I was happy to be driving back. Its funny how for the first time in my dating life I actually had clarity. My choice of options for men were between Sfiso and Mbuso and I was more convinced than ever that I wanted Sfiso. Look, it made no sense to me that I must be fighting with the doctor for Mbuso. Its not that she intimidated me its just that she was always there. At times not havng to watch your back makes life all the more beautiful. With Mbuso I will always have to worry about her plus the fact that there was Ntheteng. Much as the fact that she was sweet reality is taking over another woman’s child is not Childs play no matter how you look at it. I am not a cruel person at all and kids deserve to be loved but come on, this was not my child and I can’t be judged for it. Why can’t I start my own family from zero though? Don’t I deserve that? I get it that his wife, her mother died in child birth but how is it my fault. Women with kids often blame men for not wanting to be with them for that reason but take a moment and consider that when you were having your fun not using a condom he was not there and did not tell you to do it? Why then must he be punished because you chose a loser of a man who chose not to love and take care of you and you baby afterwards. People need to chill! These were thoughts that were in my head as I drove out. I did not want to think about Bongani or Miriam. They deserved each other sies! See, the thought of them was even pissing me off and I need peace in my life.
When you are driving long distance alone you always play loud music and oh, you put on your nice sunglasses. It’s like an unwritten law of the road. It was slightly overcast thought but you know what, so what. I looked my part. As my phone is connected to the car when it rang I saw the number, it was my sister.
“Hey sis how are you?”
I said when I picked up. For some reason we had drifted quite a lot since I beat up her husband. I did that for her and she had never really forgiven me for it. This was December though and I really did not want the year to end on such a sour note. I had to fix this then.
“I am ok and you?”
She responded I think surprised at how jovial I was talking to her because I really did not do that with her lately ever since that. If anything I was cautious.
“Am good thanks but there was too much drama that happened here! I am tired of people hey!”
I told her trying to get into gossip mode. I am not really a gossip. I find it difficult to tell on other people but what had happened was just too dramatic not to share!
“No I don’t want to hear it now. You know I am disappointed in you. After we bought mum a birthday gift did you remember to wish her a happy birthday?”
She asked me.
What the hell? Crap! I totally forgot. It was the day I lost my job right? I had so much on my mind it had totally slipped my mind.
“O shit, I forgot!”
I told her.
“Why are you so selfish though? This is our mother I am talking about and I know you two don’t always get along but you don’t forget her birthday! It sounds petty and deliberate!”
She said shouting at me. It now made sense why my mother had been angry at me on the phone for no reason. I had tried to talk to her earlier but she had been mean. She therefore had called my sister to complain.
“I will make it up to her!”
I told my sister who was judging me so hard right now. It did not feel right but she was right.
“That is the problem with you Lungile; you always think you make things right by buying yourself out of it. Go home to mum, sleep at home, take her out and remind her that you love because right now she does not feel your love!”
She explained and then hung up the phone on me. She really knew how to make me feel guilty about the things that I did this one. The idea of sleeping at my mum’s place though was not so nice. My mum was annoying but I really did not have a choice. It will probably be the last thing she would be expecting in any case. I needed to talk to someone though. I was bored even with all the loud music. My phone rang and it was a number I did not recognize.
“Hello! Am I talking to Lungile?”
A heavily Afrikaner accented voice said.
“Yes you are?”
I told him.
“Ah good, this is Mr. Van. Zyl…”
He said and immediately I recognized who he was.
“What can I do for you?”
I asked him.
“Look I am not going to beat around the bush. I have asked them to hold your termination of contract. This has all been a huge misunderstanding and you must come in so that we discuss it properly!”
He said with the confidence that 350 years of oppressing blacks give you. You know that thing that whatever white people ask of us we do. There was no sorry just a fuck off its business as usual. Misunderstanding my ass this guy had the nerve of a black DA member who thinks for one second that just because they vote DA means white people accept them! Yho, I was boiling but I held my nerve.
“I am sorry sir, that won’t be happening anyti…”
He cut me off,
“We will double your salary, give you a bigger office! You can take Gold’s job even!”
He pleaded but what the hell was this guy doing. He wanted to buy me off with money? For my dignity.
“It’s ok. My lawyers said I must not talk to anyone from the company. Good day sir!”
I said politely. With that I hung up. I was not victorious, I was angry. These people really think that we think so little of ourselves. With all these thoughts I did not notice that as I crossed the bend there was a roadblock sign ahead but it was for 2km away. It’s a good thing though that I was not speeding. Arrive Alive season was in full swing. There was no traffic jam as cars were ushered in. Somewhere allowed to pass, the good cars that is. It’s like traffic cops are trained. To check only poor people’s cars and they identify them by how old they are. They will never stop a Mercedes S500 if there was a Bantam or Tazz they can harass! Never!
“Please don’t stop me, please don’t stop me!”
I whispered to myself several times as I approached the bottle neck. I hated talking to police, I think everyone does. I was driving behind a Tazz so I felt fairly safe.
I cursed out loud. He was waving at me and telling me to turn into one of the cones and actually let the Tazz pass! There goes my ego Shem I am getting rid of this car. Just my luck. Why did I even think I was going to escape this with the luck I have been having? Why? I had a bull’s eye written all over me for some reason.
“Good morning I mean good afternoon maam!”
The officer said writing on his notepad. What the hell was he writing? You could see that they had baked in the sun and he was tired. Don’t be fooled, it’s not like the ones you see on the news doing Arrive Alive where the minister is the one taking the details. This are the others, the ones always angry at the world, want a bribe but because it’s a road block they can’t ask for it and I guess that is what doubles their anger.
