At what age can a parent still beat up his or her child? I read somewhere that corporal punishment is illegal in the country but in all honest 90 percent of all parents, black white Indian you name consider a klap here or there as
essential to the art of discipline. Is it abuse? I am asking because some indeed say its abuse so you tell me. I was looking at the case against Khanyi. She was rude, she spoke back, she insulted and I am sure given the chance she would spit at her parents. She did not hide her disdain for her father and his new wife. Its one thing to do in private but she did this in front of him and in front of her and anyone else who was around. Any parent would snap I think but was this abuse? Was him “finally” reacting, and I use the word “finally” on purpose because it had been more than a long time coming. She is my friend but she deserved it. I have never seen someone who constantly says so many bad things about their parents and from what I noticed the parents kept on trying to appease her.
“Khanyi you have been doing this for too long so today one of us will rather die!”
The father said. He was actually quite swift for an older guy.
“I don’t mind dying! You are a useless excuse of a man! You hide behind the church when you just part of the problem like every other weak man!”
She challenged him. All the while that belt was being gripped tighter in his hand.
“Khanyi please stop this!”
I pleaded with her. I won’t lie I was scared. I was scared for her.
“Guys intervene please!”
I asked turning to the twins but they just crawled into the corner as though they were accepting what was about to happen.
“Shut up young lady! This is not your fight! Your friend thinks that because she went to University she is better than all of us. Education makes her think she must throw respect out of the window!”
I have never seen a man explain midway through his anger. It was as though he was praying. He swung his belt and there was a swoosh sound as the belt swung through the air and made contact with her skin. That hurt even me because it made a tapping sound of which she let out a blood curling scream!
“I can’t believe you hit me! How dare you? Who the fuck do you think you, you fucken coward?”
This was her father she was talking to hear and that is the tone she was using. What kind of a self respecting, person who loves her life would say that to her father? I am not even going to say Zulu father because then I will be unnecessarily tribal because any black father would see red if you curse at them.
“I am going to show you who I am since you clearly don’t know who I am by your own admission!”
This was drama. The twins did not intervene and I simply did not know what to do. I jumped in front of him for him to stop hitting her but he was too strong for me to stop him. He pushed me out of the way.
“God what did I do to deserve this devil child?”
He shouted. It was only then that help came from outside. It was two guys I had not met before who came in to hold back her father. At this stage it was a fist fight because Khanyi was fighting back. If the father had been trying to prove a point well then clearly he had failed because he even had a broken lip that was bleeding where she had punched him in the fight.
“Bhuti you can’t do that at a funeral! We have visitors and the chief’s wife is here as well. Why do you want to shame us like this?”
One of the brothers was telling him I think. They spoke a deeper Zulu thank I was used to so I was not very sure of the other things they said. .
“I can’t do what? This child thinks I am her friend! She has no respect! You can’t talk to her, you can’t advise her, and all she does is throw it back at you!”
He explained angrily.
“Go back to that witch you call a wife! She is not my mother! She killed my mother and you married her! I hate her! I hate her!”
Khanyi was screaming at the same time. So you think you have dysfunctional families, clearly not! Khanyi was on another level. I missed my mother right about this moment. We had our issues but for her to take out a belt for me that would be quite extreme. Khanyi needed to keep quiet.
“Khanyi stop it!”
One of the uncles cautioned her by my friend would hear nothing of it.
“I am going to get you arrested! What you did was assault! I am going to send you to jail like the female abuser that you are! You think you can lay your hands on me? You fucken coward!”
This was quite extraordinary. Some people don’t want your help. You just stand in the way of what they want to do and Khanyi was one of those people Shem. Just shut the fuck up instead of making the situation worse.
“What’s going on?”
Someone asked from outside. It was the twin’s father if I recall correctly from yesterday. Automatically there was order and quiet. Even Khanyi kept quiet.
“I am here to bury my mother and you bring me this rubbish?”
He said. He did not sound angry, he was very calm actually.
“Khanyi, come with me!”
He said. I thought she would refuse but I guess he was that uncle, we all have one. That one relative everyone fears so much that you all behave when they speak. She did not argue and stood up and walked towards him. He turned around and she followed him with the other men.
“You guys did not even try to stop them,”
I turned around to accuse the twins.
“Chill, this is Zululand! Did you see how when our dad entered there was peace! There is a reason for that and that’s why we don’t involve ourselves!”
One of the twins said.
“She had it coming though. It’s all this Jhb in her. You can’t talk to any adult like that let alone your father or parent!”
