Should parents be allowed to kick out their children? From what I understand, once upon a time it was complete embarrassment for a man to not leave his parents house after the age of 21. This is fairly recent too if you consider that by the end of university no man should be living at home after their degree. Women had a bit more leeway in that as a woman you are considered vulnerable, and usually your way out of the house was either work or marriage. Nowadays a man can not only have children while staying at home, but also bring his baby mama to share that same space with his or her in laws! A woman can have kids and still stay at home and again no one will care because we say that’s what life is. We convinced ourselves that marriage was no longer an achievement and if a man thinks like that he is sexist and chauvinistic, whereas if a woman thinks it’s an achievement she is backwards and must be publicly shamed. We all want jobs and money but in a country where there are neither jobs nor money we find it okay to still have kids because God will provide! This explains why the churches are so full because of expectations of what we call blessings. The reality is, because of our so-called independent lifestyles, we can neither afford ourselves nor the children we are producing. If your education is not sound and even for those with an education, if you don’t know people you will never get a job. Our mothers were quite content to be domestic workers and possibly the single biggest industry in this country because it was work, but with us no matter how we starve we will rather go toyi toyi at Luthuli House as though they have jobs sitting around waiting for you. Staying at home after a certain age was taboo for so many reasons and a privilege but nowadays it has become your divine right.
In spite of harbouring all these thoughts, I kind of understand where mum was coming from. Judith was 28 now, had no prospects and was not even looking. All the help my mother had tried and this including countless colleges she had spurned, scoffed and wasted. She was not willing to get off her ass and look for a job nor was she willing to work even if she got one. I say this because on a few occasions my mother got her piece jobs at the hospital and through friends but she would say no. Surely the cord had to break at some point but then again, the new-age generation will tell you that because she was her daughter my mother must keep spoiling her!
“Mum this is Judith we are talking about? If you throw her out she will never survive out there.” I said defending my sister.
“I am not doing it for the fun of it. I love her but I must be responsible. If something happens to her are you going to be able to take care of her?” she asked me. I had never thought of it of it like that. What could happen to her, come on now? People close to me don’t die or rather I never thought of it like that.
“Come on mum don’t talk like that. You are not going to go anywhere!” I reminded her. She was not of that age we worry about.
“The man we buried today, did you think he wanted to die? Did you think he was ready to die?” she asked me. Okay this conversation was getting deeper than I had hoped. Of course not, he had not been ready to die, no one ever is.
“What if she kills herself out there? You would blame yourself for the rest of your life!” I said. I know people think that they are making good decisions at times but when things go bad, they never get over the regret.
“Faith its not an easy decision to make and you not making it any easier!” she said standing up. She was clearly unhappy as she did not just walk out, she left the house all together. I was not sure what to do. Must I warn my sister? Is this what my mother wanted me to do? What if my mother thought I was snitching and she was testing me.
“Judith!” I called out. The baby was already awake so my shouting didn’t disturb him.
“Judith!” I called out again. She hated being called like that because she always said we were not in a village and I could easily walk to her.
“What is it?” she said clearly annoyed at me calling her out like that. What choice did I have, this was important!
“Please sit down we need to talk, its important!” I told her. She said she needed to make a sandwich first she was hungry and then went to the kitchen. How could she survive without my mothers resources though and we were not even rich to start with?
My mother called. She was still driving, wherever she was going.
“Listen, I am not sleeping at home today. We will continue this conversation tomorrow!” she said. Before I could even say something, which would have been to ask if I could tell my sister she hung up. Ten minutes later my sister was back.
“Yes what is it?” she said munching away on her sandwich.
“Did you talk to mum today?” I asked her.
“I talk to her everyday Faith what are you on about?” she asked me. I was a bit vague so her confusion was therefore justified.
“About you going to nursing college?” I explained.
“Oh that? Yes I did but I told her that I am not longer interested. I told her about the money I got from Kagiso and that I want to do Forex instead!” she said. Forex?