“Would you please get out of the car? We are searching every car!”
He said. You know it’s funny that being searched without cause or a warrant is actually illegal. In Jhb especially I know the Metro take pleasure in getting people out of the car at night to search for whatever it is they are searching but actually it is not legal. The only reason why people comply is because you never know how they will react. They will probably shoot you for saying no.
“Yes officer please go ahead! I am coming from a funeral though so my car is a bit dirty!”
I told embarrassed by the state of my car.
“Don’t worry about it! People are filthy out there! I have seen cars that will make you cringe all day and I can assure you yours will be far from the worst!”
He said as I stepped outside. This was eating valuable time.
“Do you have anything that I should worry about? Alcohol, drugs, guns!”
He said so casually. He was looking at me right in the face and it was then it hit me, shit, Bongani’s gun was still in the car! My face literally betrayed me because I lost all colour if that makes any sense. I didn’t have to wait long because as he said that he looked under the car seat and there it was.
“Do you have a license for that fire arm?”
He asked me. Of course I did not. It was not even mine.
“No sir it’s not mine. It’s my friend’s husbands!”
I explained but even as I said that I could see how it sounded. I am not dumb you know but for agreeing to take the gun for him I was totally stupid.
“Are you serious right now with that explanation?”
He asked me.
“I can assure you. Let me call my friend so they can send you the license number and allez!”
I said confidently but my heart was beating fast. I had actually not noticed that he had his hand on his gun.
I moved towards my bag which was on the passenger seat and the police man just reacted…
I had watched enough TV to know that with police, especially the uneducated power hungry types you do not make any sudden movements and I just had!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
The work you and the team do is out of this world… I applaud you. Thank you for reading my letter – its long.
I am 29, a mother to a 9 year old beautiful daughter. Just this month, we were at her school’s awards ceremony and she scooped yet another academic award as she’s always done since she started schooling. She’s my pride and joy and I will kill for her. NB I said WILL KILL.
My story goes like this…
In April this year, she was almost sexually assaulted by our neighbor. I had sent her to a shop on our street to buy cool drink – the shop is literally 6 houses away. On her way back, wabizwa uMakhelwane saying to her “hawu you just returned from the shops? I wanted someone to get me something from there”. Being the malume who’s our neighbor (same street); she went to him but told him she had to bring the cool drink to me before she could go to the shop again for him. He then called her to the house to take the money. Upon her arrival, he started touching her, telling her that the money could be hers and all that disgusting crap. He closed the door behind them. Fortunately for her, the door latch was broken so it couldn’t lock – and he was drunk. He tried lifting her to the bed, but she fought him off kicked him in his pelvic area and gave him an elbow on the face and she ran to safety. To this day, her bravery is way beyond me and I believe that God and her ancestors (my mom and dad) were with her. I took her to the doctor for thorough check ups in case he did rape her and she was afraid to tell, fortunately she really was untouched. I also took her for counseling sessions as she was having panic attacks and flashbacks at night. But on the 6th counseling session, she asked me not to take her there anymore because akasafuni ukukhuluma ngalento yena, baloku bem’buza into eyodwa nje.
Since then, she has been her normal self but vigilant of “oMalume”
Her father and I broke up while I was still pregnant with her, and he is based in the Eastern Cape due to work whilst we are in KZN. He is a wonderful dad. He is there for her and knows of everything that happens in her life. Whenever he’s around, he’d pick her up from my home, spend the whole day with her even in my absence and bring her back home safely. He randomly calls her, is responsible financially… he’s a great father – and I am no “baby mama”, but the mother of his child. We are good, and he is there bandla.
The case was opened but we all know the justice system yaseMzansi. The police came looking for him ONCE and when they didn’t find him, they just let it slide. Her father and I both decided not to follow up on the case as she would have to relive the ordeal where as she had said she did not want to talk about it anymore. But I can’t let it go. He has resurfaced since the case has died down. Seeing him walking about freely makes my blood boil. Apparently he is known for rape and child molestation but would be released within months of imprisonment. Had he been arrested in April, I am certain he would’ve been out by now, and that is not worth my child talking about this over and over again, only for such mediocre sentence nje.
This past weekend, I saw him – as drunk as Judge Nkola Motata… elahlile, but was with his friends. Had he been alone in those dark alleys, I am 150% sure I would’ve killed him and I mean killed him
Now, one thing that worries me is that, some of your blog readers have been giving their testimonies on their past experiences ngeRape, especially on the #IAmKhwezi story. They would say “I am 32 and I was 7 when it happened.”
As much as my child is her normal self and seems to be okay, will she not grow up with such a testimony herself? The way she describes him, his clothes, his belt color, the room, (there were 3 TV’s, two were broken, he had a DARK GREEN bathing basin on the beer crate which he used as his head board and it was covered with a WHITE cloth that had blue and yellow butterflies on it) – she distinctively describes everything she saw. Will this not be forever embedded in her mind? Will she not think that I failed her by not having him arrested or punished for his act? Will she not have resentment towards me for not doing much about it? Did I do enough as a parent? I feel indebted to her and I want to kill him – for my own vengeance and for her to see that I did do something. Maybe hurt him ke – and I can. I know his drinking and hang out spots. I can’t let it go. Please Mike and the readers, help me.
I had counseling already and we pray, for her and for myself.
I can’t have him parade the streets like this while he preys on young girls who might not be as fortunate as my daughter was. It is quite sad that we were brought up to obey when summoned by elders, and now our kids are attacked when we instill such practices to them.
Pardon my long story.
#Mother of the Abused.