Realities 120

Growing up our parents always went to funerals and family funerals were often the ones with drama. We would often hear about the fights and disagreements that took place at these gatherings. Some of these fights get violent and it’s never good. There is a lot of resentment in families especially were money and resources are involved. Your brothers and sisters can gang up on you if they feel you are not doing your part to aid the family household. I was too young to ever attend such and with my father being a taxi boss they feared him enough not to try and of that bullshit. There would be consequences if that happened. This is why I really did not want to be part of this meeting because this family hated Sizwe and with good reason. This could turn ugly at any moment. The family meeting was already gathered and arguing when I arrived at the meeting one of the uncles said,

“We have never met and I know normally you would not be part of this discussion but our sister insisted you should be here. I will have you know that you have no friend here! That much is a fact!”

He said in what was almost an angry tone and there were grunts of approval from the others. I was not welcome here nor should I be here. I agreed with him. Why would Sizwe expose me to such really? I was the woman who he had left their daughter or sister for so obviously like Sizwe I was public enemy number one!

“The question is whether to cremate or not to cremate! You are the modern ones and are from Jhb. I am surprised you are fighting it because you are the clever blacks!”

Someone laughed. There is this myth that people from Johannesburg are so learned and wise. We are expected to be the most modern and open to new ideas. The irony is most of the people from Jhb or Pretoria is not even from there in the first place. Come to Jhb or Pta at Easter or Christmas if you want to see how empty the place. The exodus to Limpopo, KZN and Northwest is actually quite astonishing. All these people all come back with their belief systems so there nothing likes us being better than others. We are the same just that those who stay behind in the provinces refuse to see it as that. To them is privilege hence why they will always be backward. We go to a city of criminals, traffic jams, strikes, violence you name it but oh no, they are the lucky ones!

“You can’t cremate her. She needs to be buried like anyone else. She died less than three days ago and already you are saying burn her. Does that make sense to you?”

Sizwe argued immediately. No one backed him up. In fact it felt as though it was everyone vs him just to spite him.

“Who are you to come and tell us what to do? There was a time when my sister had no food and no clothes to put on that child, where were you? You were too busy eating salad and lasagne in the suburbs to care!”

The uncle shouted which made everyone laugh. It’s amazing how wealth can make you be hated. Salad is often made up of lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes and these are all things everyone can afford but they would rather buy beer with their friends. This thing called Lasagne seems so luxurious when it’s just spaghetti. It’s like the mystery and awe of Dubai to Instagram girls when they see pictures the way lasagne sounds to uninformed minds. This wealth, people make it seem as though we stole it from somewhere when we went to school to achieve what we have today. My father for example started off with one taxi which he says he began as a driver and when his boss died with no one to give it to as it was old, he had used it to build his fleet. To them that’s privilege but to us that’s hard work. I did not get a degree to be a doctor because I had money but because I worked so bloody hard for it. That’s the reality of my life. Everyone wants to judge what they don’t know.

“It has nothing to do with what we eat at home. I must show care for my child!”

Sizwe protested again.

“You want to care for her now that she is dead? Are you sure about that! Sies!”

He said and he spat towards Sizwe’s way. Sizwe immediately jumped up deeply offended and they had to be held back from killing each other.

“Stop it! You two fighting is not going to bury my daughter!”

The mother spoke eventually.

“I want the best for her and the best is that we cremate her so I can keep her ashes next to me for eternity. Sizwe you would never understand that because you did not see her grow up. You were not there when she came back from school crying because someone was bullying her? You were not there when she won prizes at school nor did you care when she was sick at any point. Sometimes I would ask you for money for her but r500 was so expensive for you when your other daughter goes to a school where she pays more than r50000 a term. Sizwe really how could you have done this. You did not hear her laughter when she was happy and every time she had to come to your house she would be so happy until reality sank in that you did not want her.”

Everyone was deadly quiet as she made those words. They cut deep to such an extent that even I felt her pain. It’s true that Lintle’s school was very expensive but she had exaggerated the fee. It was not that much but I think she was using it as a figure of speech.

‘Are you not even ashamed as you sit there hearing what she has to say about your own daughter, your flesh and blood?”

