I am not going to lie and say I was in Wits to do Engineering, Medicine or Law like almost all the other kids do. It’s like it’s embarrassing to say I was here to do study Education which in all fairness should be called “Teaching” for that’s what it is but yes here I was in all my glory. I still find it funny to this day that when I went to school I probably broke the record for being possibly the only university student that rode in like a boss! Yup, I was in the front seat of an 18 wheeler Pick n Pay truck because my cheapskate of a father had said he was going that way. His stop was the warehouse in Moderfontein thankfully meaning from Greenstone I had taken a taxi to university. He did not even have the decency to take me the rest of the way but oh well, he is my father right.
“First year students are not allowed out in the first semester or else you will be kicked out of residence!”
We were warned by senior students at residence in the first week of our arrival there. You know a first year student really is like a student in grade one, the only difference is that we have breasts and go on our periods. We literally had a herd mentality and would follow each other around like baby chickens. It was probably in my third month of university that I figured out that I was literally the only one that was stuck in my room.
“Samke lets go out please, you can’t always be the one studying and besides, we have no tests coming up!”
My roommate at the time, Katlego had begged me. She was from Rustenburg and was teaching me Tswana at this stage. I had not been home since I came, partially because I was embarrassed to go back to my mother still jobless. I had answered every advert I had seen on notice boards but nothing ever seemed to work out for me. Being the polite person that I was, I never pushed nor was I aggressive in my pursuit of a job. I guess I got comfortable.
“I am sure she will be watching series again,”
Zamo her friend from Newcastle had chirped in on our conversation. I swear that girl did not like me. She had a stick up her ass and was one of those girls abazitshelayo and thought she was better than rural me. One day is one day though because I had resolved to give her a proper klap when we were not on school grounds so she could see I was not a push over. At home I grew up being taught that abantu bazokudelela if you don’t show them that you are strong. Let her keep pushing struu Nkulunkulu ngizo mushuka nje nge dilozi.
“leave her alone. we not going far. We going to NUANCE it’s just at the corner!”
She had said. I could see from the way they were dressed that it was not far because when they went to the real clubs in Sandton and Rosebank they would look like they are from American music videos.
“She does not want to come Kat come on; she wants to listen to Maskandi in peace!”
That stupid girl said condescendingly. It’s funny how the things that trigger us as women are usually so small and petty and that Maskandi jibe is the thing that turned my life upside down forever. Imagine telling uNkulunkulu that I died because someone said I listened to Maskandi. I am even ashamed to say this even now.
“No roomie, I will come with you.”
I told my roommate looking straight into Zamo’s eye. Zamokuhle that girl, I pray you never end up here because I will kill you myself. With that said I got up and got ready. I did not even bath that’s how close the place was and because it was always full I knew I did not have to. Jeans and tekkies, you can’t go wrong with All Stars right?
“This place is so loud!”
I told Katlego when we go there but there was such a vibe I liked it.
“It’s actually better today because if we came end of month when these people get their pocket money it will be worse!”
She said laughing. I actually did not get the joke but oh well I don’t think that was the point for me being here.
Katlego suddenly screamed and because she was so close to me and it was quite sudden I jumped up in surprise bumping the waitress behind me making her drop the empty bottle she was carrying on a tray. It smashed on the floor and the people sitting closest all jumped up to avoid broken glass. No one was hurt thankfully and I saw Zamo hold her forehead and shake her head embarrassed looking down. At least she did not laugh.
“I am so sorry!”
I told the waitress who just shrugged it off but I could see she was annoyed. I should have stayed in the room.
“Are you ok?”
Katlego asked me as her friend Beloved came to where we were. I was shocked to find that Beloved was actually a guy.
“Mahlatse you have already met Zamo, this is my roommate Samke, Samke this is my homeboy Mahlatse!”
She said confusing me even further. I desperately wanted to ask why she called him Beloved but having already broken the glass, feeling unwelcome vibes from Zamo as is I thought it best to just smile and greet.
“Nice to meet you Samke!”
He said smiling back. His English sounded like Katlego’s. They both spoke like they had lubricant in their throat the way it was so fluent.