The other chirped in.
“We love our cousin but she can be a bit much to be honest. The whole day she has been insult Yolanda. She even called a whore in front of the other ladies who were cooking with her! It was so embarrassing and we warned her!”
They added. Talk about tough love. See why it’s so hard to be on Khanyi’s side!
“Tomorrow after the burial I am leaving.”
I told them. This was too much drama for me. I went outside and of the house for some air. There was a gathering, meeting like thing with Khanyi sitting there in the middle. She was being advised. I also spotted Yolanda there. This was my chance to take the photos my mum wanted.
“Can we take a bit of a walk just down the road so we can get some air? What happened was a bit too intense for so I just want to stretch!”
I told them. They agreed. We walked around for about an hour. We discussed what had just happened and they were of the opinion that it was none of their business to intervene. When we got back the twins were called by their mother whilst I went to the room. Khanyi was in the room sitting on the edge of the bed. I went and sat next to her. I had to comfort my friend even though I was convinced she was wrong.
“Where have you been? We have to go?”
I asked her.
“Back to Jhb?”
She responded going to pack her things.
“I don’t understand?”
I said to her. It’s true I did not understand what was going on.
“We have to leave ok! In the meeting they said its best I leave now!”
She told me. She had those stubborn tears coming out of her eyes. Stubborn tears are those tears that come out when you are angry. You are not crying because of pain or on purpose but out of defiance.
“Are you serious?”
I said standing up to walk to my bag. It was unpacked still as I had just gotten back.
“Do I look like I am fucken kidding dude? Welcome to my messed up family!”
She said but I wanted to tell her this was all her fault so badly but what that would solve!
“Is someone going to help us with the bags?”
I asked her wearily but with good reason. When we left Khanyi had packed like we were going on holiday. She had three bags and I remember asking why she had carried so much and she had reminded me in her own cheeky way that,
“A lady can never be too prepared!”
Oh well now I felt like asking her if the lady was prepared for this eventuality. I was angry at her! This was all her fault and I don’t care that we are friends; she was to blame for all this mess.
“No! They said no one must help us. One of my aunts said I did not want to be part of this family because no decent child is raised like this!”
She said angrily. Girls can take hours to pack when they are going somewhere but ask any guy who has ever had a girl sleepover, if she is angry she can pack up in five minutes to leave. That was Khanyi.
She was trying to carry three bags. Two of the smaller bags had someone miraculously fit in the other three.
“We can’t carry all these bags!”
I told her. I could see she was struggling. I had one bag but it was heavy as is.
I told her angrily leaving her in the room. I went to look for Yolanda.
“We have been kicked out and we need your help!”
I told her. I didn’t think she would want to listen to me but I did say she was nice.
“I heard and I am sorry about that!”
She said. I was not sure if she was sorry because she had been the target of Khanyi’s misguided wrath.
“But there is nothing I can do to change their minds even though I already tried to talk her father out of it. She must bury her grandmother!”
I agree with her but what else could be done.
“Khanyi has too many bags. Can you please take one of the bags for her? I know you don’t get along but how is she supposed to carry three bags alone.”
I explained to her.
“You guys must make a plan. If Khanyi does not get to say good bye to her grandmother she will hate me for life and what will I have achieved. I had thought somehow this trip will normalize our relationship but things are worse now!”
It was not just about Khanyi clearly. There was another victim here too. She decided to come to the room with me.
“What is she doing here?”
Khanyi asked angrily when we got into the room.
“I am leaving with you!”
“That’s not what I asked for!”
I immediately protested.
She said. I think I had just made things worse because now the father will think we conspired to cause more divisions with his wife.
I wanted to go home!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I am 27 and recently gave birth to my first baby a couple of weeks ago. I, at first did not want to continue with the pregnancy(I had recently been retrenched), but my partner convinced me otherwise. Now the problem is: I had a horrible natural birth(there is no beauty in this). I was alone no nurses when I pushed my baby out. Okay maybe this is TMI.
But now I have so much resentment for my partner and I feel at a disadvantage for a lack of a better word, because his life seems to be smooth gliding while mine is on hold and in terrible pains all day. I am not suffering from post natal depression but I feel so much hatred for his lack of compassion, appreciation and empathy.
He refuses to listen to what I have to say. He shouts at me, belittles me and humiliates at any given chance i.e he tells anyone who cares to listen how fat I am (hello I’ve just given birth).
During my pregnancy he bought a house, paid lobola but suddenly I feel I am doomed should I spend my life with this person.
Am I wrong to feel this way???