Friday morning, sigh. I don’t think I can ever quite fully describe my feelings that morning. You know a kid on
their first day of school. There is fear and excitement and the night before can hardly sleep, that was me. It was like I was going to my first day of work. Sam called me at 730am.
“Are you guys up already?”
He asked. That felt like a stupid question because I never slept eish. I tossed and turned the whole night. I even woke up to watch series because I could not sleep.
“Yes we are ready. We fully packed and yeah ready!”
I told him excited.
“Ok good. I told you I might be coming to join you but now it seems even more likely. There is a client from there we have been trying to lure for years and he actually agreed to meet so definitely I will be coming through on Monday.”
He told me. Sam had always wanted to come and I am sure the first chance he got he said yes. It was his money though that’s why I was even here.
“Awesome that means that it should be fun.”
I told him. Sam being there in person meant more money to spend and everyone says Dubai is made of money.
“I will call you again after before you fly out. Please don’t be late to the airport and do not forget your passport!”
He told me and we both laughed. I am sure a couple of nights ago I had had that dream where I lost my passport.
“I won’t. Talk later then!”
I told him calmly but deep down inside I was doing somersaults with excitement.
“Did the money clear?”
He asked me and o crap I forgot to thank him.
“Yes it did, I am sorry I forgot! Eish this excitement business!”
I told him. He hung up laughing after that. For pocket money he had given me or rather us r25000. Our accommodation and food were already paid for so this was just money to burn. It felt like a lot, two teachers salary and I had just a few days to go ham on it.
“Khanyi go bath dude! I know you! You take long!”
I told her as she too was lying in bed doing nothing.
“Today is not one of those days!”
She said and we laughed unnecessarily. It’s called over excitement. I had never travelled before. I think that should be my staring point. I wish I had something I could compare it to but really I don’t. My flight was a 2pm and it was going to be a nine hour flight. When you go to Dubai you fly Emirates. Yes there are other airlines that go there but there is only one Emirates. Those ladies, the attendants look so classy and there are there to attend to you hand and foot.
“I am so excited!”
Khanyi said after we checked in and I looked at her and I was not even embarrassed to tell her,
There are some things in life where you tell yourself that you want to play it cool and not look out of place and this was one of those moments. If you have ever been to the airport you realize very quickly hat this is not the bus station. People here pretty much whisper when they talk to each other. It’s called money and people with money don’t talk at the top of their voices! That’s our job and if anything it was the South Africans that worked n the duty free shops that spoke the loudest.
“I feel lost!”
“Why? What do you mean?”
I asked her.
“This place makes you realize how so small South Africa is!”
She did not have to say it because I totally got it. There were so many nationalities in his one place it just made us feel as though we had already left South African soil. We were still home and already we were overwhelmed! What was going to happen when we go there if this is how just the departure lounge at OR Tambo could overwhelm us so much.
“Are you going to call your mum again?”
She asked me.
“No! She will just make my trip depressing. Let her just be strong. I did my part. I told her my side and she chose not to accept it. We will fight our battles when we come back. For now I just want to enjoy the trip!”
I told her in what came out in my warning tone. The warning was don’t bring it up again otherwise you will annoy me and oh well, the tone worked! She buttoned up on that.
“You won’t believe my father sent me money for the trip. I was expecting him to freak out but instead he said I must have fun and so on!”
She said as a matter of fact. I don’t know why she told me that; whether it was small talk or showing off considering how things had gone with my own parents.
“At least he is not a dom kop like mine!”
I said and we both laughed. We were flying economy but I don’t think I minded much because economy on an international flight I am told is pretty comfortable. Sorry Tbo Touch I won’t be sitting next to you and your son this time.
“This is the first boarding call for Emirates Flight 6309 to Dubai at gate C9…”
The loud speaker announcement said as soon as we started getting comfortable. The check in process had actually taken longer than I thought and was actually quite a tedious process. Now that the adrenalin and excitement of checking in and getting to the other side was starting wear off I could feel my body give up on me. I was tired. I just wanted to get to my seat on the plane. When we got to the gate, after getting lost there was a long ass queue. It was like everyone goes to Dubai. What struck me was the number of young black girls in the queue! All of them had long weaves, expensive something on their bodies, nails done; those without lipstick had lip-gloss on. It reminded me that we were not exclusive. They were not foreign either, you know us South African girls, and we have similar features. It’s like Iphone is the tramp stamp, the official accessory that shouts out,
“Lookie here I am a whore!”
Because every single girl there that I looked at or saw had an Iphone including myself. It’s quite an expensive tramp stamp and don’t forget the big sunglasses, that I did not have. R4000 for a pair is a bit…pretentious is the word. If you have them you forced to wear them indoors because no one seats outside anymore anyway. Almost all the black girls I noticed were either wearing them or had them clipped on their chests.
