I know we are not supposed to say this but nothing excites black families more than funerals. Two things happen at funerals, we get to spend money but more importantly we get to settle grudges! Maybe it’s the raw emotions of the occasion that causes that lapse of dignity and etiquette. Funerals are the one time you don’t want to be the wife to the rich uncle of that family because that is when it is often decided how so very proud you are and you must be humbled. That’s who we are and it’s a war burying someone you love. This is why I was not particularly keen on this funeral. This time the family did not have to focus on each other but on me. There was no evidence that I had made their child pregnant yet I was guilty as charged. That’s black people for you. Once they convince themselves that you have done something wrong they will not change their mind even if there is proof. There is this family I was watching on the news who lost someone in Nigeria when that church collapsed and even with DNA to match they still refuse to bury their sister because they don’t believe it’s her. Drama! I was not going. We are stubborn to the point of self destruction. I needed a plan and a plan immediately! I had not wanted people in the office to know this but I had to! It just came out!
“My wife just filed for divorce unfortunately. I cannot go. I have to attend to this!”
I declared boldly in my bosses face.m Dalu looked down in shame because it’s not really a nice thing to say that your wife is duumping you.
“I am sorry to hear that! I thought you were such a happy couple!”
He was being genuine and he was right. Uptight as she was, whenever Asthandile came to the office she was always super friendly. At a few office parties she wouldd talk to everyone so it’s easy to assume that we were so happy. He was genuinely shocked.
“Looks like it’s me and you Dalu!”
Divorce is one thing every man understands because in our heads she will try and milk you for everything she did not work for. Her excuse is that she cooked and cleaned when truth is, you hired a maid for her to cook and clean and guess what, you are the one who paid her salary too! I knew my boss had gone through that so it was something that would win me the argument! Dalu looked as though he was about to say something.
“Speak man what’s on your mind?”
My boss asked him?
“She is divorcing him because he was having an affair with Lindiwe so he has to be at that funeral!”
Dalu said. He stood up and he walked out leaving my bosses jaw on the floor with shock! My jaw was not too far off either because what kind of a bitch move was that! He was my friend and he was doing this to me!
“Is this true Mxolisi?”
My boss asked immediately. I did not respond!
“If you do not attend that funeral you will be fired with immediate effect!”
He said sternly. He had cause too for dismissal. We had a company policy that actually forbade relationships in the office because the potential of the company being sued was not worth the risk.m I know a lot of people argue that whatever they do outside of work hours is their business but the reality most men know is that if that relationship turns sour she will come at you with full force!
As for Dalu though…
This friendship was over!
Fuck all self righteous people! If I could make lightening to strike people llke Dalu, the one I would be preparing for you tjoooo, it’s probably still doing push ups! I don’t when I had become this angry person but I think divorce that to you. I stood up and left my office to go straight for Dalu. He saw me coming and immediately stood up and motioned me to follow him. That was his mistake I intended to punch him but that most certainly would have gotten me fired. You can’t afford to lose your job when you are getting a divorce!
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
I screamed as soon as we entered the basement parking? I was so angry at him.
“No Mxolisi, what is wrong with you?”
“Your wife and you are getting a divorce which I know you do not want to share the blame in but you know you played a huge part in. A woman died you fool, a woman who was pregnant by your baby and you happened to work with and now you say you will not be going to her funeral? Are you for real right now? You used to be a man of integrity and honor now you are this pathetic little shell. I am your friend and you can hate me for making you do the right thing but it must be done! It must be done!”
He said in defiance. Had I really become that, a pathetic little man.
“I take the blame everyday for the part I played in this mess!”
I said in response.
“No you do not and stop kidding yourself! Thinking about it in your private thoughts is far from the same as actually talking to your wife or whoever you choose to talk to about. How do you kick her out with no clothes on her back? You have become angry, clumsy and mood because you walk around carrying all this anger and for what? I am ashamed to know that you do not even want to bury Lindiwe, really mate? Really?”
“Wait Dalu, I told you about his family wanting me to pay damages!”
I remembered now that I had told him. When her brother had called Dalu had been there with me I think.