“What is that?” I asked her. She explained that it has something to do with playing the stock exchange!
“But Judith you can hardly count!” I reminded her. My sister had always been dreadful at maths. It’s no secret. She knew it and my mother knew it.
“That’s what mum said too. You guys don’t support me at all. I know what I am doing!” she said confidently.
“I don’t believe in these get rich quick things. It’s a bad idea so I can’t support that. This is not why I called you though! Mum was not happy with you and she intends to throw you out of the house to force you to get a job!” I warned. She looked at me with disbelief then she laughed out loud,
“Come on now, mum would never do that! I am her daughter. She can’t throw me out!” she said taking another bite. There was no hint of doubt in her voice.
“Why do you underestimate Mom? You know her! She says she is trying to help you!” I told her. My sister was frustratingly shallow when she wanted to be.
“How is throwing me out helping me? I will be homeless for fucks sake! Did you vouch for me? Did you tell her it’s a bad idea?” she asked me angrily. Yes, it was sinking in now and I could sense a bit of panic! She was not even eating anymore.
“Of course I told her. Did you think I will just sit down and keep quiet? You have to come up with something as soon as possible please!” I warned.
“Where is mum now?” she asked me. I told her that she had called and said she was not coming back tonight. My sister looked at me for a while as though she was thinking then thoughtfully said,
“This has something to do with your father wanting to come back! You know what mum is like when she is in love. She is choosing him over me! That’s what’s happening!” she said standing up as though she just had her eureka moment! How had this become about my father? She needed to take responsibility for crying out loud.
“Really Judith? You have concluded it is because of this? Where is your life going right now? Just agree to go to the nursing school and be done with it!” I advised her but she was not listening. Instead she went on to rant and rave about how mum was betraying her. She was angry and she started crying saying how much her life was a mess and no one understood her. I had done my part and I was not going to coddle her. She then left for her room. I felt bad for her but she needed to think fast as to what to do next.
It was a Saturday afternoon and I had nothing to do but babysit my baby. It was not the same as Amo. Amo I would tease and play with because I knew him but Ruben still felt like a stranger. Today had been a strange day with Mudenda coming over so I was glad it was almost over.
I had not sat alone for long when there was a knock on my door. I must say the person there surprised me, it was Zama. I always mention her in passing because she is the one friend that got it right and got married. She always said that’s how they did it in Ladysmith, they marry early. It was an inside joke in our first year but she had stuck to it.
“Wow what a surprise?” I said very excited to see her. We hugged and she came in. She had come to see me and the new baby since I had told her on the phone. Catching up was a bliss and we started talking about everything that had been going on.
“I think Essien is cheating!” she said and the mood just went down.
“Oh come on, he is not like some of our losers.” I told her. Essien was her Nigerian husband who had married her as soon as she got pregnant. He had a good job and had lived in South Africa since he was a child which made him very much South African.
“He is always at work and we don’t go out anymore at all. I hardly see him and it’s killing me! He used to call all the time and now it has stopped! Something must be up!” she complained to me. I don’t understand. Zama was 24 now and her husband 27. Surely she could not be thinking of divorcing at such an early age! That would be crazy.
“Don’t worry about me though. Mudenda and him have been hanging out. I found out this afternoon after I spoke to you. He is up to something and I am scared he is going to tell Essien that we slept together!”
This was a few years ago but one thing is fact, men can cheat on you but if you cheat back, they won’t forgive you.
Mudenda was going after my friends and I had to stop him.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thanx for the opportunity to raise my point and hope for getting batter advice for my situation. I’m a 23 year old and been in a relationship with a 25 year old guy for 4 years.
For all these years I hav broken up with him over 10tyms. And I have cheated on him over 6tyms. Through it all this guy won’t allow me to leave him. He say he loves me.
I just feel like everything we been through we are together for the sake of pleasing our frnds and family. We can spend the whole week together and not make out of even kiss. We can slp with our backs facing each other and none of us seem bothered by the whole thing.
I dont know if I should leave this relationship or just stick around?