There is a saying that says all the best laid plans can go array in a moment. I had always thought that I had my life
sorted out. I mean I was educated enough to know I needed car insurance, life insurance, home insurance etc but for some reason a funeral policy was never top of that agenda. It’s not like I had not seen people dying around me, I had but it never registered that this could be me needing things like this. I had even heard of troublesome funerals but when you are earning so much money it always seems like you have time.
“I failed on the loan; they said my credit record is pretty bad!”
My sister said to me sheepishly. I was not going to ask her how she had allowed her credit record to be this bad because it’s none of my business.
“Its ok sis I will make some plan!”
I told her.
“Your job now is to spread the message about mum. Take mommy’s phone and go through it. Maybe she had a policy as well I don’t know just check? We need to go to the hospital so we can go to Home Affairs to fix her death certificate!”
I instructed her.
“I never even thought of that.”
She told me. I won’t lie I had not thought about it either as it only came to me now.
“Do you think we pay for that?”
She asked me.
When you are the highest earner at home, the duty of making a plan lies on you. There is no other way of getting past that. I was not surprised that she did either because she did not have a particularly good job to start with and with the way things were with her husband I am sure things were worse.
“Hey love how are you holding up?”
He asked me when I picked up. I just broke down crying. This was overwhelming. I had no idea what I was doing and planning a funeral is something no one can exactly teach you on a lazy Saturday evening.
“I am drowning. It feels like I a dream even now. When I woke up in the morning I thought the nightmare would be over but guess what, everything was real and happening to me!”
I responded to him. I could hear he was driving and I asked him where he was going soon after.
“I am on the way to International Relations. I am afraid I have a bit of bad news; they want me to go back today! I tried to make every excuse I could think of but it’s an emergency. I will be flying out tonight!”
He told me. I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach. I really did and it work.
“What do you mean you are leaving? You know I need you especially right now with all that’s going on! Can’t you refuse?”
I asked him extremely shocked.
“I wish I could but them to ask me to cut my leave short it means that it’s a big emergency. I am sorry!”
He said to me. I honestly think life has a way of kicking you when you are down. He leaving was the last thing I needed.
“But I chose you!”
“Chose me? What do you mean?”
He asked me. That had just come out by mistake. I had not intended to tell him that in quite the way I had.
I told him. What I had meant was that with all the guys chasing me it was him that had won that race meaning I needed him now more than ever.
“Love I am not doing this on purpose. The Ambassador called me himself so it’s urgent!”
He explained but I was not listening to that anymore.
“When will you be back?”
I asked him.
“I don’t know, most likely in a month but I can’t confirm!”
Yah Neh. It dawned on me that I had brought this on myself. Not only had I chosen the man who had just lost his wife I had also chosen a man who lived overseas! I am such a genius.
“Its ok I understand you have responsibilities to meet that side!”
I conceded. I did not have the energy to argue and besides my throat was sore as is.
“Ok then where are you now? I am going to come to you after I leave this place!”
He told me.
“I am going home then back to my mother’s!”
I told him.
He obviously knew where my mother stayed so I did not give him directions.
“I will see you later then!”
He said as we hung up. This had not gone as I had planned if I am to be honest. I wanted him to hold me and reassure me that he would stand with me through this. When he lost his wife I could not have done the same for him I know but this was my mother and he could. I was not being selfish.
I drove in at the same time as Mbuso. Ntheteng was in the car and she ran straight to me.
“Hey Aunty Lungi!”
She said running to give me a hug. I was not in the mood but I hugged her back.
“How are you how is school?”
I asked her.
“It’s awesome. I had fun and we are making father’s day cards. Don’t tell dad because he doesn’t know. It’s a surprise!”
She said sweetly. This child never failed at being sweet I promise you. She had a way with words. Her father came out of the car and walked towards me and greeted me.
“You look like you have been crying, are you ok?”
He asked me. When you have been crying it shows. You can’t hide those bags with any amount of mascara!
“No I am not!”
The tears just came out. They just did. What was I supposed to do?
“Ntheti go the house I am coming now!”
Mbuso said to the confused child.
“Dad what have you done to aunty Lungi?”
She asked her father with a scowl on her face. She looked angry at him if I did not know better.
“Ntheti I need you to listen to me. Go to the house!”
He said sternly and she left.
“Lungi what’s wrong?”
He asked me again.
“It’s my mom Mbuso…”
“What’s wrong? Is she back in hospital ah? I thought she was discharged?”
He asked me.
“Mbuso, she passed away last night!”
I told him. He stood there and stared at me as though he had not heard me. He put his hands on his waist and said,
“What do you mean she is dead? You not making sense your mother was fine!”
