The problem with Zulu men is that they are stubborn and hard-headed. It’s not a generalized statement either. The older ones are worse in that they have a lot of pride and act as though they know everything. You talk to one they will act as though they are listening to you but in the end, they will ignore everything you said. They also have a tendency of acting as though women do not think, are emotional, and treat women as though they have the thinking capacity of a child. My father was no different. My mother was his doormat and for years he had gotten away with it. I was grown now and we are the new generation and because we have a brain that we actually use hence why they call us disrespectful. I have learned that when someone can’t manipulate you and get their own way they are probably going to call you stubborn. Stubborn people believe that they are right, and they refuse to change their opinion.
My mother called me.
“Where did you go when you left?”
She asked me concerned and when she saw the tear stains on my face she asked,
She asked me.
“I had a fight with dad!”
I told her.
“A fight? What do you mean?”
She asked me concerned.
“I went to kwaDlamini and I confronted him. I beat up the girl and I beat him up too!”
I told her.
“He is going to kill you. What have you done? He is going to kill my daughter!”
She said putting her hands in her mouth and she too started to panic.
“When he is killing me what will I be doing? I would like to see him try ngizomtshela and sizobulayana if it comes to that!”
I told her defiantly. My mother was in panic mode. Not ten minutes later i heard the gate open. It was my father and he was fuming if the sound of his footsteps is anything to go by. I ran to the kitchen and I took the biggest knife I could find.
“Where is she?”
He screamed as he walked into the house angrily. Now that there was no one holding him back i am sure he thought he would have his way with me. I did not hide. I came out with my knife and said,
“I am right here!”
He stopped in his tracks and said,
“Now you want to kill your father? You think you are a man now because you live in Johannesburg?”
He asked me angrily. Clearly according to him only men can kill.
“I am more man than you. I dont sleep with children!”
I told him and that stung him so hard he made a move towards me and I raised the knife making him stop.
I asked him. My mother entered the room.
“Leave my daughter alone. You started this and now abo makhelwane laugh at me on the streets ungathi anginakaya!”
She saod angrily.
“Is this what you are teacbing your daughter to disrespect her father like this?”
He asked her.
“No it.is you who is teaching me these things. Do you know you can go to jail for Nokwanda?”
I asked him. He looked at me blankly as though he had not heard me. At that moment Baba Ngubane arrived. I am aure he had followedhis friend fearing what he might do.
He greeted my mother using her maiden surname.
She said but in a snappy tone.at this stage my mother knew very well that the best friend always knows were the bodies are buried so he was the enemy.
“Ngwanya, mfowethu sit down and talk to the family properly. This is a mess you cannot attack them like this when you know you are wrong. Ngiyacela do not make a situation worse!”
His friend said calming him down.
“MaMsibi sicela usixolele thina esisephuteni. Wena ntombazana please give the adults a chance to talk. I promise nothing with happen!”
My first instinct was to fight what he had said and i found ‘wena ntombazana’ to be very disrespectful and dismissive. Causing another fight was not necessary though. I held on to my knife,
“Call me if he dares touch you, nizomgwaza i am not going to sit back and watch him humiliate you again.”
I said it loud enough for them to hear it. I went to my room as my little brother arrived from playing soccer. I still had to cook ao as they spoke I was listening. At some point my father was denying everything then he was crying when he was accepting then begging for forgiveness. This happened for about 4 hours until there was a phonecall and my father answered,
“Yes its me!”
He asked. I walked into the room as he stood up and paced then he sat down clearly stressed.
His friend asked him. He did not respond immediately but when he did his voice was morose.
“Uphuphunyelwe isisu. That was her friend and she says that when she got home she tried to commit suicide or something like that by drinking Jik and yah, she lost the baby!”
He said. He sounded very hurt and i suppose he had every right to. I was not hurt but did feel sorry for him.
“Kwenzeka njena ke uma inja ilala nengane you bring fleas home!”
My mother said as she stood and started singing a church him. She went to the kitchen and dished food for herself and started eating.
“Ngwanya, you need to stay here I will go find out what is going on!”
