You know when you attend a party back home you know you have arrived by the number of cars or people outside. That’s how you know ukomnandini and even your spirits fill up. This was a major red flag.
“Abedi, i am not comfortable with this. First we were going to a club now we are at a so called party with no one here.”
I found my voice and at this stage i did not care what Zamo thought.
“What do you mean?”
He asked surprised by the question. I know there are women who say they like it when men take all the decisions as long as they benefit them. I was not that woman. My parent’s relationship had taught me that my mother was actually the smart one when it came to decision making and not my father. I want someone to tell me exactly what’s going on and no surprises.
“Yes, she is right Abedi. Where exactly are we going and why is there no one here?”
Katlego asked what I had literally just asked. Zamo turned around and gave us that evil stare
“You will see in a minute but I can assure you that you are safe!”
He said not that it was comforting. He opened the gate and we drove down a long driveway. The mood at this stage was actually tense to be fair but that was soon to change. After the second bend, there was life. The yard was so big but actually had a parking lot. From the gate, there was a hedge that’s why it was impossible to have seen all the cars parked here. The music was bot playing though and as I was about to ask Abedi then said,
“Shit we are so late. They must be doing the speeches already. I am in trouble.!”
He said very annoyed at himself I am sure,
“It’s my sister’s birthday and I should never have left but Ada insisted!”
He said and this time it felt as though he was annoyed at us. Ok, now I felt bad. I had just let my prejudices allow me to accuse this man of possibly being a human trafficker. Was I to blame though?
“Let’s go ladies. I will be busy for a bit but you can find Ada he will take care of you!”
He said as soon as he parked. I could sense that he was now in a rush. We got out of the car and the warmth of the night really hit me even though i was wearing jeans. I had also borrowed heels from I am ashamed to say it, Zamo. My mum had said i must not pack the only heels i had because why would i need them at school. My uncle, Malume Balican had bought them for me for my matric dance.
He had told me when he handed them over,
“I have never bought you anything but i know you will make us proud with your matric results so here is my present to you!”
He had said. He called everyone ‘cuzie’ even the guys that collected or garbage. These were my most expensive shoes at the time and imagine they came from ALDO. Even I agreed with my mother that they must stay at home for safekeeping because people at school steal. Sigh. Now here I was in borrowed shoes like I was Daniel Malvern plagiarising other people’s tweets. The shame.
“Why waphapha so? Did you think that he was bringing us her to be eaten? What’s wrong with you?”
Zamo asked very irritated by me over my line of questioning go Abedi.
“It was shady though Zamo!”
Katlego immediately said.
“You guys came here because you wanted to be here so please stop accusing people of things. I can’t believe you guys like seriously!”
Zamo stomped off towards where people were standing by the poolside.
“Ignore her. She thinks she is cleverer than us. You were right to ask!”
Katlego said. It really felt like Katlego was the only thing holding us back from killing each other. My phone rang and it was Zethu.
“Hey. Just saw your message. I am also at a party in Lonehill.”
She said as soon as i picked up. She was practically whispering as she said that. There was a low sound as a band played in the background
“Dude I think we at the same party because I can hear your music too!”
I told her excited. Yes it was definitely it.
“I am standing next to the DJs to the left. Let the speeches finish.”
She said and hang up. Bow i had something to look to forward to. It’s funny how sometimes you meet people who you just click with for no apparent reason.
“Now for the birthday girl, Abisola Erinosho!”
The announcer mentioned. A girl stood up and immediately I recognized her. At school, I attended Christian Fellowship on campus and that was our Sunday Church. It had a lot of students bit I recognized her because she was super friendly. She did not look anything like her brother at all.
“I know that girl!”
I whispered to Katlego who was standing next to me. Katlego was not a church person so she would not have known her.
She asked me curiously,
“She goes to our church on campus. I knew she was Nigerian but i would never have thought you know!”
I said fascinated. You know when you are in a new place and meet someone you recognize you actually feel important. The speeches were mostly in their language but I actually noticed that most of the girls here were South African. The Nigerians were mostly men and I was not surprised because much as we here about Nigerian men you never actually hear about the women.
“So friends and friends of friends, raise you glasses one more time and lets have a good time!”
She said at the end of her speech. I was half expecting a cake but that did not happen. They popped champagne instead and people started cheering, the music went on and the partying began.
I heard an overly excited voice from behind us say and when we turned it was Zethu. Katlego immediately fake screamed (yup it’s a thing) so as not to make too much of a noise as she hugged the girl she only met yesterday. The fake scream was meant to show excitement I am sure and call me boring or whatever, I was definitely not about to do that. Come on now, yes I was happy to see her but I had just met this girl why must I scream like
“Guys this is the nice kind of awkward I like. I thought I was going to end up standing here by myself the whole night!”
She said to us after she gave me a hug.
“Dude that’s us as well. We came with Zamo but she has disappeared somewhere into the crowd huffing and puffing!”
Katlego said and the girls laughed.
“What’s she mad about this time?”
Zethu asked and I liked the way she said this time because clearly, she had noticed that Zamo had more mood swings and change of mind moments than Julius Malema on a good day. You could never tell what was going to trigger her and throw you under the bus.
“The fact that we were uncomfortable coming to a party which was originally supposed to be at a club now in a house in a neighbourhood we don’t know!”
