There are some people who will tell you that when a woman runs away from home then as a man if you go chasing after
her you are weak or whipped. The standard of what is a man has changed so much that as a man you don’t even know what to do anymore. If I chased her I could be seen as one of three things. One, I was weak and allowing her to play with my emotions running away like that so I should let her be. She will come back when she is ready and if and when she does I must kick her out. People will probably say she gave me woza woza bheka mina ngedwa. Second view is that if I chased after her to go bring her back I would be seen as though I am abusive and possesive for she needs her space and I should allow her to get it. Goodness I even used the wrong word with “allow” there! It’s her right to leave whether she is married or not. Third view is that is I keep quiet and let her be. She wants to leave so be it. Guess what, with that one will definitely be told I never cared for her, I never loved her and oh, man are trash category. Three options that come with the modern age and being a man I don’t even know what a real man is.
“Nonjabulo put your sister on the phone!”
I told her sister as soon as she picked up. There was a lot of background noise at this moment and I am not sure where she was.
“My sister? Londiwe? I am not with her! I am in Germiston I am looking to do an outfit. If you like it you must get it for her as…”
She started to do her normal bullshit of selling me things I don’t need. I know we say that as black people we must all have an entrepreneurial spirit in us but that does not mean anything or everything makes for good business. Who still goes to Germiston nowadays anyway?
“Nonjabulo focus! I am looking for your sister. Where is she?”
I asked her.
“I am not my sister’s keeper and don’t talk to me like that! You don’t even greet yet you start off my asking me questions!”
She snapped at me. Crap! I did not have time for this.
“Your sister left me a note saying she is going to Jozini!”
I told her.
“Jozini? I thought you are the smart one. If she says she is going to Jozini then she is going to Jozini. Why are you second guessing her?”
She asked me. She was making me look stupid and stupid was a look I was getting a lot of lately.
“Did she not tell you anything? After we argued yesterday she left in the morning!”
I told her. She was surprised and I could not tell whether she was faking it or not.
“Its ok I will call your mum!”
I said before she even responded.
“Don’t bother I am with my mum right now! Mama did Londiwe tell you that she was off to Jozini today?”
She asked her mother. I had not known that she was there and whatever happened to that meeting she was supposed to have with my mother anyway. I had not heard about it since that day.
“No! Why would she be going there? I did not leave the keys in any case so if she went there she will sleep outside!”
The mother told Nonjabulo. This just made the story even fishier! Why would she go all the way there without telling her mother or sister? What if she did not go? I won’t be too proud to admit that the thought had indeed crossed my mind.
“Call Simon please and ask her where your sister is?”
I asked her almost in a defeated tone. It’s not nice to suspect that your woman, the person that you love has run away to another man’s house.
“Oh wow look at you! Just yesterday you accused me of giving Simon her number and even after I denied it you insisted?”
She asked me surprised. The problem was with where she was I could not hear clearly what she was saying. The noise was cutting her in and out.
“Please do it for me! I am looking for her!”
I asked her but then I realized that even if she was with him, why on earth would she rat on her own sister. I had no idea where Simon stayed so I could not just show up at his place as he had at mine.
“Ah Vusi leave me alone. I go all out to being nice to you but constantly you undermine me. Now you need my help and you need me? No thank you!”
She said and next thing she hung up the phone leaving me bewildered as well as stressed for days. I had no idea what to think and Nonjabulo was right that maybe a letter is just a letter! I sat down and put my head in my hands to think but no solutions immediately came up! It was then my phone rang, her mother!
“Nonjabulo tells me that my daughter has disappeared? Where is she?”
Her old lady asked me as though I was hiding her in a shoe somewhere.
“I don’t know that’s what I am trying to find out but Nonjabulo won’t give me answers. If there is one thing that I know it’s that these two confide in each other so she has to know!”
I told her. I heard Nonjabulo in the back ground protesting that her mother should not come between the two of us, Londiwe and me but her mother ignored her.
“Londiwe hates Jozini meaning you had to have done something to her to pack up and go that far! What did you do to her?”
She asked me but I was not about to tell my mother in law the problems between her daughter and I. Nowadays the moment you hear that a female is missing you fear the worst because the society we live in today has proven itself time and time again to be vicious, ruthless and cruel.
“I did not do anything. We argued yesterday and this morning we were fine! I did not see that when she left she had packed a bag!”
