With all the things that had been happening, with me trying to get my head around everything, all the bad luck and
the close calls I had gotten, this was the wisest thing for me. I am not a child, let’s start there. I was not being impulsive nor was I being naïve as to what this could mean for me. You think I don’t know that people look down and shame people who receive callings. I know this very well but one thing I will never be is white. I can get a hundred degrees, a billion rand but to a white man I will always be black so why must I now hide behind Christianity and western education when all the signs were there? How could I do that?
“I don’t know what to do aunty; I am tired of being afraid!”
I told her and its true I was tired. You can’t live your life wondering when the next mishap is going to happen and that was me right now. My aunty much as I did not know her was the closest thing I had to a second mom as she was my mother’s flesh and blood. I don’t think she was trying to harm me or send me down a path of self destruction. I needed her help.
“You know that the rest of the family won’t accept this. Our family grew up in the church and I am the one who broke that tradition.”
She started to explain our history. I had not noticed that she had made quite a spread and it was on my second serving that I asked her,
“Who is all this food for?”
I asked her.
“I told you I knew you were coming and this is like your party!”
She said and she laughed. The one thing that stood out and I must emphasize this; I could literally feel myself be at peace. I had been this entire ball of emotions for so long and in that moment I swear there was calm inside me. It’s like she was talking to my soul. I was starting to relax around her and mind you I barely knew this woman.
“There is a check list of things that you need to get before you go for the ceremony!”
She said. I felt like it was bombshell.
“There is going to be a ceremony?”
I asked her incredulously. I won’t lie I was naïve enough to think that she was going to do it on her own privately just the two of us you know, this way it will be hush hush.
“Yes there is a ceremony in which you accept the calling and people know that you are now a mouth piece of the ancestors!”
She said and honestly my heart froze. Ok fine if I say it froze I would be dead but time stood still rather. Eish, I had wanted for people not to know about this. Was this the finding peace with myself I needed to do?
“You know what, you need to go out and find peace within yourself. This is not something you do for popularity sake. Much as you have plans for yourself the ancestors have plans for you too. Something somewhere somehow will have to give.”
She explains when she realized that I was very reluctant to go through the ceremony when I realized it could be a public event. Obviously I was unclear and maybe I thought I was too clever for it I don’t know but this woman could read my mind. It was not a hostile environment I was actually quite happy getting this off my chest so maybe the peace I thought I had found was that.
“Let me explain, basically once you get the calling there is a certain place where you nurture you ancestors. You will have a mentor and before you ask, I will not be your mentor.”
Ah ah ah wa bona ke! Now she wanted to give me off to someone else. Was I ready for this?
“Your mentor is called uGobela and the place you go to twasa is called Ephlweni!”
I noticed how she was not speaking to me in Zulu but in English. Is this the kind of pressure modern kids put o our parents to conform.
“But why can’t you do it? I mean you can see I am nervous enough as it is?”
I pleaded with her but she just smiled.
“Go home. All these things don’t happen in a day.”
She advised. I won’t lie when I drove here I was not sure what to expect but much as I was relieved I came I was still confused. With my education was I really able to embrace what she was asking of me?
“Did you really know I was coming though?”
I asked her trying to lighten the mood eating some cake now. She had prepared for me and seeing that no one else was coming she knew her stuff.
“You will be doing this one day!”
She said. I stayed an hour longer before I left. I was actually so stretched. I had to either go home to check on Mbuso or to my mother who was waiting for me. Must be the devil in me, I chose Mbuso. There really was something preventing me from wanting to be with my mum. I called her as it was already getting late but she did not pick up. It was not too late there, just before 8 to be exact. When I got to my place I noticed that the light at Mbuso’s place was on. I think it was only polite that I see them today as they had called me in a time of crisis. I took my bags to my place and made sure I took the gun out with me. There was no way I was living that in my car.
I walked over next door. See what’s wrong with dating a neighbour. It’s convenient yes but there is no sense of mystery. It feels like primary school dating. In a fight if one gets angry at no matter what time of the night literally you can threaten to walk home.
Ntheteng said running to me when I knocked. She was so happy she jumped into my arms.
“Daddy, look who is here! I told you she will be back!”
She started to explain.
“Indeed you did! She has been talking about you all day thank God you came I was running out of excuses as to why you were not here!”
He said getting up from his couch.
“I was at a funeral whilst you were too busy trying to leave us! What’s up with that? How are you feeling?”
I asked him teasing him.
“I know I know. The doc has already drilled it into me that I need to take care of myself a little better!”
“That’s why am taking care of you daddy! That’s what am here for. Can I get you some water?”
Ntheteng asked sweetly and also putting on a show for me to show how good she was. Kids, you got to love them.
“No thanks dear. Give aunty Lungi and me a chance to talk. I will call you when we are done ok?”
He asked his little daughter.
“Ahhhh man! Must I really daddy?”
She asked disappointed. Ntheteng loved spending time with me I don’t know why.
“But before I go can I ask her?”
She asked her father but I responded first.
“Ask me what?”
I was curious and I was not going to let him cut her off as he always so expertly does.
“Tomorrow there is a party at that girl’s house, remember the one we met having ice cream but the mommies have to be there too. I can’t be dropped off and be left there. She already knows you as my mommy, I talk about you all the time so can we please go? Please!”
She asked me sweetly. Ok maybe I should not have allowed her to ask. I looked at Mbuso and he looked down a bit embarrassed.
“You said she could ask!”
He said to me.
“I did didn’t I!”
Tomorrow I wanted to go see my mum ad what if the Sangoma things did not allow me to bond with a child.
“Please Aunty Lungi. I can’t bring daddy’s annoying doctor friend. She tries too hard!”
She said and I burst out laughing. It just came out I didn’t meant it but it did. Mbuso was not impressed.
‘Ntheteng that’s enough. Go to your room!”
He said not impressed at all Shem. Poor man. Even his child could see I was better than that pretender.
“I will go with you if your daddy doesn’t ground you!’
I told her as she walked off.
She said jumping up I excitement as she walked off. I was left with a red faced Mbuso.
“Don’t be mad at her, she just being a child, you know how kids can smell a fake!”
I said with a bit of sting in me. I had not sat down by the way which is rude I believe. I heard keys in the door as someone was opening from the outside. I turned to see who it was.
“Sorry guys I took longer than I thought!”
The fuck! It was the doctor! I didn’t mean to say it out loud but it just came out!
“She has a key?”
And loudly too!
Thank you for reading my letter and thank you for the books. They are so entertaining and educative.
I am 37 years old and I have been married to my husband for 7 years now. We have been together for ten years now. To be honest our relationship was not perfect when we started and even when we married it was probably because I got pregnant. He chose to do the right thing I guess and next thing I was his wife. The last two years something changed. He became the perfect husband, no more fighting; he stopped drinking and cut down on toxic friends. He is currently building us a house and the world is beautiful in that respect. I see him as a husband and as a friend. The problem is recently (as of two weeks ago) I found out that he fathered another child about 3 years ago. The woman called me directly to tell me this. She said he had not been to see their daughter in over a year even though he was sending money. She wanted to plead with me woman to woman to allow him to go see her. I did not even know they existed. I was so angry and hurt; I still am because that means he not only cheated but also put my health at risk ask we do not use condoms. If she got pregnant that means they did not either. I packed my things and went to my sisters. He came after us begging and said we must come back home but I can’t. I love him but I can’t get myself to go ‘home’ and everything be normal. He has worked hard to becoming a good husband but this betrayal is heavy on me.
Please advise me on what to do with this situation?