Who remembers the video of the white guy who was speaking Venda that went viral? So
many people applauded it like it was the second coming of Christ. They were marveled by it like little children being shown fireworks no wonder why we lost the land! Do you think it was because he was white why he was praised so much or because he was so fluent? The truth is none of the above! It was because that most of us unless we are from Gauteng of course cannot speak another South African language apart from mother tongue and English.
“Give us back the land!”
We all scream in what language? How many of you are saying,
“Give us back our languages!”
That’s how much we are confused as to our identity! Let that sink in for a moment and then try figure out where Venda would lie in our hierarchy of languages. We are such a sad community in that our people are actually pretty much strangers to one another no wonder why we have so much crime and femicide! How do you love thy neighbor even you don’t even know that neighbor? How do you protect a stranger when you don’t even take time to learn about their people because last I checked Ubuntu was about loving everyone! I was a South African yet Venda seemed like some exotic languages spoken by the Jabari in Wakanda high up in their mountains.
“No child sit up sit up, our cultures are different let Venda girls kneel not you!”
Said one of the aunts in a very rounded off to the nearest Venda English accent. It’s a miracle I could even hear her…no … I lie let me rephrase. A lot of people can hear English that has a heavy accent if that accent is from their own mother languages. Zulu people especially commit genocide against the English language but the moment another tribe does it, in this case Venda, we are the first to call others backwards!
I whispered. Yup at this moment this woman sounded backward not because I was high and mighty and because she was lower than me bur because it’s what I was taught to conclude.
“Thank you very much! In my culture we kneel too in front of esteemed family”
I said politely. My head was still spinning t what he had said about Makoti and because it was all happening fast I was not clear as to what he had said exactly.
“Nah nonsense we don’t want you to leave here with calloused knees because of the Thohoyandou soil!”
She said. Yes she said calloused people and you better get out your dictionary if you don’t know the word because this dark chubby seemingly uneducated woman had used that word. Stereotypes are bad people.
I told her. She did me a favor as well in that in speaking in English I did not have to have the whole language debate on what was appropriate to use in front of elders.
“Mbilahelo you have never introduced a woman to the family before and now you bring us an angel. You are beautiful ah Mbilahelo where did you even find her! Where are you from?”
The aunt asked me. I actually blushed because vele I was beautiful and I don’t get told that often enough. I got the impression she was the only one who could speak English because the others just grinned.
“I am from Newcastle but live and work in Joburg!”
I told them. I could not say I lived and was unemployed in Joburg for obvious reasons.
“Oh that’s nice. I like that you are from Newcastle and you mention it first because girls from Joburg nowadays ah, I don’t even know what to say! They just bring us women down with their looseness, drinking, fornicating and so much more then they cry foul when men don’t respect them!”
She said to me but I fully understood her sentiments. If I was a mother in the provinces advising a son me about women I think Joburg women would be my first warning I would tell him to stay away from. Why? This whole idea of empowerment and freedom has reached levels were people are naked on social media because it’s their right. I am talking about students even those in high school and the trend started amongst Joburg scholars. To each her own though right we don’t care about the rest.
“Aowa Tshilidzi give others a chance. You are monopolizing our Maloti come on!”
Another woman spoke up. This time the avocado enriched English came out because she was even more fluent that me yet as dark as a starless night in a Karoo winter!
“I am his aunt I live in Pretoria East. Mbilahelo tells us that you are the one! When are we bringing lobola? When are we coming to marry you because I would love a road trip to Newcastle?”
She asked me with a huge grin. I have to pose and say the smile on this woman’s face was like being in the presence of the heavens. It was so warm and genuine if she had asked me for money right now I would have given her. She was genuinely so happy and so loving that it did not immediately sink in immediately what she had said,
I said skeptically,
“Aowa Vho Makhadzi don’t put her on the spot we still have a lot of things to work out!”
Mbilahelo stepped in. No wonder why these people had been so happy. This dude had told them that we were getting married! What the hell was wrong with him? I had seen this a lot hey, men have a tendency of trying to guilt women into marrying them by proposing in public. If you say no you seem like the cruelest cold person in the world so often you say yes. I was not going to embarrass him though even though I was mad,
“We are still disagreeing, he wants me to stay at home whilst he goes to work and I was not raised like that. I have a career which must take care of him as well as our family. I won’t stay at home that one I refuse!”
