“I can tell someone who is destined to be unhappy in life simply by observing how much they base their happiness on someone else!” Mike Maphoto
I am not going to hide my feelings about how I felt about this. As black people we are naïve and we are too trusting. So many of us will tell you that its better to work for white people than black people. Its how we were raised. White people in our eyes are just better. Even when it comes to dating, so many girls will tell you how much of gentlemen white guys are and that they are better than black men. The irony of this is that none of these girls has ever even dated a white man. They base what they see on TV. That’s what makes them say they are better yet many white men cheat just like black guys, beat up women just like black guys, lie just like black guys, are financially irresponsible just like black guys, can neglect the family for friends just like black guys, abuse alcohol just like black guys and mess up at so many things just like our black men. What then would make one believe that working for a white company automatically means better than one working for a black one? In the private sector you have no one to run to. You have no unions to protect you and definitely can’t count on government to protect you. They expect you to follow the law to be a good citizen when they don’t follow nor respect anything that comes from government. People have short memories because even when Mbeki was president the criticized everything he did so their mistrust is not about Zuma. It’s in that they just trust a black man to be in a position of power. Go into most office where the majority employees are white if you think I lie. You in their world now and the rules they have though unwritten seem to suggest that they come first and you come second. You must be a good darkie and sit quietly in the corner and wait to be told what you do. That’s the true private sector and unless you work in it and see all these subtle things that happen, you won’t believe it.
As they all filed past me one by one not one person looked me in the eye. I had a point. Nicolene was starting to start like Dudu Myeni from SAA. She notoriously under qualified but she the power to get someone as senior as Susanna “punished” and was clearly about to be given the biggest account at work, my account!
“Mr. Gold this can’t be right! Nicolene is tried and untested. This will sabotage the project because which client would want to work with a brand new untested intern?”
I asked him. It just came out but I had to ask because it was my neck on the line.
“Listen Khanyi, the people who were here won’t take kindly to your line of questioning. If you want to accuse them of something accuse them. Don’t be naïve to think they are going to cuddle you. One mistake and they will push you from this contract.”
He said. What’s with white people and tough love though? That’s how it came out.
“Are you not going to have my back then?”
I asked him boldly.
“How so? I have my own job and can’t do yours for you.”
I stood there and I watched him walk out. Suddenly I felt so alone. It was obvious that they had not expected me to come prepared and me prepared was like egg on their face. They were sure I was going to fail. I walked out of that meeting thinking that this was going to be overwhelming. From what I had read last night and this so called crisis I had a lot to do. I drew up a presentation for Simba’s company. It took so long I even skipped lunch. I was tired and had a mental block when my phone rang, my first phone call of the day.
“Good afternoon am I talking Miss Mbatha!”
The voice said very formally. I knew this voice. I could not however for the life of me place it.
“Good afternoon Sir, yes this is her and who is this?”
I asked him.
“Madam I am calling from Sandton Police Station, I have a baboon here that says that it belongs to you. Would you please come and fetch it. It’s making a raucous here!”
The voice. I laughed immediately.
“Sfiso you know you stupid right?”
I asked him.
“How did you know it was me?’
He said laughing too.
“What South African police man is going to use the word raucous? Come on now. We might be under the DA now but it’s too soon fam!”
I told him and again he laughed.
“I heard about that hey. I haven’t gotten a chance to comment because I still can’t believe it even though it was coming, we been messing up for too long. 2019 will be interesting!”
He said I agreed with him but he was not calling for politics and I had no interest in it either.
“You have been quiet Sfiso, what’s happening? Are you are a daddy yet?”
I asked him. It’s funny how even though he cheated on his wife with me there was no lump in my throat when I asked that question. That’s how normal cheating has become. You have that initial shock then the next phase is that shit happens phase.
“Not yet hey but soon. It’s scary but guess it’s like watching the Lion King with the circle of life.”
He had a way of bringing me out. I was having a bad day but this just brought out my smile.
“Are you ever going to come back SA permanently?”
I asked him.
“I miss home. I hate this place. I miss the food. I don’t think you understand how the food here is rubbish.”
He explained. I wouldn’t know. I have never lived anywhere far so I only knew what I knew.
“Thought you guys only eat fish and chips!”
I said and he laughed.
“The reason why I am calling, eish I am going to be a bit awkward. I dreamt about you last night.”
He said. Please tell me it was not a wet dream! I hate those they are creepy.
“What was the dream about?”
I asked him.
“It was weird really. I am not a dreamer but it was so vivid. We had kids, three of them. None of them looked like you, they looked like me. You kept on asking me why the kids did not look like you. We fought so much about it until your mother intervened.”
“Are you still with me?”
He asked me. I was so confused.
“Yes am here is there more?”
I asked him.
“Yes, next thing we were at a river and some old lady was there but I can’t remember that part. It was weird enough for me to remember though and it made me feel somehow, I don’t know what! I know you think I am crazy but does this mean anything to you? I mean I would not have called had the dream not freaked me out!”
He concluded but also asking me a question. What’s with people and dreaming lately?
“It was just a dream dude. Next you will be dreaming of money and thinking you will be rich!”
The moment I said that we both laughed but I was not comfortable.
