Being a parent often means that you have to sacrifice everything to go after your child when they are in trouble. The burden, if I can call it that, often falls on the mother to do this running around. At this moment I wished my husband was there with me. You know coming from being a married woman to a divorced one has to be the most difficult thing ever. People really don’t get that. You fall from having support structures no matter how weak they are to having to handle everything by yourself. There is no one to blame for failure because it’s all on you. It is not a fun overnight job that you take for granted. What’s worse however for me was that I was the one to blame for all this. I was under no illusion that in this case I had poked a bear and the bear was responding. I wonder what other woman would have done though? Would you have allowed yourself to be used as someone else’s girlfriend to save yourself? It was the same as being asked to sleep with someone else to save your life! Would you do it? Is it still just sex or rape even if you agreed? I was scared now. I was now caught between a rock and a hard place. I could either follow my mother in law and save my marriage or turn back and go save my daughter. This would have raised questions of course and might end up coming out to my husband that I was working with Mthobisi which would have been a nail in my coffin. I called his wife immediately.
“Lesedi I have a problem!” I said as soon as she picked up. I then went on to explain everything that had happened earlier in the evening and how I had refused her husband, the irony of that, the right to use me as his prostitute. Why could he not have hired someone else to do so? He had the money I am sure and the influence. Hell why couldn’t he have asked his own wife.
“But why didn’t you tell me this as soon as this happened? I could have helped you!” she said almost sounding defeated. I then explained everything inclusive of the funeral and how my husband had left me. It’s not easy really to tell another woman when the wound is so fresh that you were told you were not good enough for him.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t know that things were this bad between you and Sizwe wow!” she said. Of course she did not know. She was not my friend. She was married to a psychopath and I did not want her to be my friend either. These people were dangerous.
“It’s life. I am driving for the funeral in Bloemfontein now where I have to face him. Imagine my humiliation really!” I said to make it sink in. She sympathised with me yet again on my loss. You know you can tell when a person is not happy. Lesedi used to be this bubbly if not funny lady. She would crack a joke and laugh to herself but I could not sense that in her voice anymore. She sounded tired if that’s the right word.
“Please help me. I need my daughter back. I need you to come through for me. This is family he is now messing with. My daughter loves you for crying out loud and now he does this!”
I pleaded with her woman to woman.
“He is off his meds lately but don’t worry she is safe. I will kill him myself if he touches a hair on her head don’t worry.”she said reassuringly but I could hear she was worried. It’s not nice not having control over the actions of the person you love. People underestimate this element of relationships. If you are married for example and your husband gets his salary, is totally unaccountable to you nor his family then you have a problem. Today as women we say our salaries are our own but if your husband says that too then what’s the point of having a home. You share everything and discuss. Lesedi did not seem to have that in her home. Her husband was a rolling stone and all she seemed to be doing was chasing after him, trying to balance him or trying to beat him at his own game. That can’t be life.
“Off his meds?” I asked her. “Are you ok? You sound a bit down?”
“I am fine. Don’t worry about me. Let me make sure that he does not cross the line. I can hear him driving in…” she said and she went to the window I think as I heard her walking.
“They are together. That’s a good thing. I can talk to him. Drive safe I will call you in about an hour or so after I have dealt with him!” she said and before I could say anything she hung up on me. Now I was stuck in that anxious wait on what was going to happen next. The one thing I did not do and this took so much will power, I did not turn back. That’s critical. I drove on.
When we got to the house Thabo came to greet me. Thabo is the one who went with me when I was supposed to go beat her up a second time.
“You are back Aunty. Are we going back again?” he made a boxing gesture and we laughed. He had meant it as a joke but I said no we will not be going back. Our job there was done. Some of the other relatives had already arrived and where busy with cooking and what not. What had happened to catering honestly? Some families insist on living in the past. Being a makoti means at funerals you work so hard and it’s not nice. I was exhausted but there was no time to be a diva. I could see some of his relatives whispering as I walked in and this was all my mother-in-law’s fault. Years of talking me down like I was some pariah in her family the way she did had made everyone hate me. To them I was one of those makoti’s they had to tolerate.
