Being smart does not mean you know it all. There is no expert in everything and once you start believing you know everything
you stop listening to the advice of others. You stop trying to learn new things and you start undermining the people around you. Such a dogmatic approach to knowledge often leaves you in trouble and at the end of the day in a position where you are actually that one who knows nothing. Simba’s advice is something I had thought about obviously. Even the dumbest man will tell you that getting rid of your bond is the greatest thing ever because it means you own property. I do not take that for granted at all. Hearing a fresh perspective and not undermining it is something totally different. I may not be streetwise but I am book smart. I know my limitations in my knowledge and if knowledge is power I will try as much as possible to learn what I can even if I look and sound dumb in the process!
“So you think the hair business demeans a person’s intellect?”
I asked him. You see exactly what I was saying about being close minded to the ideas of others is exactly how he was being right now.
“No I am not saying that, all I am saying is that you can better apply your mind on something else!”
He tried to recover from the hole he had dug himself in. I had not insulted him out loud of course, I am not that crass but I won’t lie that I had not thought it. The nerve of him.
“Apply my mind to what? It’s a business that generates income. Do you know that hair costs more than oil? Did you know that on weight alone which is what you measure gold in, hair costs way more than gold even? Did you also know it’s one of the industries genuinely run by women effectively at that and you think they lack intellect? Get the fuck outta here with that shit and yes I swore! I can’t believe you Simba you are so much better than this little person or small minded person you showing off right now!”
Crap all that stuff came out of me at once. I probably should not have said that because even his face was a bit aghast. I guess he only likes being told off by a woman during sex.
“I was not saying that. Let’s debate it intellectually then. Why was the tender program such a disaster in the provinces especially?”
He asked me.
“Tenders as in government?”
I asked him.
“Yes those? Why do you think it was ultimately a failure?”
He asked me again. Ok this was dumb. What did tenders have to do with hair? I was not bidding to buy hair.
“Corruption I suppose and the people ended up in jail! I don’t know!”
I responded because as far as I was concerned it was a success because all the tender people I know drive fast cars and have big house.
“Malema didn’t end up jail in fact none of the big people ended up in jail so corruption is the wrong answer!”
He said and he waited for me to say something but I had no idea what to say.
“It failed because tenders initially were given to people who were considered intellects and had the know how or experience to do certain jobs e.g. engineers! Unfortunately though most of those engineers became so focused on getting more tenders they forgot to build their companies in other directions to allow more people into the space. Most tender people lost those cars and houses because they relied on the next tender to define them. They stopped using their brains and thought this was the way out. Instead of creating sustainable companies the created companies with immediate needs that without government contracts could not sustain themselves!”
He explained to me but I was so lost!
“So what’s that got to with my hair business?”
I asked him.
“Is it a business you can sustain, does it have growth, can you compete with others etc! Those are all the questions you need to answer before you even consider it and the foresight that 5 years from now will you still be selling hair?”
He said without hiding his disdain for this idea of mine. He was not willing to budge.
“And speaking of Malema, today you cheer him for fighting corruption when he was built on corruption himself? Where is that intellect of yours now?”
He ended standing up. I want to fight back and clap him at the back of the head for saying that but I held back. This is one of those clever blacks who will never get the land back and you know what, when we get it back he doesn’t deserve it pshhh!
“It’s late now I am not going to share a bed with you. I am going to sleep in the spare bedroom if you don’t mind!”
I said standing up. I really did not want to continue this discussion with him. Politics is not my field. told around. He looked disappointed but his gentleman side kicked in I guess as he responded,
“It’s ok I didn’t expect anything else. I will make the bed for you and also change the sheets!”
He said. I felt a bit bad but he had said a lot of shit this evening anyway so why must he feel me in his bed. Besides its hot now sharing a bed sucks in such weather.
“Please come this way. I won’t put you in the guest room but in the spare bedroom next to mine. You are not a guest and I will not treat you like one!”
He said finding his voice again.
I told him.
“There is a lock behind the door so if you not feeling safe at any moment you can lock the door behind you!”
He told me with a smile. I must say I have seen it all but this was the first time a guy had ever said to me. It was actually very sweet and with all that’s going on hey against women.
“Thank you I am sure I am safe with you. Goodnight!”
I told him. I did not hug him or kiss him on the cheek. I walked straight into the room and closed the door behind me. It had been a very long day and I literally just dropped on the bed and passed out. I did not even dream that how tired I was.
In the morning I woke up to aroma of bacon, eggs and sausage sipping from underneath the door. It smelt so good. I woke up and went to the bathroom. On the mirror there was n note,
Pointing down to a brand new toothbrush and brand new tooth paste. Next to it was face towel and two more towels.
I said silently to myself holding my chest. I made that whimpering sound we girls make when we see a cute baby. This was really cute and sweet of him. I washed my face and brushed my teeth before I walked out to the kitchen.