I responded in Zulu. I had learned that in Joburg if you cannot twang like them just go vernacular to confuse the enemy. It’s weird how Zulu intimidates all these other people because for some reason you gain clout when you speak it.
“Katlego I thought you were kidding when you said you would come out with her and goodness me she is a fly mami!”
Yup, he said that. I don’t know where these little South African boys heard that speaking like an American made us girls think they were cool. He actually looked pathetic and I was completely turned off. Even friendzone would not be his fate, he must go find other Americans or 15 year old’s to say such stupid lines to.
“Leave her alone. Where are you guys sitting because we don’t have space?”
She asked. It kind of confused me because the way he had spoken made it seem like they had come together and this was planned. Well it was not because when we got to his table there were two other girls who did not seem pleased to see us there but Katlego did not care.
She said to them immediately offering a hug,
“Oh my goodness I love your earrings!”
She said to the girl who was first to stand up for the hug.
“I looked for them in Cresta too and I could not find them!”
She said to the girl who seemed really flattered that someone was complementing her hideous looking earrings. They were so big I wonder how she even turned her head ingane yabantu shem. As far as I was concerned Katlego had not complimented her. In fact this was a total diss.
“Thank you so much!”
The girl responded accepting the ridiculous complement but here is the thing in girl world, show your teeth and smile even at the ridiculous lest they call you a hater.
“I am Katlego, this is Zamo and that’s my roomie Samke!”
Katlego introduced us.
“I am Zethu and this is my friend Nthabiseng!”
The girl with the earrings said by way of introduction. There is something I had noted since I came to Wits, every group of friends (well they called them cliques) had a dominant language and a token ‘other’ language. So if it were a bunch of Zulu girls there will be Sotho girl or if it were a bunch of Sotho girls there would be a token Zulu girl. This was probably because when they got to their homes they will call themselves cosmopolitan sigh. All it reminded me was that time Paris Hilton had a chihuahua and everyone followed suit or when wow, having a gay bestie was a thing.
“I think I have seen you around. Were you on Medical school the other day?”
Zethu asked me suddenly.
“Yes I was, on Tuesday!”
I responded and Zamo immediately asked,
“Please don’t tell me you are still getting lost come on dude it’s the 3rd month!”
I honestly don’t know what I had done to this girl ukuthi ingithathe kancane ka nje! I wanted to snap at her but Zethu immediately said,
“No it was not that, some Education students take classes on our campus and we take classes in theirs.”
She responded in actually a curt manner. She was not friendly at all in that response and my heart leapt with joy. Zamo just shrunk into her corner and slinkered off.
“What are you guys drinking, first round is on me?”
“I see Mmane sent you some money!”
Katlego teased him but he responded,
“Nope, bursary money they finally paid out and you know that shit comes with some change!”
He said laughing and everyone who had a glass raised it and said,
“Cheers to that!”
Katlego seemingly proud that she had asked then said,
“Zamo and I will have Savannahs and Roomie over here I am not sure…”
She turned looking at me and putting me on the spot.
“Ngiceli icoke kodwa ye fanta grape!”
Making everyone laugh out loud at that moment. I would only get the joke much later.
“No darling out here we drink. Please pick something alcoholic?”
“I will take Hunters Dry then!”
I said. I had never said I don’t drink but I think even my roomie suspected that the way I never went anywhere.
“Phew thank heavens you didn’t say Moet otherwise I would have trapped myself there!”
He said and we all laughed at his honesty. That was the first time I had actually every heard that word and had I known then what it would mean to me now I think I would have insisted on the coke I wanted initially.
Moet, amanzi obufebe sies!
Thank you so much for giving me a chance to be heard. I am 19 years old and attend TUT. I have a boyfriend who is my age but always broke. He smokes a lot of weed and I keep telling him that its only a matter of time before he is on harder drugs. Meanwhile I met a 28 year old guy who is mature and present. He doesn’t buy me gifts but I am never left needing or wanting. He is also very good with advice and he believes in building a future. The problem with him is that he has a baby mama who intimidates me. She is working and I believe she wants him back. We spend all spare our time together and this girl calls all the time. He never picks up and he showed me in the texts that she sends that she is now threatening to prevent him from seeing the baby if they do not get back together. I am scared now to lose him because he is an amazing man. How can I win my man and get rid of her?