The problem with the truth is that not everyone is prepared to hear it. We all have friends who the day you reveal
the truth to them about themselves that will be the end of your friendship. Sfiso was not my friend, he was the man I loved and wanted to be with. He was the man my mother had always said I should get and now that I had him in front of me I now needed to let out the uncomfortable stuff. It’s easier said than done especially when even you don’t know what’s going on half the time. That’s how I felt.
I wanted to cry.
Imagine the thought of telling the truth made me want to cry.
What was wrong with this truth though?
How do you tell someone you know you want to spend the rest of your life with a truth that will make them change the way they see you forever?
There was no way he was going to be immune from not judging me. If you were to ask me if I wanted to marry a Sangoma I probably would say no too and be very afraid. I could not keep it a secret any longer because it was eating me inside. Not being able to talk about this thing was making it worse.
“What’s going on? I heard noises in your house what’s going on? Was that person sick?”
He asked me as we drove off. This was going to be a long conversation because now I had to explain to him what that was as well. Africans are not in touch with being African as we have been taught that our own beliefs are taboo. This guy was even based in England so what are the chances he would understand.
“That was my aunt. She was receiving the spirit. She is a Sangoma.”
I said by way of introducing him to the topic. He held on to his steering wheel a bit tighter as though I had said something that could make him swerve but did not say anything. I am not sure if this was a good sign but I was going to run with it.
“We are going to the Mall right?”
He asked as though I had not said it earlier.
“Yes we are. It’s a better place to sit and a bit safer than just parking anywhere!”
I told him. People love Joburg but the reality is that it is so unsafe even when the car is in motion. The crime here is just crazy but we live I guess. At the mall we found a place to sit after leaving the car.
“Ok sorry about not responding I did not know what to say at the time but did you really just say what you did?”
He asked me.
“Yes I did. I wanted you to know because I could see the look on your face when I came back. You were very confused so I thought I owed you an explanation!”
I told him. He was still confused Shem but the conversation was now open so I had to go through with it.
“What’s that got to do with us leaving though? I mean it’s your aunts business but I felt as though you bundled me up out of there to protect me or something. It was rather weird. Even your sister looked uncomfortable!”
He explained. I did owe him an apology for that because he had come to see us at a dark time in our family and wanted to be there for us but we had literally chased him out at the end of a bayonet.
“I know I know but it’s because there is more and I needed to sit with you in private to tell you all about me. It’s important that you know the truth and that is what I am trying to do!”
I explained to him. I could see again that he was uncertain about what I was saying and he squinted his eyes suspiciously in the process!
“Ok I don’t follow now. Just come out with what you want to say please.”
He requested starting to lose his patience with me.
“I have a calling to be a Sangoma,”
I told him but I could not look him in the eye as I said it. Somehow I felt ashamed of this and I don’t know why. It’s like I was saying I was some kind of monster I don’t know but it did not sound right nor sit right…
“A Sangoma as in Harry Potter?”
He asked me with a doubtful look on his face. He was clearly unconvinced and he scratched his head.
“No it’s not like Harry Potter. Harry Potter was a witch and a Sangoma is not a witch!”
I explained to him rather annoyed by his ignorance. Sfiso was those blacks who thought because they called washing clothes ‘laundry’ they had made it in life hence why he would say such an ignorant thing. Imagine Harry Potter being a Sangoma. Living in England had clearly messed with his brain.
*But it is a witch doctor right?”
He asked clearly needing clarity from me. I had to be patient with this and not get frustrated because a lot of people actually make that assumption.
“No its not. A healer maybe but there is no witchcraft involved at all! Please don’t make a joke out of this because it’s serious!”
I told him. He had a crooked smile on his face because he was finding it all ridiculous.
“Who said anything about me joking? You don’t believe in that nonsense right though? Come on Lungi you have a solid education and we live in 2017 come on! We have modern medicine, hospitals and technology so where do witch doctors fit into all this. You clearly don’t make any sense to me so where is your sensibility if you even believe in all that!”
He was not joking. He was actually quite serious. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair and looked me in the eye as though he thought I was going to say I was just kidding. Well I was not. Sense and Sensibility, that’s a Jane Austen book worth reading I thought after he said that because he lacked none himself.
“Look whether you believe in it or not I had to tell you of my calling.”