He told me but I was crying. I know he had heard me and he knew I was not lying but shock makes you ask dumb questions I guess.
“I don’t know what to say, I am stunned, wow! I am so sorry!”
He said to me hugging me in the process. If I thought I had cried earlier on I was wrong. With the stress at the banks and. Sfiso saying he was leaving a brand new fountain of tears just erupted. I cried so much I left his work suit wet.
“We need to go in.”
He told me. He ushered me to my place, took the keys from me, opened and led me in.
“I am so sorry for this Lungi. I am obviously shocked as my reaction shows. I don’t even know what to say!”
He said to me and it’s true he did not. My phone rang and it was Nthabiseng. I had forgotten to call her.
“Lungi is it true the news I heard. Is mama gone?”
She asked me. I was too weak to even ask her who had told her and when I croaked my answer,
I heard her sigh in disbelief.
“I am sorry my friend. I am going to come and see you later!”
She said. We spoke for a bit longer. Mbuso stood up and made me some tea with lemon.
“This will help with your throat because I can hear from your voice that you losing your voice!”
He explained. Its true I was.
“I have to go back to my mom’s!”
I told him after a while. He offered to drive me there but I knew Ntheti had school so today was not the day. I left for my mother’s much later and found my sister sitting at the house with some church women.
“You back finally did you win?”
She asked me after I had greeted everyone. Some of these women I had not seen in years.
“No I did not. Come let’s talk!”
I said to her looking for a private place.
My aunt arrived just as my sister and I were losing hope. I really did not want to ask my friends for loans because I knew they would give me but it’s embarrassing to know I could not even bury my own mother. It’s very humbling indeed.
“I am sorry I am late I had to go tell some of the relatives and some don’t have phones you know how it is!”
She explained as she sat down.
“I did not know who else to call because mum lost her phone and does not have everyone’s numbers. Malume Jones and Malume Senzo are not even here!”
My sister told my aunt.
“Yeah I would have been surprised if they were. Your mother fought with them and I think deleted them I am sure. Don’t worry though I have sent word.”
“Has the church said anything? Your mother was very active there so they definitely would need to have a say in all this!”
She explained to us. It’s amazing how her presence managed to lift the pressure of us immediately. Even under the circumstances it felts as though a weight had been lifted off our shoulders.
“Yes Mfundisi came earlier on. There is another problem though…”
I said to her,
“Mum did not have a funeral policy nor do I. I tried to get money at the bank and I failed dismally!”
I told her. I was hoping she would give me solutions. She did not look perturbed at all though and smiled when she responded.
“Don’t worry I have a funeral policy from Sanlam and she is covered in it!”
My aunt said. A sangoma with a funeral policy? That’s like saying Jesus carrying the Quran!
I asked her.
“Of course I do. I am surprised you don’t. That thing is convenient! You know how they cover more than just one person. My sister is covered. She is my family girls and we might have had our differences but I loved her with all my heart!”
My aunt explained and I was so relieved. I did not even know what to say to her and remember I had shouted at her earlier on yesterday.
I said as I stood up to hug.
“Yes. We just need a few things and they will release funds within 4 hours. I suggest we do that part tomorrow though so we can do our budget to see what we need.”
She explained and we agreed.
A funeral policy had saved the day and through a Sangoma nogal!
Some of you might have noticed the Sanlam poster I posted before on Facebook… we still at it and I have gone through the drama in the select group and it’s brilliant.
To find out more SMS your name and surname to 45603 to watch the drama unfold over 7 days.#Sanlamfuneral
I wasn’t into reading untill i was introduced into this blog. May God bless you for such an amazing work Mike.
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I am a 23 year old female geology graduate who majored in engineering and environment. My story goes like this, I was raised by a single parent of which really. encouraged me to Study hard till i graduated.I have been struggling to get job ever since i finished my degree in 2015.Worse part is my mother really struggled while i was still in varsity in hoping that i would change the situation at home and also help my younger siblings. We have struggled in a way that my younger brother would sleep out of nowhere in town just to save transport money. My mother is not working and i am the only breadwinner through the money i get by tutoring on weekends. I even tried to look for a job in stores but i wouldn’t get a response. I dont know how much i have used to send application and also dropping my cv i always get rejected all the time. All i am asking for is help to get a job and i am not a choosey type. All i wanna do is to support my family. I cant even afford umasingcwabisane.I feel stressed sometimes fear that they have lost hope in me getting a job. The only thing i ve been doing is volunteering and that doesn’t put food on a table when you have a responsibility. My mother is also not well.I would sometimes need to take her to the hospital with a borrowed money. Please help