A second but more elderly uncle questioned him.

“I am sorry for the role that I have played. I know I let her down badly and now it’s too late to do right by her.”

He said in apology. He sounded humble and contrite. I don’t think they agreed with him but I suppose it had to be said.

“So it is decided then that we cremate!”

The original uncle said totally ignoring the apology and dismissing Sizwe like he was not even there. I felt humiliated for him. Sizwe stood up angrily yet again and said,

“You do this on your own but you do not have my blessing. Nothabo let’s go!”

He said walking away.

“Runaway yet again. You can’t even bury your child because you are not ashamed! Go!”

Sizwe turned around,

“Bury her where? I must come and mourn my daughter in her mother’s house looking at an urn? Where is the reasoning in that?”

With that we walked away. I actually felt sorry for Sizwe because its true he had messed up in raising Nozipho but not to be able to bury her will haunt him forever. A lot of men deserve that though but I also blame us the wives that allow our husbands to be unavailable fathers to the children they left behind. A lot of women will fight him, punish him or simply make him feel unwelcome in the house if he talks of a child that he left behind. We sometimes are also to blame because we are selfish and too proud to accept that the children he has with you were not his first. We are also blinded by this to see that we aid in isolating and punishing children for crimes they did not commit.

“Please drive I am not in a good place!”

He said when we got to the car. I didn’t mind because I was driving to my mother’s house. We had forgotten about Lintle who was sleeping in the back seat.

“I thought you said you will find someone to driver her!”

I said to him. He turned around and saw her sleeping there.

“I didn’t get a chance to, you know that! Besides, it’s a good thing the car was still here otherwise we would have been stuck with these people!”

He said.

“What’s your plan now? You can’t miss whatever ceremony they have no matter how much you disagree with them. They raised her and they have more say than you do in this!”

I warned him cautiously. I could see he was hurting and hurting a lot. He loved her but I can’t say it had always been like this.

“Nothabo how did we mess up so badly on her though?”

He asked me.

“She was not a bad child but we never gave her the same time of day. What was it about her that was so distasteful?”

He was telling the truth in that much as I never shut the door on her I actually never welcomed her. What’s worse she was not like Nelisa who was in your face and did not seem to care whether or not you liked her. She was perhaps quieter and reacted to situations instead of creating them.

“I don’t know. We are both to blame on this!”

I sighed in resignation.

When I got to my mother’s house Sizwe tried to convince me that I must go with him and we leave Lintle here. I refused and told him that I wanted to resolve things with my mother because I have put it off way too long.

“I don’t want to be alone tonight!”

He said but I had no choice. I had to go.

“Lintle come love, let’s go!”

I said waking her up. It’s been a very long time since I last woke her up like that. Reminds me of when she was younger. We took our bags from the back of the car and went through the gate. My mother and Sizwe spoke for a few minutes then she came in.

“Welcome welcome! Lintle, you have grown so much. Your breasts are huge now!”

She said. What a line! Lintle immediately protested,

“Gran really!”

She moved in and hugged her grandmother.

“Where is grandpa?”

She asked her.

“He is still out but he knows you are coming so he will be back sooner rather than later!”

What had I missed? Last I checked they were not staying together. They had deliberately shut me out and I had not even seen it.

“When did that happen?”

I asked her but instead she changed the conversation and started talking about how church was keeping her at peace.

I watched him drive away and felt as though it was a bit of a betrayal. Part of me had put at the back of my mind that I was done with him.

I had just sat down when my phone rang. I did not know the number.


I said when I answered,

“Who is this?”

“It’s Nozipho’s mother. We have decided that we will bury her the day after tomorrow. Please tell Sizwe. Tomorrow my sister and I would like to meet you so we can talk. It’s time we all had a grown up discussion. Is 11am fine for you?”

She asked me.

And then!