I said bulldozing through his doubt and his clear contempt to what I was saying to him.
“Ok so what’s that got to do with me? I like Lungi, everything else is none of my business!”
He said rather naively and dismissively.
“That calling does not want us together. I have already been warned several times to stay away from you or else bad things will happen and already bad things have been happening to me!”
After I said that even I felt a bit ridiculous. This guy was from Nelspruit though are you telling me that Swati’s there did not have sangoma’s?
“Now I see what’s going on. Look if you were looking for a way to dump me please come up with something else because that will be the most original but creepy way to do so!”
He said sounding very annoyed at me. Why could this guy not just open his mind and see that I was actually not playing around? What did I stand to gain really?
“Sfiso I like you with everything I have. I have defied all the warning signs and already so much has happened to both of us. I will fix this and if you really want us to be together you will let me work through it!”
I told him.
“I have to go.”
He said with a hoarse voice. Was he about to cry?
I asked him.
“I just have to go. When you decide to stop playing such games you know where to find me!”
He said and he stood up. I cannot say I was entirely surprised because even I would have thought I was a bit loony too. This was crazy.
“Sfiso please don’t walk away like this. Don’t make decisions when you mad!”
I pleaded with him.
“Mad? I am not mad at you at all but for goodness sake this is fucken crazy. Come on Lungi? Your ancestors told you to stay away from me? Even if it were true that they did, what did they tell you? That I am a monster!”
He asked me and I stared blankly at him. I had no answer at this moment and much as I raked my brains for one nothing came out.
“See, no answer! How did they tell you this message? Via email? Or maybe WeChat? I here Gareth Cliff and Touch have good shows there!”
He said nastily in what was pure sarcasm. He walked away from the table and I saw him put his hands on his hand then lift them up in there before he shouted loudly,
“Really God? Really? Why me?”
I could hear the despair in his voice but I could not run after him. I did not know what I would have said to him and how I would have calmed him down considering I also needed calming down. I was crying.
“Why are you not running after him?”
A little voice said to me in my voice!
“The man you love is walking away from you and you just sit there?”
It mocked me. I sat there for the next five minutes contemplating exactly what I was going to do next. I could not lose Sfiso. I had just lost my mother and now him. I stood up and ran after him. If I had to lie to fix things I would. What the hell had I been thinking telling him the truth? Was Jesus not laughed at by his own people for calling himself their Saviour and no I am not saying I am Jesus but I most certainly should have said it differently.
I cursed as I stood up to run after him. With phone in hand I tried calling him. It rang the first two times then the third time it was off. I looked everywhere for him but he was nowhere to be found. Ten minutes later my phone rang. It was not him but my sister.
“Are you far?”
She asked me.
“No am not why?”
I asked her.
“I just wanted to say you can come back now Aunty is fine!”
She said but if only she knew the pain of what she was saying to me.
I told her and with that I knew I might never ever see him again.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Good evening Sir Mike, please make me anonymous
First of all let me congratulate you on your outstanding work, you really good.
I’ve been contemplating since last year whether or not to write this to you for advice. I remember last year in most of your quotes you said we ladies allows men to treat us the way they do. I’ve been in a four years relationship with a very unreasonable man. He always had a problem with my family and even with my son, why? I really don’t know. I’m the only breadwinner at home so when I sent my parents my last cents for grocery, he has a problem but the thing is he never gives me a cent and I never ask him. He has always wanted a child with me before marriage but I’ve always said no I’m not ready because I’m not ready. Last year 26 June I found him red handed in bed with another woman and he said is because I don’t want to give him a child. He asked for a break and treated me as if he found me with someone. I even went to the depression hospital for 2 weeks after that tjo. I then got a promotion as a manager and he felt intimidated and blamed me again for cheating (I’ve found woman stuff at his house), saying he is scared that I will no longer respect him. He even said I am forcing my son on him just because I once ask him to help me with 1 Q helping my son with homework. Well last month he decided to ignore me the whole weekend and I told him I want a 6 month break. I never even ask this guy for R20 because he will give me a lecture from Genesis to Revelation. I feel like this man has really broken me. I’m slowly starting to fall out of love with this guy. He’s really not the man I want to get married to him. Should I just move on with my life bra Mike?? I sometimes do miss him shame.