The friend said. This is what I mean when I say the best friend always knows. Every woman who has ever been cheated on knows that when her man was cheating, his friend knew about it. This is why I say when your man cheats on you, fuck his best friend before you dump him and tell him you did it. You don’t even have to have do the did, lie ro him that you did. See how that will mess him up for life. He will never trust again.
“Yah thank you.”
My father thanked his friend and walked him out. I thought he was coming for me next since now he was alone. He walked into the kitchen and wanted to say something but I guess his pride wouldn’t allow. He went to the bedroom where my mother was and when he tried to open the door, it was locked. The embarrassment. I am sure he wanted the ground to swallow him as I was standing by the passage with my arms folded.
“MaHlatshwayo can we talk sthandwa !”
He begged her softly maybe to make sure we did not hear him grovel.
“High school opens tomorrow. Go find your wife there!”
If savage had levels my mother had stepped it up. He beggeer for a good thirty minutes before he gave up and walked out of the house. I wish it rained. He was leaving for work in the morning meaning that he will not harrass my mother.
“Mama its me. He has left!”
I told her from outside her door. I heard her stand up and open the door. She hugged me and said,
“I never thought you were this strong. I very proud of you!”
She told me. I was very surprised by that because I thought she would give e a lecture on fighting her husband. My mother loved my father but of truth be told she could have done better with herself. This man had sucked the life out of her.
“Mum I don’t want you to sell Table Charm anymore.”
I told her and she laughef,
“Why not? Table Charm took you through school and fed us!”
She told me.
“I know that much mum but people do not buy that anymore. You have to find new things to sell that will bring you more income!”
I told her.
“I would love to bit the reality is you know your father is very tight with money. I don’t have the money to invest.i was even thinking of doing chickens but your father said it will embarrass him so I don’t know! If I build a two-bedroom he will just take the rental money and say it’s his!”
She explained. She was right about that part hence why she had to sell Tupperware still just a better brand.
“I am going to give you the money that you need for this!”
I told her.
“And where are you going to get this money?”
She asked me.
“You are just a student it, not your job to worry about me its mine to worry about you!”
She emphasized as she always did. I went and sat next to her,
“Mum I told you that I got a job the day my phone was stolen. I haven’t used a cent of it. I am going to give you the money so you can start selling more!”
I told her. She wanted to say no but because things were this tight she could not.
“Please do not tell dad. Let him just think it’s your normal business.”
I told her. She nodded her head and thanked me profusely. Early the next morning my father came to take his stuff to go back to Joburg. This time I had refused to go with him I was taking the bus. Trucks take forever. He found his clothes packed outside courtesy of my mother. She would not let him in the house. Yaas girl!
“Mum i dont have to go today. I can leave tomorrow!”
I reassured her yet again but she insisted that I should go. She will handle all the staring and laughing people from the streets on her. She said she did not want me to live through that. I did not have a lot of luggage so it was simple. Zethu was already there and tonight the plan was that we were going out. Nothing beats clubbing on a Sunday. I only got to Joburg at 6 pm and I thought I was tired but seeing my friends just put a step in my walk.
“Where are you I at my place?”
I asked her.
“I am on my way already!”
She told me and the party was on. Within thirty minutes they were at my place,
I screamed as my girls walked in. I love reunions I really do.
“Tonight i am getting drunk guys. Home ke prison bathong!”
Nthabiseng and we all agreed with her.
“No guys allowed!”
I immediately said. The girls were ready they had even come with their overnight bags meaning there would be a sleepover. I sent Ada a message saying I was back and he did not respond. When I called him his phone was off. We decided to go to Kong in Rosebank because they always had a good vibe.
When we entered the club we went to look for a table in the back. We had not been there for ten minutes when first Abedi walked in with Zamo. I guess I was back at school. They were with a girl I knew from a distance as she was Zamo’s friend. Her name was Tshiamo and holding her hand was Ada.
“Oh my God!”
Zethu said staring at them.
“Tonight we fuck her up!”
Nthabiseng said and no one responded but somehow we all agreed.