*******The End******

Michael Nkululeko Maphoto

Dear Mike

I am 23 years old and 3 years ago I was raped by three men on my way back from campus. All three men were caught and sentenced already but I can’t move on. I have gone for counseling and are part of survivor groups but every time I attend these meetings I feel as though I am reliving it all over again. It was not even at night when this happened meaning I am even afraid to walk during the day. I was told that I can’t have kids because they damaged something inside me. How am I supposed to live like this? I cry so often, I don’t trust anyone and now everyone who knows my story (it was in the newspaper) looks at me with pitiful eyes. The guys in my neighborhood whisper when I pass and no one hits on me (not that I want it) because I am damaged goods. I don’t date nor have I had sex since that day. I screamed so much when it happened but nobody came. Imagine, in broad daylight. Why would people do that?

Two weeks ago my little sister who is 16 was raped too, this time by a neighbors child and his friends also her age. What do I tell her now when I cannot even look at myself in the mirror half the time? Why has God abandoned my family mara? It’s so hard living with this thing now she has to go through with it too!

Please help me understand

Thank You


12 thoughts on “Realities 120

  1. Dear Sine

    You have been through a lot and the best I can do is pray you find healing. Try to be strong for your sister, I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better but words will never be enough.

  2. Thanks Mikeesto, daily dose much appreciated.

    Sine I don’t have the slightest of ideas what you went through and what you continue to go through, my heart breaks for you and it really is a pity that this had to happen to you, or anyone else for that matter. Words of encouragement is the only thing we can offer and I feel that won’t even be enough.

    It’s unfair, i know, but you need to be strong for your sister, you have to neglect your pain a little bit and focus on your little sister and be strong for her. You know exactly what your ordeal and aftermath did to you, don’t let her go through the same thing too. Perhaps in trying to help your sister pick the pieces up and move on, you might find inner peace and comfort too, which might enable you to slowly progress to healing.

    Keep your head up sis, the world is a vicious place with vicious people, but there are good people out there. Give your sister the strength to get past this by being her voice, by being her idol and show her you can overcome and conquer this. Those dogs may have violated you by forcing themselves on you, they won in that regard, don’t let them win by destroying your entire life living with self-pity and endless misery. I know it’s easier said than done, but mntase’khaya, when life throws bombs at you, you make a moerse nuclear weapon and you fire back.

    Siphila kay1 and the harsh reality is that we don’t even know if indeed there is an afterlife. Make the most of the life you do got, take it one day at a time but shine and be an advocate for the world you want to see, be the anchor of those voiceless that never get over this. Thousands of our women know exactly how you feel, it shouldn’t be like this at all, but it’s the harsh reality. Take a stand and say you might’ve violated me, but you didn’t kill me… Life is more precious when you are alive, make the most of it, even if it looks pretty shitty ahead, let God deal with it.

    My he indeed bless you and your lil sister,

    Allahu Akbar


  3. Dear Sine

    i think the 1st thing you shld do is to stop blaming urslf for wat happened and thinking that you are damaged goods becoz of wat happened to you becoz u are not sweety ,you are a beautiful girl who has a bright future ahead of her. yes those men took away something from you but dnt let them take away ur will to live,dnt give them the power over how ur life will turn out. Maybe try going back to counseling this time with ur young sis maybe it will make things easier for u to open up and try get past wat happened to you,, and keep praying my dear God is with you evry step of the way

  4. Sine, that’s really absurd hey, I can’t even imagine what you are going through. As a rape survive myself, can only tell you we deal with things in different ways. I was raped at the age of 10. I held on to it for 8years before I could tell my own mum, insecurity and low self-esteem is something I suffer from.

    The is no better way of dealing with rape, than telling yourself “I’m no victim but a Victor, this is never going to get the best of me, I’m destined for greatness”. Though they say talking about it helps that’s not always the case. Sometime trying to forget about it or living as if it never happened helps. I have flash backs a lot especially April May, they are the hardest months of the year.

