“Abuse happens because men stand back and say either “it’s not my problem” or “it’s not me that’s doing it so I am covered.” What we forget is that one day we will have daughters, sisters, friends that will fall victim because we did not help fight it in the beginning and all this could have been avoided! Stand up for our women and the world will be a better place!” Mike Maphoto
I know a lot of people are not readers and even those that are; Shakespeare is not in their list of favorite authors. For one the English in it is completely from another planet and when you consider that you have to translate first your home language to English, then English to that language is Shakespeare you can see why it is such a dilemma. I never loved the guy either when I was in high school but I paid attention nonetheless. In Julius Caesar, when he was killed by the conspirators, it is said that it was not the knives of the five or six people that plunged their blades inside his back that killed him. No, it was the sight of seeing someone he considered his best friend amongst them that killed him. So in retrospect, the betrayal of him being there was so great he died. It was my turn to shout out,
“E tu Brute!”
Like Caesar had said it to Brutus but the backward girl was Venda so I said it in Venda, the very same words,
“Na inwi Rudzani!”
Yup, it was not the skinny white girl who had walked in. It was Rudzani! What the hell was happening?
“Rudzani what are you doing?”
I asked her shocked to the core! My first instinct was that she was being blackmailed somehow into this.
“Please don’t address her directly! Miss Mulaudzi please tell me your story again as you told it earlier!”
He said. What? When did they meet? I had been with her the whole morning had I not? When they called me to his office she had said nothing as I walked out! I had not seen this one coming.
“Yes sir. On Monday when we went to the conference one of the partners of that company was making suggestive gestures towards me. He wanted me sir. Lungile realized this before I did and went and called him to come and talk to me. I have never felt so dirty in my life. She literally pimped me out and said so in so many words!”
She said tears coming down her cheeks and I sat there in disbelief,
“She knows I have a fiancé!”
Yeah one who comes to see her once every three months and does not even invite her over,
“Then yesterday when the meeting finished I realized that the other partner had made moves on her at a wedding a few weeks ago. They knew each other. He even called her back after the meeting so they could do their thing! I can’t do business like this. I am a Christian and much as I love my job I won’t sleep with anyone for a deal!”
She concluded. Well put like that I would have fired me too on the spot but that is not what had happened and she knows it!
“What do you have to say about this?”
Mr. Gold said to me when she was done. You should have seen how wide open my mouth was in shock! I looked like a dying fish gasping for air.
“This is not true. When we were at the conference the gentleman she mentioned was talking to me. He came and introduced himself. I recognized the potential in business we had and acted on it. It’s true he was not interested in discussing business with me but with her and I let her take the lead. Yesterday she came back angry at me saying that I had sold her out and I took over immediately. If I had wanted her for that them most certainly I would have pushed her to conclude the deal! I then called Susanna to come represent us but when we discovered that the other partner in their company knew me, it made logical sense that I conclude the business. You always say seize opportunities, it’s even part of company creed, I did exactly that with no apologies!”
I told him finding myself. He looked at us both and just shook his head.
“Be that as it may, company policy dictates that when an accusation such as this is made, a sexual nature accusation, the person accused has to be suspended pending an investigation!”
“Miss Mulaudzi please stay here whilst she goes to packs her things and Miss Mbatha we will be in touch for a disciplinary hearing. Miss Mbatha protocol is that I should call security to escort you out but I really don’t want to humiliate you as I am hoping this matter can resolved quickly and you back at your desk soon. Thank you!”
He said and looked at me to watch me leave. I wanted to scream at her but the combination of the shock and my dignity would not allow. The tears stung though. I had not tried to pimp her out! That much is certain no matter what she said. Chantelle was not on her desk when I walked past it. Thank God too because the less people I saw the better. I just wanted to run and run I shall. I got to my office and picked up my bag. I packed my desk quickly before anyone could talk to me and I walked out of the building. I just wanted to get to my car! I walked so fast I am sure I was trotting. When I got to my car I drove out! Only when I was at a safe distance from work did I let it all out! I screamed so loudly a car hooted as it drove past.
“What the hell just happened?”
I asked myself out loud. I was talking to myself! Was I going crazy? That situation had happened so fast I must say it felt like it actually had not happened.
“What to do what to do?”
I was clearly panicking. I did not want to lose my job! All that arrogance and bravado was gone now! This is South Africa, getting a job is like God giving you the right to breathe because losing it is not the wisest thing to do. Imagine having that on my record, hell no! Fired because you tried to pimp out someone! No one will ever hire me again that am for sure!
