“You cannot fear the person you say you love. You should be equals always and your opinion must always matter in everything that they do. Mike Maphoto”
We have all heard stories, you know it’s true, we all have whether you are from Cape Town or Durban, Bloemfontein or Mpumalanga, Kimberly or Johannesburg, I can name them all, we have all heard stories of witchcraft! It’s neither like I am making it up nor because I am showing my ignorance or bigotry. I am a scientist for crying out loud and should not believe in such things but if this was my excuse then I should not believe in Christianity either. It’s the same concept the only difference being one came with white people so we believe it and the other came with ourselves, us blacks, so it’s backward and stupid. How dare you believe in your own ancestors and their power you heathen because the only true ancestor is Jesus as if he lived before and died is he not one? That’s what we are taught as black people and because we think we are not worthy of our own beliefs its true then, witchcraft is a lie! I must go pray with my pastor! My mother had been right.
“I will take you to the nearest hospital!”
He said to me as he lifted me up. I felt as though I was floating in the air when he carried me. I don’t think I was conscious because it did not feel as though it was happening to me. Goodness what if I was pregnant? But wait… I have never been pregnant so I don’t know what that feels like! Ah, come on. Rudzani it was just a one night stand. What other witchcraft stories had I heard of let’s see. There was the story of the man who got stuck inside a woman and they had to call an ambulance. Then there are many stories of men who can only get it up for their wives. Ok fine, these are not South African stories or maybe that’s as little as I know. My mother always said if you can’t explain something and rationale minds can’t explain it either then it’s that.
“O come on Lungi!”
A little voice shouted inside me.
It told me.
“You should know better, there is no such thing as witchcraft! You live in a modern world with education and Christianity so how can you even believe in spirits and evil!”
The little voice said to me. I was in a dream state that’s for sure yet the voice was as clear as day. As soon as I said that another one came in and said,
“How can you not believe? In Christianity you praying to whom, spirits and ancestors yet of Jewish and Arab people yet you can’t even acknowledge that your own people can be spirits and ancestors too!”
Really? Even when I was dreaming and on my death bed I argued as though I was in a classroom? No wonder why I always had headaches. The dreams kept coming and going fast. At some point I lost track. When I woke up, the doctor was with me.
“There we go… Good morning Miss Mbatha!”
She said to me. She felt so far away as she said that but I knew I was awake. It was not a dream anymore. Did she say good morning? I knew where I was and I did not have that confusion that people often get when they wake up.
“Morning… Please tell me I am not pregnant? Please I am begging you!”
I said. So witchcraft was forgotten. It had to be pregnancy then but if I had fainted because of it why was I asking her to tell me that it was not it. It was kind of redundant.
“Pregnant? No maam you are far from pregnant but if you were and didn’t plan it this way then next time please use protection!”
She said with a smile on her face. Phew! That’s one bullet dodged even though her comments to be frank were a bit under the belt. Use protection means she was saying I was reckless.
“What… What happened then?”
I asked. I asked her groggily. She was with a nurse and the nurse came over and gave me water to drink at the doctors instructions.
“Funny enough nothing major happened just as a case of you over exerting yourself that’s all!”
“What do you mean nothing happened? I passed out and have never felt like this before!”
I asked her. I mean she was being unnecessarily vague when she could just get to the point.
“Miss Mbatha you were or rather are suffering from dehydration and exhaustion and I also believe you could have had a panic attack and when these things manifested you ended up in this state!”
The doctor said. She was a pretty doctor, female doctors are not supposed to be pretty not because they are not supposed to be but because they hardly ever are. I don’t know why I noticed that when she said that but I did.
“How often do you drink water?”
She asked me.
“Not often, but wine, a lot!”
I explained showing my naivety. I should know better. Wine is not a substitute for water.
“Therein lays your problem. You will be fine don’t worry. Your husband was pretty worried there but you can tell him you will be fine!”
She said to me.
“Mbuso? He is not my husband, he is my neighbour! Don’t even think we are friends but he is cool. He is the one who found me lying in my apartment!”
I explained to her. Don’t know why I mentioned the not friends but I dictated a slight smile at the corner of her mouth but I was too weak to tell.
“Well he a good neighbour then because he stayed by your side right through it all. I have put an IV drip in you to add fluids in your body and you will be fine in about three hours also time for you to go home!”
She said. With a smile on her face,
“Please cool it on the wine though because you not doing yourself any favours!”