    My mother gave me some tough love after I told “GIRL I LOVE YOU AND NOTHING HURTS ME MORE THAN KNOWING I WAS UNABLE TO PROTECT YOU, BUT SELF-PITY AND BEHAVING LIKE THERES NO LIFE AFTER RAPE IS GOING TO HOLD YOU BACK FROM PROGRESSING, USE THIS AS A MOTIVATION TO BE THE BEST YOU COULD EVER BE FOR YOU ARE SPECIAL” I have bitter feelings for both my younger brothers overprotective of my younger sis but I’m a very aggressive person, yet I smile and laugh all the time. “When the time is right you’ll know how to lock it away”

  5. Thanks Mike

    Sine: I’m so sorry for the pain that you are going through. May God help you and your young sister to heal. This is so heart breaking. Don’t stop the support groups and Counselling. We all go through healing process in different ways. It will take time but we always believe that time heals all wounds. May you find inner peace as you help each other.

  6. Hi Sine, please try get your self together. I stopped believing god exists a long time ago. so no god hasn’t abandoned you as he doesn’t exist. the lady who is saying you must pray is out of line as if he existed he could have stopped the rapes in the first place. find a support system friends or strangers and call them everytime you are feeling allsorts, I have been molested by the neighbour as a child and I blocked it out until I say a psychiatrist. my life isn’t perfect and theres nothing I can do about it now as hes dead but I never told anyone. however I always struggle in relationships a bit. be strong.

  7. Hi Sine
    I don’t normally comment on any letters, but yours compelled me to share my healing journey with you. I was raped 6 times by 3 different men before I reached the age of 9. I never said anything, so they were never arrested. I still see some at family gatherings. The experience came to haunt me when I was 19 and I was forced to go for counselling and through that process I discovered the following things: 1. It was not my fault 2. I must learn to accept an apology I may never receive 3. I am alive, I was not murdered 4. There are plenty of women who have survived far worse tragedies in life

    I am 28 years old now, and my little sister also got raped by a teenager in the neighborhood while visiting me 2 years ago. And a year later she tried to commit suicide. Again, self blame and pain came to me, but at that point I considered her more important than me. She was new to this violation and I have lived with mine for long but her attempting suicide required more strength from me. I found sharing my story with her (and all the details) helped her in her journey and she could trust me with how she was feeling. Talk. Wisdom is nothing but healed pain.

    Your sister is also going through her own journey in life and you are not capable of carrying her through this, but you need to walk it with her. You may find that she heals quicker than you and pulls you into the light as well. But if you approach her ordeal with that pity-party attitude, you will both sink into a deep hole. Invest time in prayer to break off the negative energy from your family, light a candle when you prayer and start believing in the power of your dreams. Allow God to redefine your identity and please use this opportunity to fall in love with yourself and your sister all over again.

    Love and light to you.

  8. Nothabo its time for an adult discussion —

    Sine …………………. what a messed up world we live in…………………………………… im numb i have literally have no words……………… i cant even imagine your pain ………………………………………………………… Mothers Please pray that the Son you raising be not a monster while they are stil young ……………………. pray that they treat women with honesty intergrity and respect…. Pray for them while they still young and innocent – for them to not loss thier way ………. PLease …*crying*

    Remeber that Jesus Loves you no matter what , he is the only one who can break this, He never wants to see his children suffer no matter what the odds — Reach out to him that he may heal you and your sister – Remeber the devil comes to Kill, Steal and Destroy….. Let God revive your inner peace…. I can not begin to imagine your pain but all i can offer you is that He LOVES YOU and your sister as you are- He hasnt left you nor forsaken you – he never said you will not have trials and tribulations in this world– He however said you will Victor. I pray for you and you sister to find the comfort you will need ………………………. Oh My God , Touch them now….. Show them your love and mercy. …………………….. you are not damaged goods my dear- you are fearfully and wonderfully made ……………. you Strong and couragous , i uphold for your strenght coming this far…. Tell yourself you are not a victim …….. your sister needs you to show her Love way and beyond its only by you she will come through on this ordeal.

    Psalms 147 : 3 – He heals the broken-hearted and bandages thier wounds
    Psalms 18 : 30 – His way is perfect …He is a buckler to all thoise that trust in him.