“Why don’t you want to pay? You made her pregnant did you not? So who is supposed to pay? Learn to take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everything on others because you are only embarrassing yourself!”
He said and walked out of that basement. Had I just brought this man here for my own intervention.
I was going to the funeral but not because of Dalu, but because I did not want to lose my job. Something also hit me, how did Dalu know I kicked Asthandile out with no clothes on like he put it unless…
It made sense,
When Bulelwa kicked her out she went to sleep at his place!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Dear Mike and the readers
First all all i would like to thank you for the wonderful job you are doing. your blogs are a blessing to our lives.
Eish Mike i don’t know where to begin. il try to summarize my stories though they are long. i am a 23 year old female from KZN. i studied at UJ. i was using NFSAS to fund my studies. my dad was initially giving me money for food when enrolled. He unfortunately lost his job on my 2nd year. my aunt stepped in and helped me with money from there onwards. i also did odd jobs like waitressing, promotions and TV extras to make sure i did not lack much and also to cloth myself. by the grace of God i completed my studies in 2013.
early 2014 a month before my graduation my dad passed away. i was so hurt and nearly disturbed bcz i loved my dad so much, He raised me as a single parent from when i was less than a year old
(my parent separated, mom was unemployed and couldn’t afford to take care of my older brother and I,so dad took full custody of us)
my problems started when i had to graduate. at the time i had to leave home to do an internship in Johannesburg (dad was very sick).
I did not have enough money to pay for rent with deposit fees to get a decent place closer to work. i ended up renting a room in an 2 bedroom apartment own by a Nigerian guy, who at some point tried to rape me. i moved out immediately when this happened i was fortunate enough to have been saving up. i saved up enough by the time this happened to get my own apartment.
prior to my graduation. i invited my aunt, who had been helping me financially grocery wise, and my mom, who doesn’t have much (survives on a hand to mouth type of situation) and my older brother. i was so hurt when my aunt declined my invitation and she asked me to pay back the money she has contributed towards my “tuition” (she said i am where i am bcz of her money, she called me hurtful names saying ngiyisufundiswa now because of her okukakhesari makubuyele kukhesari). she did not even mention to my dad while he was still alive that she was loaning me the money. what’s worse is that she is badmouthing me in the community saying that sengiyisifundiswa ngenxa yemali yakhe njengobe nginge sanendaba naye.
i think the problem was that i had invited my mom. and since she did not raise me she was not supposed to be at my graduation. i apologised to my aunt for offending her but she did not take it. she indeed did not come to my graduation. she said we are no longer family. we stopped communicating all together up to this day, she is however the only family i have left from my dad’s side of the family. i am still young and I’m going to have to get married someday or even just for mere guidance, i really need family love and support. i no longer go back home because the way she swore at me (I’m terrified of being bewitched). yes i will pay her money back once i’m permanently employed. but she cannot expect me to buy her a car and so forth.
“yoh life neh” my second problem is that i have a younger brother from my dad,(half brother, he’s an orphan now, both his mom and my dad died), He is registered for journalism at TUT. my problem is that im struggling on my own to get him decent education. my family and his don’t want to help me. and they say i think i know better by sending him to varsity, so i should burn alone. We applied for NFSAS but he couldn’t get it due to lack of funds. i’l have payed for his registration, i pay for his rent, i cannot even afford buying him books) our families both don’t even wanna assist with his food. when i ask them they only send 200 per month, which comes after having to remind/nag them more than 5times. its still the beginning of the year and they are not assuring us that they wanna assist, when are we gonna reach December :'(. my aunt suggest that he packs his things and go back home and he must stop listening to me because I’m not his mother. but what should i do when all the elders don’t wanna act like our parents? i have tried getting him a study loan but i am still doing an internship hence i do not even qualify to be his Surety because i am not permanently employed.. Mike i am so confused. i moved from my flat to stay at a back room even just so i can adjust to be able to help him, i feel like i am failing myself, because he needs more than i can offer him. my family turned their backs on us. i feel so lost and so alone. no 1 calls me from home to find out how I’m doing( just moral support). ever since my dad passed on, there’s a hole inside. i get depressed a lot lately, i just pray it doesn’t lead to chronic depression. please help me help my brother. I’m running out of options.