I have never spoken about my father because men fail you so why be yet another broken record. A lot of women’s failures stem from the fact that they place their fate dreams and hopes on the men around them. We seem not to realize that the real strength comes in believing in only us without wasting timing looking to blame the unreliable opposite sex. I am very adamant about this. I don’t believe any man is better than me and that’s my story and I am sticking to it. With that said this thing that was in the letter had just unnerved me. What would you do if you heard that your father raped someone? It’s not a small thing at all and this thought had made my mouth dry.
“Mum should not have told us that!”
My sister said standing up. She walked out of the room with her hands on her waist.
“I am stunned. I don’t know what to say.”
I found myself telling Miriam who too I could see the shock on her face. This was big news and very disturbing. I could not help but wonder if some secrets are meant to stay buried. So much for being the success story I was born out of a monster.
“I think I need a drink!”
I told Miriam.
“It’s a pity I don’t keep booze in the car anymore! With the little one growing inside me my hubby checks all the time!”
She told me and we both laughed.
“Do you ever think of when we were young? How life was and how we did not have to worry with grown up things? Now you are married expecting a baby even ah! Miriam we are old!”
I told her in that laughter.
“Indeed we are! I do think about those days when we did not have to be adults and worry about all these grown up things. Your mother worked at Eskom for sure the way she would come stand at the gate at 530pm exactly 5 minutes before the street lights switched on just to make sure that she can remind you that its dark now! It’s like she wanted you to get in trouble!”
Miriam reminded me that story. When you are young you cannot really track your time when you are out playing. In my house the rule was as soon as the street lights go on you know you are late and in trouble. This meant a hiding every three days. Day one was the warning day two was being reminded of it and day three was the belt! It never deterred us though we played anyway.
“I wanted your advice on something…”
“Sure what’s up?”
“You know Bongani never paid for lobola for me right? We went straight for the white wedding if you recall. Now my mother is asking me to ask him when he intends to pay lobola!”
She told me. I had even forgotten about this but at her wedding I had commented on it. How does one get to walk down the alter before lobola is paid? People thought I was crazy and traditional for saying this but oh well now here we are. Lobola makes money change hands and money changing hands makes African parents happy.
“Have you asked him about this?
I asked her.
“No how could I? I am the on who insisted that I will not be bought and sold like a cow at the market! Eish Ke ya phapha neh?”
She said and we laughed. Her phone rang ad it was Bongani saying he had sent a car to pick her up and that car was outside, She had to go and I had to go as well, said bye to my sister and frobe out with her. Mbuso called ten minutes later.
“Lungi where are you?”
He asked me as I drove.
“I am on my way home why?”
I asked him.
“Ntheteng and I made you dinner. Can you please stop by?”
He asked me. I did not mind hey. I had promised to hang out with her yesterday and had failed to honour my word.
“Yes. Did you guys make a salad so I can buy one?”
I asked him. They had not so I was going to have to stop by the mall and get it. I wanted to check my bank statement in any case to see what was happening. When I got there there was no money yet which on its own was a frustration but it’s not like I was not warned. It was already feeling like it had been forever.
A voice called out my name as I walked out of Pick n Pay. I turned around and there was Mbilahelo. He was with two other people.
I said. I was not intending to stop but the way he greeted he wanted me to do so and with people with him I was not about to embarrass the man.
“How are you?”
I said to him.
“Am good thanks. Gents I will catch up with you!”
He said. Crap now he was intending on walking me. Come on now on!
“You very presumptuous!”
I told him shaking my head with slight annoyance coming out of me.
“Nope. I have to walk you to your car. It’s only polite and people like saying police never help anyone so here I am offering my help.”
He said with so much confidence. I let out a fake chuckle as I walked to my car. He came with me and it’s not that I was ungrateful for wanting to protect me but what could possibly happen to me at the mall.
“Thank you. I see chivalry is not dead yet!”
I said sarcastically.
“Nope, it’s not. When it’s offered its mocked when it’s not you don’t like that either.”
He said to me after I said that. That was actually a clever answer come to think of it. A policeman with wit, that’s new!
“Are you coming from work?”
I asked him as I could see he was carrying his gun still.
“Yes I am and I will be going on leave for the rest of the week so I aim actually quite happy today!”
He said and made a fake grin. He reminded me of that Jerry Maake Robocop smile as he did that which made me burst out laughing. It was funny in its own way.
“See, finally I make you laugh. I have been wondering if I will ever do that. You always approach me with a scowl on your face sometimes it feels as though I make you angry.”
He said starting to feel at ease.
“I can’t smile at everyone it’s too hard. Ask any woman if you smile too much all the rats in the sewer think that you want them!”
“Damn! Rats in a sewer? Is that what you call men who want to greet you?”
He asked me.
“Yes no doubt! I did not ask them to greet me right so why should they do that? A woman should be able to walk on the street without being harassed. If I wanted to be greeted I will ask for it!”
I told him defiantly.
