“In every relationship if ever a moment comes where you find yourself asking yourself if you deserve better from your partner usually you probably do. However, don’t be quick to get out without trying to fix or find what’s missing” Mike Maphoto
When Esihle first mentioned “Ukuthwasa” or “Ubizo” I had dismissed it because I did not want to think about such unnecessary things. In Zulu “ubizo” or “ukuthwasa” is when you get a calling and all the signs you get leading you to become a Sangoma. We grew up being told that a Sangoma is a witch doctor which is not true. White people made us believe that when they were confronted by something they did not understand and because we think they are always right a lot of people view Sangomas as witches or witch doctors. What’s the point of me scaring myself shitless on things I don’t know. When you get educated there are parts of tradition that you do not want to follow. Think about it, it’s not the uneducated girls who say things like Lobola should be banished but the educated ones. Education is a curse to tradition because it makes us question things. It’s not always a good thing. I know I had an aunt who was a sangoma but in my house she was as good as taboo. She was my mother sister, not even adopted but we were not allowed to talk about her. I had last seen her as a child so even if I met her on the street I would not know her. Mind you I am saying this at a ripe old age of 28.
“I need to call my mum!”
I told myself out loud. I am not that naïve towards my own culture like other people are so I immediately made the phone call.
“Its late I want to sleep!”
She said when picked up. It was late and I wanted to sleep too but I was too scared to do so.
“Mum something is wrong!”
I told her.
“What’s wrong my child? Must I come there?”
She asked me. I could hear that she had just set up because the voice sounded different.
“I know we don’t talk about this but do you remember how Aunty Yanga became a Sangoma! Don’t dismiss it, it’s very important!”
I told her because I knew she would.
“Why do you want to know?”
She asked me concerned.
“Mama please just answer me! Please no games I need an answer!”
I told her.
“Well she got her calling very young. She was 16 and she started by getting sick. When we took her the doctor the doctor said that she was not sick she was just tired! I remember my father got angry and beat her up for not being tired but being lazy because Yanga was lazy! To him he had wasted his money because the doctor was not cheap!”
She said she chuckled. I didn’t see the funny side because today a parent hitting their child for anything is considered abuse. That’s how much the world has changed.
“Is that all?”
I asked her.
“She used to have dreams, many of them. She used to tell me but I never used to pay attention. That’s all I can tell you because I can’t remember. It’s the devils work that so I don’t believe in the devils work!”
She said putting on her religious cap. My mother and her sister had stopped talking as far as I was concerned because of this difference of belief system. My mother hated my aunt for it but at times I thought I was because my mother was jealous that my aunt had gotten the gift not her.
“Ok mom that’s fine I wanted to know!”
I told her. I did not tell her why because if I did she will take me to every church she knew for me to get baptised and besides at this stage it could simply just be a dream.
“Good because if you get that calling chances of you never getting married jump up greatly as who would want to marry you when you are throwing bones!”
She said and she hung up soon after that. Much as my mother was blunt she had a point. Imagine going on a date and then this starts. What to do now was the important thing? I did not want to sleep because I did not want to dream but I was tired. I took my pills and headed for bed.
In the morning I woke up fresh and sound. I did not dream. Imagine that. I had been scared for nothing. I decided that I was going to church today. I normally attend these born again churches in Sandton with white pastors but today I decided that I was going home. You know how black people who believe in the suburbs believe that if the go to church ekasi they will get to heaven quicker, well that was me today. Besides, I wanted to see my mum. There was no traffic so I got to church on time.
The pastor focused on Malachi 3:10. They seem to love that verse, it has become the new “For God So loved the world” and the most beloved church in these New Age churches. It’s amazing that every time I tried a new church this verse somewhere somehow is preached and now even here in my childhood church. It reads,
“Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, “Says the Lord Almighty,” and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
And after a two hour sermon on it, the pastor sent the plates for collections. We gave because we wanted those blessings. I waited for my mother outside because she did not know I was here and we would miss each other if I did not.
I said. This woman was about to walk past me.
“He banna, I didn’t recognize you there!”
She said and I actually believe. My mom had moments of being absent minded where she could actually forget you even if you were sitting in front of her. When you asked her why she would tell you she had a tumour in her head. That’s my mum for you.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”
She asked me very happy to see me by the looks of it. The truth is I would never have told her because she has a way of becoming dramatic before I came. She would also most likely ask me to bring something which will force me to stop at a shop or garage.
“I wanted to surprise you!”
I said with a smile hugging her. She gave me a half hug and asked,
“Does this have anything to do with our conversation from yesterday?”
She asked. I didn’t want her talking about it. Not here, come on now.
“Mom can we not do this here?”
I asked her politely but sternly. Ok I won’t lie I was a bit embarrassed by this. No one wants to get a calling especially if you grew up in the church with the same people. It’s like you were playing games when others were praying.