“Mum where are you?”
I asked as soon as she picked up.
“I am at home why? Is everything ok?”
She asked me.
“Why must something be wrong?”
I asked her.
“Because you never call me during work hours! You only call at night if you call at all!”
She said but I was not going to answer that in the manner she wanted which was often a fight.
“Can I come see you?”
I asked her.
“This is your home! You don’t have to ask. You pay for half the things in this house anyway!”
She said. It was not sarcasm. My mum doesn’t use that, she is often blunt and brutal in how she addresses things. She is not the type that spares your feelings.
“I am on my way then!”
I said. This would be the first time I would be seeing her since the wedding. This would also be the first time since said she had cancer. Miraculously it had cured by the looks of it as she had not mentioned it since. You know when you having a bad day everything is just bad. Where is written that it must rain in winter? It started to rain and you know Jhb motorists can’t drive in the rain. There was an accident before I got off the highway and traffic just ground itself to a halt. It took me an hour just to get to her. I don’t even get annoyed anymore.
I had to get out to open the gate. I have been meaning to put a motor on this gate but something always comes up.
“Khanyi my child unjani!”
Said Mam’Dolly from behind me. I had not seen her sneak up on me but this woman seemed to have a way of finding out everyones business. She startled me.
“Mma! How are you?”
I instinctively greeted her in English! Normally I would stick to whatever language she wanted that day but I guess I was not in the mood for her today.
“I am ok my child. I have been wanting to call you but I have not gotten the chance!”
She said to me. Here we go again. I knew how this normally went.
“Sure mma I am here now what’s on your mind?”
I asked her.
‘Miriam wants to buy a house and I think you should give her tips on where to buy. I don’t want her to rent like you are still doing because a married woman needs a home!”
She said to me. This was never about asking for advice but tell me that her married daughter wanted to buy a house now!
“Oh that’s nice mma, I am sure she can get property anywhere! There are so many estates mushrooming up but they are very expensive!”
I warned her. I was not going to be bitchy towards her because this was her personality. She often felt a need to show off her daughters accomplishments.
“Who said anything about them not being able to afford?”
She snapped at me.
“It’s not what I said Mam’Dolly! I am here to see my mother!”
I said annoyed at her. I did say I knew her and normally I would let it slide but today I had problems of my own. I left her standing there as I got into my car, parked and closed the gate! She was stunned because I had never actually turned my back on her this way.
“Hau where are your manners Khanyi?”
She asked me as I locked my car and walked into my mother’s house. I was not going to indulge any longer and if I stood here I was going to say something I regretted.
I shouted out as I entered. How could she have left the door open like this mara this woman? I didn’t even have to knock I walked right it.
“I am watching TV come watch this thing, hurry!”
She said. She was walking something on Mohamed Ali so I sat there and pretended to care. It was good being home. I had so many stresses but home is what often brought me back to a peaceful state. I needed clarity of thought and this was my place of solace.
“So are you going to tell me what’s wrong or should I beat it out of you?”
My mother asked. She was kidding obviously but if there was one thing about my mother, she knew me so well. I told her what had happened at work. She listened to me attentively and exclaimed her surprise that Rudzani is the one who had betrayed me like this.
“…however you were wrong in what you did? It’s not your job to fix other people’s relationships when you don’t even have one yourself to call your own!”
She said to me!
“You need to apologize to her no matter what happens because you started this thing not her and you said she had warned you enough times to stay out of her relationship and you didn’t listen!”
Ah did she just say I am say sorry, do I look like Justin Bieber to her! Mxim!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thanks for sharing your talent with us. Please post this in YES, Birds or Blessed.
I’m a 17year old and when I love, I love hard. I’ve had my heart broken twice and just got over my ex 2 months ago. Now there’s this new boy who’s showing interest. He calls and texts every three days or so and we only meet when we can since we are writing exams. It usually takes me time ta fall for someone but I won’t lie, I liked him the first time we met. I live in an institution (girls and boys town) and he knows I can’t go out whenever I want ta. Is that the reason he isn’t texting much, because I live in a “stout school”? Y isn’t he sending good morning and good night texts everyday like normal boys do? Does he have a girlfriend? Or is he just not that into me?
My friends say I should just have fun and go with the flow but I know that once I’ve fallen for him I’ll have expectations.