“I get that and I support that. So ok woman on the street, if you are walking and someone robs you or you faint or collapse should the rats in the sewer keep walking and mind their own business?”
He asked me using my words against me.
“Well that’s different! I am sick or I am in harm either way it’s not the same when I am just walking leisurely!”
I explained and even though it kind of had logic I knew it was a weak response.
“Yes but didn’t you also faint leisurely?”
He asked me and we both laughed.
“Really now… I am just saying it’s not nice to be greeted by undesirables. Some men can’t take the fact that you ignoring them lying down. They will insist on talking to you!”
I explained to him and already I was at my car and it was getting late.
“This is me!”
I told him showing him by switching on the lights.
“You should never just switch on your car without first looking around and always when you go to your car in the parking lot just make sure there is someone else doing the same! It’s safer that way!”
He said to me and I just smiled at him for looking out for me.
I told him as I put my shopping on the back seat. I did not want to open my boot on front of him because eish, a woman’s boot is a wardrobe and more.
“You welcome. Drive safe!”
He said and just stood there. Was he expecting a hug? I mean he was standing at my car door so I could not enter.
“Are you expecting a hug?”
I asked him.
“Hell no! I don’t hug rats in the sewer! Like lady I just met you in the mall!”
He said and we both laughed and just like that he turned away. That was funny actually. He had implied that just like me calling stranger’s rats I too was a stranger so also that. Dry wit but clever. I drove home.
“Hello Aunty Lungi!”
Ntheteng said opening the door for me when I knocked at their apartment. She came in and gave me a big hug which was customary Ntheteng.
“Hello my dear I am sorry I am late her!”
I told her.
“No it’s ok; daddy burnt the rice so he had to start again!”
She said which cut off by,
The father cleared his throat but humorously so,
“Ntheteng I thought we agreed that we are not going to tell her this part!”
He asked her.
“I know daddy but I wanted her to know how bad a cook you are! Daddy needs help!”
She said and we all laughed.
“Daddy can I go to the bathroom?”
Ntheti asked him.
“Sure you can and I keep telling you that you don’t need to ask for permission when we are at home!”
He told her and her response was,
“That’s what teacher says we must do and teacher is always right!”
As she walked out! Cute! I was ushered into the kitchen and indeed the first rice had burnt I could still smell it.
“How bad was it?”
I asked him. He knew exactly what I was talking about.
“Bad enough trust me and what’s worse I was right here!”
He explained. I was not surprised every stove was on the highest it could go.
“Cooking is like sex, often it’s not about how fast you can cook something but rather how much time and attention you pay to it.”
He looked at me and made a slow clap,
“You just made that up right?”
He asked me.
“Yes I did. Don’t mind me!”
I told him.
“No that was brilliant actually wow ok sex and cooking are the same now!”
He said laughing. Well I had said ‘like’ but its ok we all don’t understand English the same way. My phone rang. It was on loud and there was no avoiding it. I took it out.
“It’s my sister!”
I said showing him the screen for some reason.
He said. I picked up and before I even greeted she said,
“I heard you talking about lobola with Miriam there is something I need help with from you!”
Ok that was random and quite unexpected.
“I don’t understand? What’s lobola got to do with me?”
I asked her because I could not see what she had to talk to me about on this matter.
“I have been thinking and for this I will need your help. I don’t have the money right now but I would like to return the lobola he paid for me. I want pay his family back.”
She said and wow, talk about regaining your power.
“Pay back the lobola he paid for you?”
I asked her surprised even though I had heard her clearly.
“Yes every cent. I will add r100 on top of the r31000 he paid to show them that I am doing better without them or his money!”
She told me and she was serious too.
“Ok wow are you sure about this?”
I asked her.
“Yes I am!”
What could I say?
“Ok then! Let’s work on it!”
I told her but no lie, this was new to me!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Firstly I’d like to thank Mr. Maphoto for such wonderful work and keeping us entertained. Keep up the good work Sir, May the Almighty God, our Lord bless you abundantly…
My story is just confusing….please keep me anonymous
I’m a 26 year old female from Pretoria. I just started a new relationship (less than 2 months) but I think I foresee problems already. My guy told me that he broke up with his baby mama 2 years back. Their daughter is 6 yrs old. I’ve never met her baby mama and we stay in the same area but have seen her in photos. Now the problem is that, whenever she calls he’ll drop everything and attend to her. There was a time she had to go home (Wit-bank) and that night we planned to go out for dinner. But he had to postpone and khapha the baby mama home. Like really???? He came up with some lame excuse.
The other day she called that she doesn’t have money to come back, he said ok and promised to call her the following day. So now I was just bored and curious and searched her on Facebook. Something disturbed me when uguy and his friends commented on the photo “beautiful as always” “My brother’s wife”. I know your boyfriends friends are not your friends but I think I’m being taken for a ride here.
Could this mean they still together or what?? His family knows about us and they welcomed me
Oh, there was a time he uploaded a profile pic of his baby mama and daughter and the caption ***Beautiful… I love my daughter***