Attention attention! I would like to welcome you to the Lungile Mbatha show! Lights, camera, action… At this very
moment this is exactly how my life felt like. When you get a twist in your life like this you feel as though your life itself has betrayed you. What really had I done to these dead people for them to screw up my life so royally? I could imagine bringing him home and the look that would be on my mother’s face… Hawema!
He knocked again. Well he had to I don’t think he had a choice in the matter now did he? I had to.
I said out coldly. Was this some joke on me or what? This was Azwindini’s brother and the same cop from IPID who had come to investigate me.
“Yes maam it’s me!”
He said a bit surprised by all the dramatics.
“If you are closing the door because you think I am back on the case, I am not!”
“Ok, ufunani la?”
I asked in the rudest way I could think of short of cursing. If these ancestors thought they could play games with me they had another thing coming. Tomorrow I was going to Pastor Mbhoro himself if I had to get him off my back. I will climb that mountain at ZCC if I had to and wear a doek too in 37 degree weather to avoid being with this man.
“No vuwa hani?”
He still had that shocked look from me slamming the door on him.
“I don’t know what that means!”
I said to him which was a lie. Rudzani had taught me a few words.
“Pfarelo… I mean I am sorry. I said hello to you in Venda or rather how are you?”
He said again.
“I know its rude just showing up like this but since I saw you that day I have not thought of anyone or anything else but to come say hello again in another light!”
He said nervously.
“Ok hello. Bye!”
I said in typical girl who is being pursued by a guy she does not like fashion. We bring out our rude side.
“That’s rough but I know I deserve that.”
He said about to turn.
“But why didn’t you call first?”
I asked him. I was curious to know the logic of this man. We all have stereotypes about other tribes but one thing I know is that Venda’s are often considered the most intelligent South Africans. I remember so many matric years the highest achievers being them so with all those brains in their people how stupid was this dude?
“In Venda there is a saying which says u kondelela hu disa dakalo which means fortune favours the brave so I took a chance and am here!”
I would not have had a clue of what he had just said had he not translated but Venda is one those languages that has that thing. Have you ever taken a blanket or mat and hit it against a tree, there is a thudding sound it makes repetitively, that’s Venda in my ears. Another example is putting a sea shell on your ear and that soothing sound it makes, that’s Venda for me. It’s like poetry really, a very beautiful language.
“And what were the chances that you were going to allow me to come see you. Zero. At least I am here showing you that I am willing to embarrass myself with a rejection and am not some coward trying to take chances!”
He told me. These ancestors must have been sitting around a kraal laughing their heads off. Did they think I was going to become VhoMakadzi Lungile? Wait wait… E ma kancane!
“You are good with words neh?”
I said to him because let’s be fair, he was saying all the right things but to the wrong person. Whatever he was selling I was not buying!
“I am not. I am so nervous. I bought you flowers but I was so embarrassed to walk with them to your door because well…Venda men don’t buy flowers!”
He said and I burst out laughing. I remember Rudzani used to complain at how not romantic Azwindini was.
“Getting a Venda man to do what you want on time is like asking a guy who drives a GTI to stay indoors on a weekend! It’s impossible but compared to making him be romantic it’s like telling Jesus to come back!”
That’s what Rudzani used to say about Azwindini all the time. I used to laugh when she said this but now that I had one in my house, on my couch I was not finding it funny anymore.
“Ok you can come in but only for ten minutes. We leave the door open I don’t want to a stranger in my house!”
I said. I could hear my ancestors do high five at me using the word “stranger” because was it not what my aunt had said. My mouth dried immediately at that thought.
He said and he stepped in. He walked in and he stood first to allow me to offer him a place to sit.
“You are Azwindini’s brother right?”
I asked him.
“Yes Azwindini ndi murathu wanga. I asked him about you actually and he only had good things to say.”
He told me with a big smile. I stared back at him with a blank expressionless face. Did he just say that? Should I burst his bubble now and tell him I slept with his brother and his sister in law tried to molest me?
“I am surprised he did because we did not get along just like I am sure mina nawe are not going to get along!”
I told him frankly. I guess I decided that he did not need to hear the sordid details of my sex life and betrayal.
“I am not my brother. I am genuine…”
He started to explain but I was not going to hear it.
“I think it’s time you left. It’s already highly inappropriate that you are here and I am starting to feel uncomfortable!”
I told him. He stood up immediately and said,
“Can you come get the flowers from the car at least? I don’t know how I will walk back with them without falling over!”
He asked like a little lost puppy. He was very sweet in a crude kind of way.
“No thank you. I don’t do flowers, I am highly allergic!”
I told him and obviously that was a lie, I am not that black. I see beauty in flowers but I was not going to encourage someone I obviously did not like. I watched him walk and I just shook my head.
“Lungi what next?”
I asked myself. With me it was always one thing after another so I already to brace myself for the next thing. My life I tell you. I called my sister.
“How are you holding up today?”
I asked her. I could hear from her voice that she was not doing well. She was dealing with a broken heart and unless you have actually ever experienced one you would know it’s the most painful thing ever.