I explained to my mother in law who sounded very worried right now about her daughter and who can blame her.
“Please go find my daughter! I will go to the police to ask for help!”
She said. The police really? Don’t they wait 48 hours to open a missing person report or is that only in the movies.
“Wait on the police I have to go look for her first!”
I told her but she was already losing it.
“Why are you refusing to go to the police? What have you done with my daughter Vusi?”
My mother in law asked me clearly suspicious that I had brought some kind of harm to her daughter. Well she was wrong but I know how it looks!
“Nothing! Don’t worry mama I will find her!”
I said and hung up the phone before she could respond again. How could they suspect me of bringing harm to their sister and daughter though come on! They had annoyed me. My phone rang and it was Tumi.
“Dude I got home ok I just wanted you to know that! Enjoyed today!
He said when he picked up the phone. It’s neither what I wanted nor what I needed right now! I was not going to tell him that my wife was missing either. Nope! When people see dysfunction in your family, friends especially they tend to judge you for it. You look like a failure. I sat down for about an hour but this thing was killing me. Her phone was off.
“Ok this is dumb but fuck it!”
I said out loud standing up. I took my wallet, a jacket and my toiletry bag which always stays packed for some reason and headed out of the door!
“Let’s see if you are in Jozini ke!”
I told myself as I stomped outside to the car. Guess I was either going to be called weak for following her or possessive, either way I was going after my wife! I got into the car and drove out. I had been to Jozini once before and it’s about 4 hours away. This is one of those drive you don’t look forward too because it’s not like you going to a town that offers you something.
Two hours later I received a text from her.
“My mother said you called looking for me. I just need a bit of space right now. I am safe!”
I tried to call her back but as soon as she sent that text she switched off her phone. I called my mother in law and mind you it’s a bit late now.
“Good evening mama! I still can’t get a hold of her!”
I told her when she picked up. I did not want to say that I had received the text because she will then say that I had spoken to her.
“She is fine. I spoke to her. I told her to send you a message from wherever she is just to let you know that she is ok so expect that!”
The mother said.
“I am almost in Jozini and I will knock from door to door if I have to find her!”
I told her mother curtly.
“She did say she is in Jozini. I am afraid you have wasted a trip. She is right here in Joburg!”
The mother said and you know when something just drains her message instantaneously, that happened to me right that moment.
“This is not right! This is why women get divorced by their partners!”
I told the mom menacingly.
“Ah ah ah you guys haven’t reached that stage yet. She just wanted to breathe. Don’t make decisions when you are mad like this! You love each other…”
The mother said panicking now realizing that she was about to lose her cash cow too! Don’t be fooled, these mother in laws know money too and when they have a daughter married to someone they think is rich they work just as hard for your marriage as their daughter if not more!
“So where is she? Did she go see a boyfriend? When I get home I am changing every key and I am…”
I said angrily.
“She did not go far. She said she went next door to the Nigerians house the woman there is home alone. She just wanted to scare you into apologizing!”
The mother ratted her daughter out! Next door? What the fuck? I had driven two hours already for someone next door?
“I can’t do this!”
I said coldly.
“Tell your daughter she will find me in Jozini tomorrow morning or expect divorce papers! On that one I am not joking!”
I told the mother coldly and hung up the phone. I was not kidding either!
What kind of rubbish is this?
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
Thank you for reading my letter
sorry guys its very lengthy
I’m a black girl in her early twenties & in a relationship with a white man who is in his fifties.(Yes shame me its fine). We’ve been together for a few months. The main thing that attracted me to him is his big heart. I’m in the NGO industry ,I love helping people & so does he. Now here comes my problem. I’m a very curious being ,I went & googled him (main reason for doing that,he doesn’t have a Facebook account lol). I just thought his LinkedIn account would come up or whatever, since he is a business man. I wasn’t prepared for what came up. A TRC page came up linking him to it. There it says “he” was pardoned (him& his other colleagues) for killing a MK who happened to be a woman. Obviously I can’t be sure if its really him as there were no images. .but a few things do suggest that it might be him (1)He is from KZN & this happened there (2)He was a police officer & it also says that there. Now I’m conflicted.
Don’t know whether I should ask him or not also not sure if I’d be able to deal with the truth if it happens to be him. I know its in the past & what not.. but a WHOLE WOMAN guys