Let me tell you a bit about Jozini how
I grew up. It was a Zulu house hold and like I said my mother was in isthembu (polygamy). She left my father though and well he left us. All his relatives turned around and said my mother was a witch because she simply refused to stay in a marriage where she was sharing.
The incident I want to share happened when I was about 13. My sister had had her umhlonyane sweet 16 just a week before. Umhlonyane is a ritual performed when a girl reaches puberty in Zulu culture. Its not too common though in this economy.
“Mum its not fair, I don’t want to share an event with her, when I turn 16 I want my own!”
I had told my mum when she cancelled a birthday party for me and said we would combine things. Really! My sister has alway like the limelight so she had everything no matter how broke my mother was. My mother always obliged her. Any way the week after my friends and I had gone out to town. Jozini town is very small so I can’t even say the mall. I had put on a short skirt and I did not even come home late. The mistake I made was assuming that my mother was cool with me going out till 5pm.
“Where are you coming from?”
She asked me angrily when I strolled into the house as though I owned it.
“I went to the park with Nomfundo and Tinah!”
I had said perhaps rather rudely I am not sure.
“And what are you wearing? This skirt is too short! Its like you are wearing a shirt then making it into a dress. You know I don’t like this thing of you wearing clothes that are too small!”
She shouted at me. I was totally confused.
“Mum come on. Just last week we were prancing around have naked for Nonjabulo’s umhlonyane and you had no problem. Today I am twice covered up and you are mad at me? That’s being a hypocrite mum!”
I won’t lie I had thought I was teasing with my mother but the truth is I had miscalculated badly. She was angry. She took a belt and she whipped for that skirt. I could not believe it.
“But what have I done?”
I asked her as she beat me up.
“I don’t want a daughter who behaves like a prostitute! A respectable woman does not dress like this!”
She told me. Oppression of the mind begins at home just so you know. Women are powerless because at home we grew up being told that its ok that women are second to men in the real world.
“Mum I did nothing wrong! Its just a skirt and it did nothing wrong either!”
I had defended myself but oh well, I lost. Its amazing really how black parents not even just them but the whole of Africa to be honest are preprogrammed to believe that a woman in a short skirt or dress is automatically loose. You can go from any country from South Africa to Egypt and the belief is everywhere that a short skirt is a sign of promiscuity. Its ok for some only to a certain age to wear one but it becomes disrespectful at a certain age. Its like the fit into the five psychological behaviors passive what what’s I have heard about. That’s the our reality. I tell this story because when Vusi had left me at home, I had taken off the pants I was wearing as we were about to have sex. When the emergency call came in from my sister I had already changed into something more comfortable as I had intended to stay indoors so now I was wearing a dress that was short enough for indoors but a for a married woman at a party could be seen as scandalous. It had all happened so fast.
“What is this Londiwe?”
He asked me angrily.
“I told you its not what it looks like!”
I tried to explain.
“When I came here with you, me your husband you were wearing jeans a jacket and a top. Now you are wearing a short dress when I am gone. What are you trying to do here? What message are you sending?”
He asked me. I won’t lie before he had mentioned the dress thing I had not even noticed that I was wearing it because it was not what I had in mind earlier.
“Vusi its just a dress and it means nothing that I am wearing it come on now!”
I defended myself in vein. Vusi was hardly conservative but considering the circumstances I could see how it looked from his side.
“And then not only that, you were on top of another man, in public not that in private it would change anything!”
He said as we got to the car. Goodness he had parked far. At least the crowd was a bit behind us not that others were not staring.
“I am sorry he provoked me. I swear its not what you think!”
I told Vusi but he would not see through his anger. I know how it looked but even now when I was apologizing I could not take ownership for something I could not do. Just because someone is smelling of cigarette smoke does not mean that they were smoking right.
“I don’t want yo argue. I left you at the house so that I can go make more money for us, for you and me to buy a house and start a family properly! You failed to see through all that because its not what you want. You want to party with your wayward sister so be it! Go party with her. See how that builds our marriage!”
He told me. He had never been this forward with me before because often even when we fought he would snap then concede. Right now all I saw was disappointment.
“I am sorry baby I really am innocent of whatever you think I did. I did not know he was here and when he tried to talk to me I pushed him and we fell over together. That is the truth!”
I pleaded with him.
“I am going home now. I left my wife at home and when I get home I expect to find her there! If she is not there she must not bother coming home!”