“Simba that was very nice of you. I did not have either and finding them there was such a relief. That was very thoughtful of you and…”
I said as I entered the lounge but stopped mid sentence because I realized something, I was home alone. Simba was not here. What time was it? I switched on the TV to check the time. It was 0930. I had really overslept and at this time I am certain he was at work. On the table where we had had dinner is where he had set up my food. There was a second note.
“I am sorry I had to run, going to the gym first then from there straight to work. I took the liberty of washing your outfit from yesterday to give you something to wear today. Don’t worry I was not going to risk it I hand washed them. I did not put them in the drier though because it was going to make noise for you. Call me when you are up!”
I did not know what to say. Simba might be like Robocop but he was romantic I should give him that. Let’s be honest, the only hand washing I do is for my underwear and even then I sometimes chuck it into the washing machine. Before I ate I looked for the drier and my clothes. I put them in and I went and warmed up my breakfast. This guy really was spoiling me and it was working. I loved it not him though.
“Where is my phone?”
I asked myself out loud. I had actually not seen my phone this morning. I looked around and found it on the couch under the cushion. I left it there last night and the battery was on red, almost flat. I had 4 missed call from my sister.
“What do you want?”
I am murmured to myself. I always keep a spare charger cable in the car so I went to get it and charged it. I ate and went to bath. Again, this bathtub ah, claps once! When I came out my phone was ringing, it was Miriam.
“Dude you just went quiet, why didn’t you tell me you slept ok? I was so scared!”
She said as soon as I picked up the phone.
“I am sorry my dear, I did not sleep at home, I was too scared. I slept at …a friends!”
I told her.
“Mmmmm a friend whose name I know or don’t know?”
She asked me sarcastically but she was joking.
“Uthandi zinto wena just know I slept at a friends and I am safe!”
I told her but she was already on the next topic.
“Guess what? I spoke to Bongani about the business and he totally supports it. He says he will fund us as well he knows people that go to Turkey and India where they can make contacts for us if we choose not to go ourselves!”
She told me full of excitement. Miriam was never a proactive person so this was a good thing.
“We must meet and talk then! I mean we have to do proper research on this and make sure it won’t go wrong!”
I told her.
“Of course it won’t go wrong with your brains and all your rich friends I am sure we will have customers!”
She said laughing before she hung up. That comment she had made was very common where I come from, people assume your friends are rich depending on the job you do. Its not always true.
Eish I needed to do something else.
Call my sister.
I called her.
“Hey I tried calling you last night several times. You did not pick up!”
She said as soon as she picked up.
“I did not hear my phone.”
I told her.
“Where are you?”
She asked me.
I asked her.
“Please I am on a date right now, a breakfast date eish something happened we must talk!”
She went on to say.
“What do you mean you are on a date? Its 10am in the morning!”
I said laughing.
“Its worse than that eish when can I see you?”
I could hear she was very uncomfortable with herself right now and that’s when I heard her,
“Daddy, I want to go home now! I don’t like it here and I want to go to Aunty Lu…”
She hung up the phone. It was not network she hung up the phone.
That was Ntheteng right?
It had to be.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I want to start by praising you for all your beautiful work. I’ve been reading since 2015 and I must say I’m still hooked.
Sorry for the novel I’m about to write. I’m a 16 year old girl whose life is just painful truly. My parents divorced in 2004 and I was moving back and forth between my parents as a child. In 2013 my mother passed away from lung disease. It devastated my sister and I, but we made it through. I live with my father, his girlfriend, who started off as a makhwapeni, her four kids and my sister. Last year April, my dad’s girlfriend slapped me and he did nothing about it. Then around this time last year, she pulled me by my hair to the floor and dragged me around the floor, repeatedly slapping me. When I told her that she must leave me she’s not my mother, she said “Ya vele, akere waitsi o moshile kae(Yes, you know where you left her). My dad and sister were far away from home and I had to text my friends and ask them to call my dad because I was so scared. When my dad got here, he did nothing about it. All my friend’s parents called him and he still didn’t do anything, didn’t reprimand her or tell her to apologize. I tried telling my grandparents, but they still didn’t do anything. This year, I came home and I found her searching my bedroom, meanwhile I always close my door when I leave because I know she does as she pleases. Again I was so furious and my dad did not bother to do anything about it. And now my biggest problem, my dad is planning to marry this person in January and I’m so confused at how a man marries a woman who beats him and how a woman who loves herself will marry a man who beats her until she bleeds and cheats on her so much. The whole family feels like she’s only with him for the money, but they’re all cowards and won’t do anything about. I can’t be 16 and have to stress about such, and have to cry myself to sleep at night and just not get the happiness my friends have. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been thinking of killing myself. My sister wants me to forgive this person but I can’t forgive a person who’s insulted my mother the way that she did. I know I need to forgive but my heart just won’t allow it.
I humbly ask for everyone’s help here. Can everyone just advise me on what to do and where I can report this person because I know it’s child abuse.
Desperate Struggling Girl