I told them with a big smile though I must say it was a fake one. I was obviously teasing but like I said I was not going to humiliate him in front of his family. That would be wrong. He was obviously respected.
“Oh that’s very wise!”
The aunt said but there was a disturbance somewhere. I think someone was fighting so we all stood up at the same time.
“Excuse us, this was bound to happen!”
They all stood up and ran to stop the fracas. That was my cue to disappear too. Mbilahelo came after me,
“Dude how could you do that?”
I asked him angrily.
He asked me.
“You set me up there and told your family that you and I are getting married? How could you even do that? We are not even dating!”
I told him angrily.
“I thought we were!”
He said cheekily crossing his arms across his chest. It incensed me even further,
“You thought we were? When did you ask me out?”
I asked him angrily.
“I thought independent women like you nowadays don’t want to be asked out, you guys always say you let things flow and see where it takes you!”
He told me. I was about to argue him on that point and I realized I was that woman who did not believe in being asked out. Somewhere along the line the thrill of that formal request had got lost in me.
“Well you shouldn’t have made assumptions because now you will have to explain to your family why you lost me!”
I told him. He was actually hurt because his shoulders sagged immediately like the boobs of a 55 year old 34DD woman with five kids. Ok that’s mean I will never be allowed to join the all boobs are equal movement with such rhetoric.
“I know you are pregnant with my brother’s twins. I love you and I loved my brother. I want, no I mean I would like to keep them within the family first and secondly I would like to spend my life with one of the most amazing woman I have ever met!”
He said sweetly. Somewhere in all that I had not noticed that he had his hand in mine, sneaky bastard.
Before I could even speak there were two loud noises, gunshots! Mbilahelo instinctively covered me with his body protecting me from where ever they were coming from.
“Go to your car now and stay down!”
He said running towards the way the shots had come from. What was wrong with this guy? He was not behaving like typical South African police who run away from the danger first unless they have back up. No wonder why we have so many cash in transit heists.
I screamed because well, everyone else was screaming. There were shots again. I was not sure what was happening but my car was in the opposite direction from where the shots came from. I knew my sister was already there since she had run away from the food.
“What is going on?”
She asked me as soon as I got there.
“I don’t know, I guess the families are fighting now I don’t know!”
I told her.
“Its time to leave then, I refuse to die in Venda because my spirits will never have enough money to pay for all the tollgates just to get back home!”
My sister said with a serious tone in her voice but she was actually cracking a joke. She was definitely right it was time to leave before they turned around and realized the devil did not wear Prada, it was me!
“Yes I agree let’s go!”
I changed my shoes and drove out quietly like a thief in the night. People seemed to have gathered in one spot but I was not curious enough to find out. I had babies to protect and it was not lost upon me that at some point someone could turn around and re examine my role in this.
“It’s a good thing we checked out hey because imagine sleeping here again in this heat!”
My sister said to me. She was right about the heat and even with the aircon on it was hard to mask.
“Mbilahelo told his family that we are getting married!”
I told my sister suddenly not acknowledging her statement on the heat.
“I beg your pardon?”
My sister asked in surprise.
“But you not even dating, I am sure he was joking!”
She said trying to dismiss it but I was not dismissing it. I know I am an independent woman but the idea of someone taking care of me appealed to me. Why though? I like my independence so why was I falling for this trap that has killed the spirit of so many women before me.
“Lungile you not saying anything! Are you considering it?”
She asked me.
“I don’t know sis…I don’t know!”
I told her and with that I got lost in my thoughts!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for posting my story. My story is a very shameful one and I am even struggling to look at myself in the mirror knowing what I have done. I have been dating my husband for 11 years and now married for 4 years and I have a 3 year old son. I am 29 years old and my husband was not a great boyfriend but he is a wonderful husband and a great father to our son. I have never cheated on my husband and he is the only man I have ever slept with, until mid-March this year. I met a well-known guy (in his field) during a work conference in Feb; he is 48 years old and has been married for over 20 years. I passed by his hotel one regretful day and the temptation just looked so goooood. The foreplay was great and the sex was so bad I should have stopped right there, he is diabetic; he has a very small penis and bought large size condom. The condom came off and I only realized this when he was done and the condom was left inside me with all his waste . He did a vasectomy 10 years ago and I was on contraceptives. I am now 8 weeks pregnant and I am scared the baby might be his because there are so many women who fell pregnant like this. I don’t know what to do or how I can find out the paternity of my child.