He said getting into the car. I had left my bag my phone everything inside my sisters place. Did you really think I was going to go back? I jumped into the car next to him.
“Where do you think you are going?”
He asked me angrily.
“I did not come here with you! I told you my wife is at home waiting for me!”
He said. Honestly what did he want me to do really now?
“Stop being moronic! I am sitting in this car and you can shout and scream at me all you want but I am not going anywhere! You can even beat me up if it makes you feel better!”
I told him. I knew that everytime I spoke about being beaten up it made him uneasy. He hated the topic because that’s how we met.
“Oh like the very same guy whose arms I found you in right now?”
He asked and I am sorry I think that was nasty.
“That’s a low blow even for you in this moment. I know you angry but that’s not cool!”
I told him.
“Its the truth Londiwe. Do I not do the opposite of everything that man ever did to you?”
He asked me.
“You do which is why I can’t believe I am sitting here justifying myself. I did nothing wrong. I honestly pushed him and I fell. He tried to talk to me and did not want him near me! That’s the truth and I am sticking to it!”
I told him defiantly. The car had not moved.
“There was a boy who was taking a video. I am going to go get it for you so that you can be happy ok. You can leave me here all you want but you know you will be making a mistake because I did nothing wrong.”
I told him getting out of the car. I thought he would drive off but he was too much of a gentleman to leave me stranded. He jumped out and said,
“Leave the bag its not important! You want to go back to where he is!”
He accused me and much as that made me so angry it did look like so did it not. If I went back what were the chances of me bumping into him? It was highly likely I would so maybe that was not one of my better ideas.
“So what do you want me to do? I have no phone, no money and you really want me to leave such things at a party?”
I asked him trying to use a bit of reverse psychology on him. It made no sense and he knew it. If my phone was stolen he would have to but me a new one.
“I will call Linda to bring them out!”
He said taking out his phone.
“No call Nonjabulo!”
I told him because Linda always took time with everything.
“No! Your sister invited your ex boyfriend to her party knowing you would be there and just so she could make him buy drinks. Does that show any respect whatsoever for me?”
He asked me and I kind of agreed. I was angry at her for that too. He took out his phone and called her. It was when he was putting his phone back into his pocket that I saw it. Why had I not seen it before?
“Now that you are done shouting at me, whose lipstick and make up is that!”
I said pointing at his shirt. There was a distinct smudge on his shoulder of make up and a bit of lipstick on the collar.
“I have no lipstick on me!”
He said defiantly.
“I am looking at it right now! So much for going on a business meeting. Is that the kind of business you are talking about?”
I asked him. I did not raise my voice. They had been enough shouting as was.
“You know I went with my mother so when and where would I have gotten it from?”
I know when my husband is lying and right now he was lying!
“Are you really going to say that to my face?”
I asked him in disbelief. I mean I was standing in front of him and I was looking at it.
“Says the woman I found in the arms of her ex abusive boyfriend! You a fine one to talk…”
I don’t know what happened, my hand just swung and I slapped him hard on the face and next thing my hands were on my mouth.
“Oh shit I am so sorry!”
I cried and he just looked at me in shock, got in the car and drove off!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for reading my letter and greetings to all the readers.
I am 34 years old with two kids and two years ago I lost my husband. He had been sick for a while, cancer and three years ago it finally took him. It took me about a year and a half before I went out with another man and another four months from that before I slept with another person. During sex I found myself crying. It felt as though I was betraying my dead husband. I thought it was a once off thing and my sisters told me that I just have to keep riding the horse and I will be fine. It never happened. Now I cry every sex session I have and it creeps the guys I sleep with. Its 3 so far and all 3 after the tear works have left me. Two of them told me that they had been freaked out by it and when I tried to explain they had said it was too heavy for them. I now met a new guy and I am too scared to sleep with him. I told him about my ex as with two kids its a bit hard not explain but I am scared of the crying part. Another problem I have is that most men find it uncomfortable to be with a woman with two kids unless the man is way older. Note I am 34 and the youngest man I have slept with since is 42. Man in my age range don’t want me and its like my husband is punishing me from the other side. I don’t want to be with a 40 something year old and I don’t want to be alone either. I am so msierable. I love my kids, I take care of them and I have a good job but I am lonely. Maybe this is what is adding up to the guilt I don’t know.
How do I get over this? Please help me with this.