“I am not ok Lungi. Last night I could not sleep. It’s like there was a lump in my chest and I have this headache that won’t go away no matter how many pills I take.”
She explained to me.
“Pills sis, no come on. You need to be careful with them otherwise you might end up overdosing unless it’s what you want of course!”
I told her then immediately recognized that as a joke that was the wrong timing.
“I don’t know what to do. I tried to call him and he won’t even pick up my calls. It’s like I did something so evil to him.”
She cried to me on the phone. I felt so guilty and angry now that I had wasted so much time waiting at home for this idiot when I could have spent the day comforting my sister. She needed me meanwhile I was playing games. I was wrong.
“I am coming over, don’t cook ok I will bring you food. You still like pizza right?”
I asked her. My sister from the time we were young loved pizza with all her heart. It was the one thing that I think made sense to her whereas I hated it.
“I am not hungry but thank you for trying. I want him back Lungi, I want him back!”
She told me as she hung up. I am so tempted to join the #menaretrash brigade but I don’t have the energy right now. Hearing her heart breaking and that pain felt so real and so raw. It was like that was me.
On the way I bought the pizza nonetheless and some provisions for my mother. She never liked us doing shopping for her because like all parents she liked saying we bought the wrong food or food that was too expensive. When she bought she would hire a bakkie and go but at wholesales. That was my mother for you no matter how much money we gave her.
“Day two having both my girls in my house!”
My mother said when I arrived. She was standing outside with Mam’ Dolly.
“Are you not supposed to be resting?”
I asked her with obvious concern. Coming out of hospital a person should stay off their feet.
“Ah I am tired of being in bed. A person must stay on their feet as much as possible because when the Lord calls us home we will be sleeping for a long time!”
She said getting all religious and creepy on me.
“Come on mum don’t talk about death!”
I told her very much annoyed that she had been sick now she is talking about such. I am not even superstitious but its negative thinking and can bring bad luck eventually.
“She is right wena why are you being dramatic. Lungile you should come see me, I need your advice on something. First take this one inside though I must start cooking!”
Mam’ Dolly said to me as she immediately turned away.
“Hawu why didn’t you just say I was boring you I would have left long ago!”
My mother said jokingly to her friend as she walked away. Mam’ Dolly waved her off taking no offence at that comment. My sister immediately came out of the house as my mother went in.
“Thought you would be sleeping!”
I said opening the boot.
“I told you I can’t. May I please use your phone?”
I was tempted to ask what was wrong with hers but I did not.
“How do you put it on private? I have been trying to put mine but clearly I don’t know how!”
She said very annoyed with herself. She was filthy. She had not bathed, her hair was unkempt and she looked nervous.
“Come on sis don’t do this to yourself. You don’t have to call him.”
I told her concerned.
“Please I need this. I just want to hear his voice and to hear that he is ok.”
She begged me. I obliged her because she was actually in a bad shape. We dialled and guess what, someone picked up.
It was him.
“Love please it’s me, please don’t hang up…”
My sister begged immediately. Dear Lord my heart broke at that moment. Before he could even say that someone in the background,
“Is that her?”
It was a female voice. Next thing I think she grabbed the phone from him and said,
“Listen here sisi wami, he is my man now. I call him daddy and I do whatever he wants. He fucks real good too so please stop calling us or else I will go get a protection order”
She insulted my sister and I think handed over the phone to him as she walked away saying,
“Some bitches just don’t know when to quit. She has no pride no wonder why she lost you baby!”
The girl said.
Have you watched Taken?
I have a certain set of skills not found in many women.
I was going to look for her!
I was going to find her!
Then I was going to do things to her that will teach her never ever to call another woman bitch!
I was livid!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Brother Mike thank you for reading my letter.
I am a 27 year old man and I am a virgin, I don’t drink, I have a job, car and have just bonded a house as of two months ago. I am not bad looking but I cannot say that I am handsome. The reason for my lack of experience is that I am a firm believer in Christ and have always been. I had never had regrets for following my God closely as I have until recently brothers and sisters. I have been proposed to by girls before but I was never ready. I want that first girl I get to be the one you know. At church recently a new girl joined us. She is beautiful bafowethu! I have never lusted for a woman the way I have for her no matter how much I have tried not to. Every Sunday at church I try catch her attention and sometimes it works often it does not. Like I said I don’t have experience. Ladies how would you like a man to approach you especially if your intentions are to date someone plus also marry her. I know its too soon to say “marry” which is why I need advice on how to approach it without scaring the girl. Then gents how do you break the ice with a girl that intimidates you so much? Sometimes I go to her and the words don’t come out. I find myself passing pretending as though I was going somewhere else when the intention was to to talk to her. Its so embarrassing. I asked one of the Sisters at church to approach and befriend her for me so that we can be properly introduced but now am nervous that what if it fails then it will be so obvious. I sound like a teenager I know and I apologize for that. Please advise me on how to get the girl that could be my future.