    I pray that you find comfort ……

    Jesus Loves You Dear … Stay True, Do all things through him… He will not fail you…. He loves you too Much….. Have Faith in all that you DO. God Bless YOU – May he heal you and your sister in the most amazing way possible – Remember he is a God of Timing – stay true to him and you will see him work in your Life…. Be Patient your miracle will come—

  9. May the Lord God in His holiness mend and heal your crushed spirit, this battle is not yours nana but the Lord’s, i pray that He showers you and your sister with love,peace and joy, He is Faithful and True to His Word and He shall wipe those tears away, He cares and He will never leave nor forsake You. Tell Him about all your fears, pour your heart out to Him and He will show you wonders. He is a Wonderful Counsilor. I pray that He gives you strength and make you victorious. There is power and victory in His name alone!

  10. Wonder what they have to say now… more drama. Don’t go to that meeting Nothabo it can only end badly.

    Mike thanks for the uploads, you’ve really shown your talent and commitment to this blog, don’t let amateurs ruin it… that Growing up story go. Then focus on what’s the next step? Another book published or Another TV series… don’t be a one hit wonder, we want more of the Good stuck. Maybe Rumblings.


    Have you ever thought of moving away? Start a new life where nobody knows what happened to you. It sounds as if most of your pain comes from reliving the moment through people who know you where raped. Your sister being raped is not just a coincidence or God not loving you… your neighbour is cruel and selfish instead of being overprotective of ur sister after what happened to you they drag her through the same ordeal.

    Be there for her that’s all you can do really, share your experience but don’t let it be the end for both of you. Move away and start somewhere fresh, not with family or relatives. On your own. Maybe look for a new Job away from home or apply to study somewhere 50 or more kilometres away or a different province. What I find often works is to ask myself “What do I need? What is going to make me feel better right now? “. It might work for you too.
    Good luck

    1. Sometimes God let’s us go through a situation so that we can grow closer yo him, to find comfort in him, and to know that he is our Saviour.

      To Jay, you will receive your miracle one day and you will believe because you will have nothing else to do but believe.

      To Sine, I also never respond to any of the letters but reading your letter compelled me to write and leave some sort of motivation for you sharing my own journey.
      First and foremost it is not easy, it is one of the hardest journeys any woman can ever be put through. The feelings that you go through, the trauma you experience, the depression, the feeling of dirt and never looking at yourself in the same manner, its hard, its sore and its very painful.

      I was 8 when I was raped by my cousin, my family found out, but it became a family matter and it was hushed hushed and no charges were ever pressed, I was forced to see that cousin at family gatherings and some weekends I had to spend at my aunts house.

      9 years later, I was 17 and I was raped again by a family friend, instead of facing the pain head on, I went on a self a destruction crusade and I lost myself in the process I hated myself and I was so angry at God I cursed the day I was born, instead of healing and dealing with everything I started drinking and I slept around, hope to get rid of the pain the same way I got the pain,but that didn’t work for when I was 20 I got sick and ended up having an operation and I was told I will also never have children depression hit me hard thereafter and I was forced to go all the way back to the root of it all.

      you need to go back and allow yourself to feel the pain, be there for yourself and for your sister.

      its not your fault, and its not hers as well, some people are just cruel its life, and we can’t keep feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling sorry for myself cost me my degree, now I’m spending this year at home trying to get myself together so that I can go back to school with drive.

      I’m also 23 now, and remember you are not a victim, you are a survivor, and you will get through this, have faith and believe and all will be well with time.
      Prayer and time are the healers of all wounds, you must forgive yourself so that you can forgive your assaultors, so that you can break free from their hold and the Lord God can forgive your sins as well.

      I think you should buy the book Rape- a south African nightmare by Pumla Dineo Gqola I think it will help and contribute greatly to your healing.

      it gets easier, I’m still not fully healed, but its a journey and I’m trusting God for my time and my season, and if its his will to bless me with children, then I will have, no matter how damaged my uterus is, but I believe I will bear children coz medical doctors are not God, stay strong and draw strength from prayer.

      you are not alone, and keep going to counselling and support groups they help.

  11. Sine, just by writing to us, U have touched so many ppl without knowing it & @the same time UR getting some inner healing. A problem half shared is a problem half solved. I feel so ashamed to be identified with the male species. & we call ourselves humans, where is the humanity in that?
    I hope U follow some of the advice given here & I can only pray that eventually U find courage to move on & help yo sister along

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