“O God no, it’s the reason! I know when you are avoiding something it’s usually the truth. We must go talk to the pastor!”
She said immediately.
“No mom stop it! I don’t want to see the pastor! Why can’t you just be at peace and talk to me without involving other people? If I wanted to see the pastor I would have gone to see him!”
I told her but my mother is one stubborn old lady.
“I don’t need permission to do anything for you, you are my daughter and I have loved you since the day you were born!”
She said and she made a beeline to the pastor whilst I made a beeline for my car! There was no way we were doing this. Yes, I was officially running away! I can only imagine the horror on my mother’s face when she did not find me. I switched off my phone.
I decided to stop by the shops to buy some provisions. Walking past the wine rack killed me. One of the things that make it nice about living in Gauteng is that you can but alcohol on a Sunday but now that I had to cool it a bit I just walked past. Some man decided that he fancied me.
“How are you sister?”
He said greeting me. You know at times I wonder if people ever look at themselves in the mirror before they approach you. Here I was in my Sunday best and this man who was a few notches above homeless was trying to shela me.
“I am not interested!”
I gave him my cold ignoring voice.
“Neither am I!”
He said and much as it annoyed me I almost burst out laughing.
“You did not even hear whey I wanted to say!”
“I am not interested please! Let me shop in silence and that’s all!”
I told him.
“Well shopping would be much easier if you had this!”
I turned to look at him and he was holding my wallet.
“You dropped this when you came out of your car! Take care!”
He said and he walked away. I immediately checked it and everything was there including the r600 cash I had. I was embarrassed by my attitude. Naturally I had assumed he was after me! I tried to look for him when I left but he was gone. I drove home feeling rather foolish.
As I walked in my phone was ringing and surprise surprise it was Mbuso. I guess he was starting to man up after all. We can always work on his personality later.
I said cheerfully.
“Hey hey. I am with Ntheteng and she says we must buy pizza to share with you. What pizza would you like?”
He asked me. I didn’t even know what to say. This guy was very different I tell you.
“I eat anything on pizza so am not very particular just know that it must have lots of cheese!”
I said. I was on the car phone by the sound of it because immediately Ntheteng said,
“I like cheese too Aunty Lungi, we already have something in common!”
Her child like voice rang out and we laughed her father and I that is.
“Indeed we do!”
I responded. She had said “already” was she planning on us having more things in common. I was getting cold feet for some reason but I will be fine.
“Let us drive, see you in a bit!”
Mbuso said. I sat down and put my feet up looking forward to a hot pizza. Thank heavens they had not asked me to make Sunday Lunch. There was a knock at my door. I figured it was Mbuso so I went to check. That was fast though for someone who had just called. Did this mean that Ntheteng had been close by? But when did he get a chance to buy the pizza!
“You left without saying goodbye so we decided to come to you!”
Of all the people I expected she was the last on my mind. It was my mother and guess what, she brought the pastor with her, the fucken pastor!
I asked her! I didn’t even know she knew the way to my house alone!
All the while Mbuso was on his way!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Hi Mike and readers, apologies for the extremely long letter. I’ve tried to summarize it.
I’m 26yrz of age, dated this guy back in 2010 but due to distance we broke up. We became close friends after the break up. In 2015 we decided to date again despite the distance between us (he stayed in the East and I stayed in Soweto). Everything was fine between us up until he started having financial problems. We didn’t spend as much time together anymore. We’d have petty fights etc. In August I found out that I was expecting and a few days after I told him about the pregnancy he suggested we abort. We fought about it for a month up until I ended up giving into his requests and aborted in September. The fights continued and things weren’t the same anymore cause the guilt was eating us up so much; a month later he dumped me. He felt that he wasn’t worthy of my love especially after the way he treated me like shit. He also said the distance was getting to him, I deserved to be with someone will make me happy and treat me better etc. We tried to give each other space kodwa sahluleka. In Dec he lost his job and he became extremely depressed, turned to alcohol and weed to release the pain. I was still there for him cause I loved him. I continued to help him out financially when he needed help. We continued to spend a lot of time together (we didn’t behave like ex’s you’d swear we were still dating). After I moved out of home this year he continued to visit me kwami and we grew closer than ever. One day he opened up and told me how he wishes we never aborted our baby and he regrets the decision he made me take ngingafuni. Shortly after that we had a pregnancy scare. He was convinced that I was expecting again, he was supportive, talking marriage and all, when he found out that I’m not expecting he shut me out. A week later he confessed to me that he’s got a gf now. That broke my heart kakhulu. I feel like a fool for killing my 2month baby for him. I regret the day I drank those pills. I wanna hate him, be angry at him, swear at him but kunzima 🙁 everyday I tell myself that I’ll eventually get over him and that the love will die and go away kodwa deep down inside I know that I’m lying to myself.