My mother-in-law saw this and she came to me.
“Don’t worry about them!” she said. She put her hand around me and it was the most awkward thing. If the devil hugged you, would you be so accepting? I did not realize she did not want to be heard because she then went on to whisper in my ear.
“There are things in the car, take them and it will be like you bought them otherwise it would make it seem like you brought nothing!”
Eish I had forgotten. I had to contribute. I was certain though that my husband had obviously paid for most of the things here but still I had to show up with something. She let go of me an entered the house. Why was she being so nice to me? It’s clear she hated Nelisa’s mothers family more for her to have made a u-turn on me like this. Thabo helped me as I went to other women. They all greeted me but you could see I was not popular. It was only when one cut herself and I helped clean and medicate her wound did the mood relax and they started talking with me and this was like two hours afterI arrived.
“I have been seeing your husband going up and down all afternoon. He looks lost is everything okay?”
One of the nosey women asked me a very similar question to what Zethu had asked. Speaking of Zethu, where was she?
“He is fine. I actually haven’t seen him either since I arrived. His phone was off.”
He entered a few minutes ago. They had gone to buy more meat with Malume Sekgwata. I won’t lie, I had no idea who that was but I learnt that he was the husband of the fat woman with missing tooth who was acting as though she was the boss of us and the very same one who I had bandaged. So he was back? Eish! Now this meant I had to go and great him otherwise people would see something was wrong. What if he ignore me infront of everyone. He was capable of that. I stood up and that seemed to be the longest walk ever as everyone who knew me greeted me. Some old ladies came and hugged me even. There he was, talking in front of the old men. I went and knelt as custom detects and greeted them. They all greeted me back.
“I thought I had not seen you my daughter. I am so happy you are hear!”
Believe it or not, my mother-in-laws father, yes, my husband’s grandfather said that to me. He was in his early 80s and this man was never ever sick for as long as I could remember.
“I am here ragolo I was just busy with the other women!”
I explained to him. He genuinely loved me. I don’t know what it is I did for him but he always went all out everytime to make me comfortable.
“You see, this is our makoti, she is a doctor in Joburg!”
He said to other old men whom I had met many times over. He always reintroduced me so he could mention that I was a doctor.
“Mara Sizwe, why is she so thin? Why are you not feeding her?”
He asked my husband making him acknowledge my presence for the first time. For a moment he kept quiet and I honestly thought he was about to humiliate me but phew, thank heavens there was still a heart in there somewhere.
“Do you think she is thin? I thought she had gained but don’t tell her that…”, and they all laughed. We had a short light conversation with the old men then I stood up to leave. Sizwe followed me immediately.
“What are you doing here?” he asked me but he was not angry per se. I think he had been surprised to see me there after what had happened.
“I am not here for you. Your brother was my brother too and your mother drove all the way to Jhb to pick me up so please relax!” I told him.
“You can’t even give me space when I ask for it?” he asked me, but it also sounded more like a statement so I answered,
“I don’t remember asking me for space. You asked for a divorce. Two different things.” I said cheekily.
“No I asked for space. I don’t want a divorce! I just need to breathe! I am tired of your games but I don’t want a divorce!”
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
It’s good to have you all back on our platform.
A few month ago we had a 16 year girl from KZN who had been driven into prostitution by poverty, circumstances at home and illness. The letter generated a lot of good responses and for that we are truly grateful. She is back on medication and we are pleased to announce she has been accepted back in school. It is going to be hard work on her part. She is also now working with Durban Social Workers and might be moved to a place of safety as that element is still being worked on.
As a blog and our social responsibility we really would like to contribute in buying her school uniform and books for this academic year. Please no one is forced to help and no amount is too little even if it’s r10 only you can contribute it will go to a good cause.
Unfortunately as Diary we do not have a charity account so for now I will have to use mine. Please reference CHARITY.
All financial records on this will be made available as well as her send u all the receipts etc so you can see your money was well spent.