“I am going to sit down!”
Khanyi said with a sigh!
“Do you see all those girls?”
She said and she giggled.
“Yup, we are in good company!”
I said sarcastically.
“One of the girls I know her from campus. She is a first year!”
Khanyi said. It’s funny how we were judging them for being in the same queue as them.
“Let’s just join it!”
I told her.
“No dude! Let it get shorter. It’s not like anyone is going sit in our seats, besides I saw a book store over there, I want to buy something to read!”
She said and funny enough, wisely. I had been told to buy a book to read because of the length of the trip. I was not much of a reader myself but I had thought it a good idea. With the queue at the gate so long I thought why not!
“What book do you recommend an Africa author book?”
I asked the white shop attendant. Neo would be so proud of me. I had not spoken to him in two days now because he lost his phone and frankly speaking was acting weird. I was actually thinking that maybe it was time to cut the noose and give the poor boy his freedom.
“I have read many African Authors unfortunately but a lot of people tend to ask for Chinua Achebe or Tsitsi Dangarembwa!”
She responded showing me the section. She could barely say the name I am glad I asked her though because if white people can say tsunami then they can say Tshepo. I went and picked up a book from there. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi. Khanyi picked up Cosmo and some other magazine. It’s funny how black girls try and be fancy and think that reading Cosmo, a book full of skinny white women will buy us class. It’s in our DNA to think that other people are better than us.
“Ok we are sorted! Time to do this.”
“I need something to drink. I am thirsty and you don’t know how long it will take before they give us that.”
I told her. She agreed too and we bought water. I was thirsty. All that walking around had made me thirsty. It was then that Sam called.
“Hey! Have you guys boarded yet?”
He asked me.
“No we have not yet boarded but are in the process!”
I told him.
“That’s good. You must be nervous.”
He said cheerfully. I was nervous but excited.
“I am hey. I know I never thank you enough but thank you for this. I swear wow, thank you!”
I told him. I meant it too.
Little did I know at the time what he had planned for me for us!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I know this might sound cliché but you are my best author by far. Your style of writing is warm and inviting and your stories have really opened my eyes to the world.
I started reading your stories because I was dating a girl who loved Zulu Girl. She forced me to read it. She was a student in a college in Jhb and I was working in Pretoria. We used to laugh about the things Thandeka was doing. In October of that year (2013) I found out the girl was pregnant. I was not too thrilled because I was just an intern at the time but I did what I could. We had twins but one passed away a week later. It was a hard time. I paid damages and Lobola for her and we started with our lives. Every time my friends came over they would remark how much my son did not resemble me. I am extremely light to the point of some people thinking I am mixed race. She is fairly light as well. I would always argue that I had dark skinned relatives and so did she. Last year me and her started fighting. It started with small things but eventually it was a constant war. The one thing we maintained was love for our son. We decided to separate and on the day she came to pick up her staff we fought again. This was in August. I told her I could not leave without my son so she can’t take him; we had to come up with something new. She then told me how stupid I was because I am fighting for a son who was not even mine! I did not understand. I mean how could I. I thought she was just trying to hurt me and stop me from taking him. She told me that her father was some Nigerian. My wife was very xenophobic that’s why I did not believe her. I was so angry I hit her. All the things people had been saying seemed true. I loved my son so much and for her to say that. I hit her. I am not a violent person, I had never hit anyone in my life male or female but that day I hit her. It was instinct and raw emotion. I know on this blog bra Mike you teach the opposite but in that moment I lost it. I want to say I was ashamed but I am not. I will probably do it again. In October I found out that she was dating some Nigerian who could be her baby daddy. Remember I paid Lobola for this girl. On New Year’s Eve she posted an engagement ring and that they are getting married. She had my son in the picture with a caption that had the line, “Never waste your time with time pushers, know your worth!” It cut me deeply because I was that time pusher in her life. Bra Mike I am so hurt I don’t know what to do. I want to take my son for DNA tests but with all fingers pointing to one conclusion how do I even start it. I am married to this woman and yes it’s only Lobola I have every intention of blocking that marriage and suing her. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror without feeling angry or ashamed. I just don’t know what to do. I never said I was a good person but even the worst person does not deserve this.
How do I start healing? How do I move on from here because everyone who has seen what went down looks at me with pity? I can’t even stand up straight amongst my friends because I feel like everyone is either laughing at me or shaking their heads at my weakness. I have thought of killing myself because I lost everything. It’s not something you easily shake off. Please help me help myself.