She told me. It felt like she was scolding me but because she was smiling I was not sure.
“Eish it was a tough week but I get you. I am to blame here. I didn’t get your name Doctor!”
I said to her.
“Oh it’s Dr. Dludlisa but my friends call me Esihle, it’s simpler!”
She said and she moved on. So I was not sick after all why had that been so real though. I was embarrassed with myself. All that alcohol and no water had made Lungi a sick girl.
“How is our patient doing?”
I heard Mbuso’s voice from behind me. I had not seen him get there.
“The patient is feeling embarrassed right now! Did you hear what the doctor said?”
I asked him.
“Yes and no. Yes in that she told me when first diagnosed and no, not when she was telling you!”
Why is it so shameful for a woman to be called out as a drunk or heavy drinker?
“What time is it?”
I asked her.
“Its 3 in the morning?”
“Goodness, you should not have stayed this long. You should have gone home! Have you checked in on Ntheteng?”
I asked him.
“Ntheteng is fine. I told you she has a baby sitter and those two sleep.”
“We had a patient here so we had to take care of the patient right!”
He said. He was being sweet even though he had basically called me a slut in the morning so now I was a slut and a drunkard, what a CV to possess!
“Thank you for staying but goes home and rest otherwise who else will pick me up in the morning when I want to go home! I will call you!”
I told him. I could see he was tired, his eyes betrayed him. I was tired to do. I think I had a sedative in me or something because even as I spoke I felt myself dozing off.
“Ok cool, I will see!”
These things happen so fast. As he walked away I think I spotted him talking to the doctor again but I really was not sure, maybe I was dreaming, maybe I was not even here! Passed out.
I realized I didn’t have my phone so I could not call someone to come pick me up. I had been discharged and now I had to borrow someone’s phone to call. I had just gotten to the reception when I heard my name,
“Lungi, where are you going?”
It was Mbuso. I was relieved to see him.
“I am going home! I didn’t have a phone so was going to ask someone to use theirs at reception!”
I said weakly.
“I told you I was coming for you why didn’t you wait?”
He asked me.
“I must have missed that part but thank you!”
I told him. I really was grateful. Made life easier for me and now all he had to do was lead me to his car.
“What time did you wake up?”
I asked him.
“What do you mean?”
“Well when you left you said you were going home?”
“I never said that. You asked me to go home and rest and I said I will see. I actually stayed back and ended up talking to Esihle for the last 3 hours meaning I never slept!”
“Who is Esihle?”
I asked him.
“The doctor lady who attended to you. She said you put in a good word for me and said I was cool!”
He said with a smile on his face. Maybe I was being slow to catch up I never put in a good word for him.
“Oh, you guys chilled and talked?”
I asked him as though I had not heard him clearly.
“Yes. All thanks to you. She is pretty cool. She was on call but is not working so she said she will drop by after she goes home to sleep!”
He said. He was sounding very pleased with himself but why did I feel betrayed? I felt like a black DA supporter after voting for them then Helen Zille coming out soon after on Twitter to say if you don’t agree with white governance at UCT then they should pull your funding and you must leave! Sigh!
“And you are allowing a total stranger to your house in front of Ntheteng?”
I asked him. It was a below the belt jab I know but fuck it dude, where was his sense of responsibility.
“I know hey, that’s why I told her you will be there too!”
He said and at that moment that song,
By Prince Kaybee
Came on the radio! Thank you Metrofm for rubbing it in!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading and hey everyone.
I have been dating my boyfriend for five years now and we were good until I decided to be born again. I did not change anything about me except that I got baptised, stopped drinking and stopped going out as much as we used to. The problem was before, we would go out every weekend and often we reached the end of the month with no money. We met in our last year of university and are the same age. I want to focus on us building a stronger future and this party life was not working. I did not just go and get baptised, I spoke to him about this and he agreed that if it’s what I wanted then I should. Now everything has changed. When I refuse to go out he says it’s because I am cheating so I want to go see the other person. I don’t cheat and there is no other person. When our old crowd visits and I don’t drink he says now I think I am better than our friends. When we do go out together he is unhappy that I don’t dress sexy anymore as “I always made him look good in those tight dresses!” Those are his words. We were heavy on the party scene but now are grown up and at 27 I want more than just getting drunk.
I love this man with everything in me. He is my future and we have been through a lot but I am starting to fear my decision to be positive is actually going to make me resent him.
Please advice on what I should do.