith. I fought them yesterday about this and you can see I lost. I don’t like Meladi. Girls don’t do that to each other but what can I do?”
I told her it was ok and like her mother had said, it’s life. Judith was already by the car.
I heard Mudenda from behind. Kodane and I turned at the same time. I didn’t even see it coming. He slapped me so hard, his sister screamed, I flew across the driveway, through the corner of my eye i saw a car pull in and I hit something!
“Never talk to my family like that!”
I think I blacked out!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I am reader and I have read so much South African Literature but you my friend are up there with the best. Amazing indeed.
I have a problem with my mother in law. When I got married to my house she was paying a bond for her house. She is a teacher. What I did not know was that my now husband was sending her the money she pays for her bond and more. Now that we have to bond our own home the books don’t balance as now it’s technically two bonds we are paying for. I asked my husband to speak to her about this and when he did that turned her against me. She asked him to divorce me or never talk to her again. My husband is a mommy’s baby and loves his mother hence why he was paying so much for her. He chose me. Now he is hurting. He is so unhappy he misses her. When he tries to call her she hangs up. I went and begged her to reconsider but she called me a witch that is trying to break up her family. Please advise me on how to get my family back together because she too is my family.