She laughed and don’t
“I saw your message shem and I totally share your sentiments. The problem with Northerners is that they do tend to find themselves in trouble more often than not!”
She said and even I understood that reference. Northerner was the term used for foreign Africans because with us being so low down on the continent everyone else was from the North.
“Yes, you are right hence why we panicked. Zamo could not understand that part so she went her own way. She will come back when she is back. I don’t have time to nurse childish egos.”
Katlego said. Speaking of Zamo i looked around to see whether or not i could spot her. I was also hoping to wash my eyes with just a glimpse of Abedi. i instead spotted Gorilla whom at that very moment happened to be staring right at me smiling. In spite of his muscular built he had that teddy bear warmth look but to be fair i was not into ntofo ntofo men.
“We need to go say hi to Ada!”
I told Katlego of which Zethu immediately asked who was that.
“He is the guy who invited us here. It’s a long story!”
I told her. Where I come from, if you are invited directly to a party you have to greet the host. It’s not just showing face but it’s the polite thing to do
“Come with us it will only take two seconds!”
Katlego told Zethu.
“Oh, you have seen him already?”
I asked her and she laughed and responded,
“He is kind of hard to miss!”
Making us both giggle. Zethu obviously did not get the joke but she followed us through the crowd anyway. When we got to Ada he smiled from ear to ass. Is it just me who thinks that when people are dark-skinned their teeth are whiter or is it because the teeth contract to darker skin makes them look lighter? Either way, I am sure even if you were on an airplane you would have seen those teeth.
“Ladies I am so glad you have come!”
He said opening his arms out to hug. Goodness I had forgotten that part. Hugs are men’s way to touch our bodies with consent. Look closely and literally every guy you know who is not from your street tries and hugs you every chance they get. It’s not girls who chase hugs its boys in their grey track pants.
“Thank you for having us.”
Katlego said as she got the first hug. It was a brief 2 second affair. It was obviously my turn now so when i moved into the hug he opened his arms to me. He smelled genuinely nice and eish South African guys, AXE and BRUTE can only take you so far. The thought of them even brings tears to my eyes.
I said too as I was not sure what to say. Ladies, there is a difference between a man hugging you and a boy hugging you. As he was a big man, he had to crouch to hug me as he had done with Katlego but the difference was with me he straightened up with me in the hug. With what was essentially a one-handed hug he lifted me up with that straightening up motion as though I weighed a kilogram. I had never ever felt so helpless yet so secure in my entire life so much so I blushed immediately. Thank heavens I was wearing jeans yet again and nit a short dress like what many if these uncultured girls do on first dates.
“No, thank you!”
He whispered. I am scared of heights and say what you want, there are no high rise buildings in Mooi River hence why i am more than certain to my ancestors looking at me right now i was as good as phesheya the way i was so high off the ground. It also felt like the hug was forever when he eventually put me down.
“Happy Birthday yet again!”
He said yet again. Ah, i had almost forgotten about that.
“Thank you. This is my friend Zethu, Zethu meet our friend and host, Mr. Ada Orunu!”
I told her. I don’t know why I called him mister because it just came out. I think between Katlego, Zamo, and I calling him Ada made sense but when you introduce an older person to a new person calling him by name just sounds odd.
“Pleasure to meet you!”
He said stretching out his hand respectfully. I was so happy he did not try to get a hug from her which something a lot of men like doing. You meeting a girl for the first time and just because you know the friend she is with you insist on hugging her too as though you know her? Come on dude, boundaries! I don’t know you fool!
“I still have a few things to do ladies but there are couches set up over…”
He wanted to point out but immediately he spotted Abisola and said,
“Abi, come meet my olori, the one I told you about!”
To the birthday party who was passing us. She immediately came to us. As i was standing next to him she immediately said,
“You must be Samke!”
She said to me confusing me to no end and without hesitation hugged me.
“Hi. Yes. And these are my friends Katlego and Zethu!”
I told her as she proceeded to hug them both. Since my coming to Joburg this was the first time i had ever been the Beyoncé of any group and being the centre of attention made me realize something about myself, i really liked it. Somehow i felt important even in my borrowed clothes. Ok, that thought made me feel a bit self-conscious.
“This is a very lovely party you are having hey. Thank you so much for having us!”
I said what would usually have been a Katlego line. I think the thought that o even said that made me blush again.
“Oh you are so sweet, thank you so much. Ada, this one I like please don’t mess it up! Olori indeed!”
She said with a huge African smile on her face. Hold up, hold up …had she just stated his intentions with me?
Welcome back. I last read your blogs in 2018 and when I saw you were back I came running back. I am so glad I did.
I have a problem. I have been married for 6 years now. My husband is those strong strict type of man who is a man around the house. He is very intimidating and everyone fears him even within the family. He is not abusive no unfair something that I love about him. In December last year he cheated on me and I found out. I lost it and I kicked him out of the house. He left and for about a month he stayed with his brother. He begged me everyday to take him back and I did because I love him and he loves me. Ever since he came back in February he has been working hard to get in my good books. I forgave him a long time ago but the problem is that he is not the man that he used to be. The bravado and confidence seems gone. He is scared of me half the time, he does not go out and does not even drink anymore. Its like the experience changed who he was. I miss my old husband. I miss having the man who commanded the space around him. This new man is too apologetic and even though he does everything to show that he is sorry I feel like he is depressed or something. He messed up I know but how do we move on without him losing his old self?