“I suppose you are right hey. I just wanted you to know about this. I had this overwhelming feeling that I need to tell you this for some reason!”
“Thank you for telling me. I have no idea what it means though I wish I knew!”
“Maybe it just means I miss you. What else could it be? Come to England. We will go half and half!”
He suddenly said. What?
“Are you serious?”
I asked him.
“Yes I am. We won’t do anything just come take a load of and visit me. Think about it?”
There was some noise in the background.
“Got to go my boss is shouting at someone as usual. This is what happens when a black man has too much power!”
He said with that last laugh he hung up. Sfiso was special in some king of way but again, I had more pressing issues. I needed to something about these dreams and stop hiding. I had reached a point where I was too scared to sleep, I was exhausted for no reason and I could feel that my body was not right. Now seemingly people I know where starting to dream about me. This was freaky. I had to get to the bottom of it.
“Lungi I know I was a bit curt with you this morning. The politics are hard to navigate that’s the problem. I will have your back but you will have to do your part and make sure that this project doesn’t go wrong.”
Mr. Gold said when he came into my office. I was not expecting him. He actually took my mind off these things I was thinking about.
“I would hope so. I am a hard worker and I am good at what I do. With your support I won’t disappoint you.”
I reassured him.
“Well I am about to disappoint you. Nicolene is coming to speak to you shortly. She was in my office already. Mr. Graaf called to ask if I had briefed and when I said I had not he sent her through. Nepotism in this company is too hard to avoid. I am sorry!”
He said. That’s why he was being nice. He was trying to let it down gently on me. Was this man a friend? I remember I had thought of Susanna as the enemy when she was actually on my side. Now here was Mr. Gold who was acting like a friend but something did not quite up.
“Ok cool, I will be ready. Thanks for the heads up!”
The ten minutes I waited for her felt like the longest ever. There was a knock on my office door. I told her to enter.
She said as though she was scared of me.
“Come in Nicolene stop being weird we have worked together before!”
I told her. She stepped in and sat down.
“I know this was the least thing you expected and same here. Mr. Gold is the one who gave me the news and much as I am excited to learn I know you don’t want to work with me after what happened with Rudzani!”
You see the thing with white people is that they are used to black people being polite, almost humble when they talk to us. We are never firm with them nor do we ever speak our mind.
“Listen, I know what’s going on here, it’s no secret, someone powerful wants you in my post. You know how long it took me to get here? I worked my socks off. They always told us that one step at a time. You are fresh out of university yet you are already higher than people that have been there longer than me even. I am looking at my options and if that Mr. Graaf is going to threaten me I will take him to every law firm I can find. You are not ready for this. You can tell him and whoever else is pulling the strings to come fire me so I can sue their asses. Here is the recording I did of the meeting. I know I will win!”
I took it out and played it for her.
“If that’s how you feel I will ask you be put on another case then!”
She said backing down.
“That’s just it; you can’t ask to be put on something above you. Work your way up and then you can choose what you are put on!”
I told her sternly. This was going to backfire in so many ways but it had to be said.
“I have to go. Think about what I said?”
I told her. I packed my bags and left. What Sfiso had told me had scared the crap out of me yet again. I had to see someone and I knew who and where to find her. When I got to her place she opened and said,
“Lungi, I have been expecting you! What took you so long?”
“How did you know I was coming?”
I asked her stunned.
“The same way you knew you would be coming here. It’s been a long time! How did you even find this place? You last came here as a child!”
She said. She was right too. I had probably been around 7 years old but somehow I never forgot.
“I am sorry I took so long to come back though. It’s just so complicated!”
I explained to her.
“I know it is!”
“My sister is just stubborn. She thinks I will infect her with this gift and it doesn’t work like that!”
She said. Yes you guessed it; I had gone to visit my mother’s sister, the one she had disowned because well, she was a Sangoma.
This was real and I was scared shitless!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
We have a client in Pretoria looking for a PA.
The job purpose:
* The Personal Assistant works directly with the Ambassador and support him/her by undertaking a variety of administrative, clerical, and managerial tasks. The Personal Assistant serves as the Ambassador’s first point of contact in all diplomatic affairs.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The principal duties and responsibilities of the Personal Assistant to the Ambassador are but not limited to the following:
* To cover all the Ambassador’s audiences;
* To do typing work for the Embassy;
* To operate and update the Embassy’s internet network as well as its main email;
* To participate in the organization of all activities organized by the Embassy;
* To replace the Secretary Interpreter and Translator, in case of absence or impediment of the latter;
* To take care of everything concerning mails addressed to the Ambassador from authorities;
* To do Ambassador’s Note Verbals
* To do Note Verbals for airport and DIRCO
* To manage the phone and the fax of the Embassy
*A Bachelor Degree in English, Business, languages, Administration and/or management is required. A Master degree in Business, management is preferred.
*Previous clerical, secretarial or commercial work experience is essential. Must have very good knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc…).
Must be fluent in both English and French as well as Native Guinean Languages (Susu, Mandingo, Peulh)
*Good interpersonal skills
*Ability to multitask
* Must have at least five years of professional experience in the related field.
If you meet the criteria please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take note of the language requirements. If you do not meet these requirements your application will not be considered.