There is always a missing someone on Twitter and Facebook but to be honest people just retweet and pass on the
problem to the next person. It happens so often that we have stopped caring literally. This has to be the most painful moment in existence when you lose a child! That moment when you realize that the most precious thing in your life has just slipped through your fingers. South African men are often such dead beats that very few people ever talk about a fathers love. Mbuso loved Ntheteng with all he had. Most men when they lose their lover and have a child do not always raise their own child. They will rather pay their relatives to raise the child for them as though a man cannot lower himself to be a care giver. Mbuso was different. I remember when I went to visit his Aunt Lynda how she had made mention of this. I admired him for what should be normal common sense but we live in a society were even women, progressive ones too will tell you a man can’t raise a daughter? Why not if in the same breathe you are preaching equality? It’s not a right for women to be single mothers nor is it a privilege for men to pawn off their daughters especially for other people to rise! Mbuso to me there was priceless!
I said out loud as I went to hug him. One of the neighbours who had hung around during the commotion came and helped us take him back the officer.
The police man said I think trying to make him go with him,
“Give him a moment for Christ’s sake!”
I snapped at him. What did he want him to do? I knew he had a job to do but he was being too much. Let it sink in.
“I would like nothing more than to do that but maam we are not even sure if it’s her. There are two other young girls reported missing and we are trying to make sure that we don’t make mistakes. I never said it was her. I said we found a body and we really would like to at least rule out guess work!”
He said again. Wait?
“I am lost! Are you saying you are not even sure if it’s her?”
I asked him.
“I never said it was her maam! We would like him to come with us so that he can say yes or no!”
The officer said a bit confused at his own blunder. To be honest Mbuso was in no state to go at this stage. Ok that’s unfair, had we heard what we had wanted ‘not’ to hear considering that because we had a missing child so the safe conclusion was to say it was hours.
“Its ok I will go! Mbuso you stay and I will be back!”
I told them not that Mbuso was listening. He looked like he was about to collapse. I did not know what to do for him and seeing a father grieve like this was probably one of the hardest things I had ever had to do. I drove behind the officer and thankfully he was not driving like the rest of his kind do. I don’t know if it’s the law of the blue light that no matter what the occasion is they must drive fast and recklessly trying to kill everyone else on the road. Police really abuse their privilege sometimes but now was not the time for complaints. We got to an open veld and there were a lot of cops and I think forensic people around. Yup, I did not know we had those either.
“I don’t think I can do this!”
I told him as my heart beat loudly and much faster than it should.
“Yes you can maam and I am afraid you have to!”
He told me. I was not even dragging my feet but they felt heavy as I walked towards the body that was still on the ground but surrounded by people.
“Please don’t faint, please don’t faint, please don’t faint…”
I chanted as I walked towards IT. I say IT with all due respect but I did not want to think of the lifeless body there as Ntheteng at all.
“It’s not her!”
I said immediately. The girl here I did not even have to see her face to know it was not. She was taller even lying there on the ground. I was relieved yes but I can’t lie seeing the body of a young girl like lying lifeless like that was heart wrenching! It really was. Who was going to make a call to her mother that they had found her child dead and I don’t want to even think about what this monsters had possibly done to her before they snuffed out her life.
“Are you sure maam?”
The officer asked.
“Yes I am sure!”
I told him.
“Eish this is hard. Please apologize to him for me but now we really have to find his daughter because I don’t want to end up going to confirm!”
The cop said clearly deeply aggrieved but I think also relived at the same time.
“It’s not her!”
I whispered again to myself as I stepped back and staggered towards my car. I did not want anyone to see me but when I got to my car I threw up. I had water in my car so I rinsed my mouth and sat down. I closed my eyes. I had an immediate intense headache and I could see blue and red lights in my head.
I heard in my head. It was Ntheteng’s voice. I swear I heard it as clear as day and as though she was standing right next to me. I opened my eyes only to be met by the bright flashlight of the cop’s torch,
“Maam are you ok I have been trying to wake you up for the past five minutes!”
He told me.
“Yes I am fine. It’s just that I was overwhelmed by relief I am sure I even fainted!”
I said trying to crack a joke.
“Is there any company that uses red and blue?”
I asked him in vein. Ok that was a stupid question and it was met with a stupid and sceptical look.
“I am not sure what you mean there are plenty I am sure!”
I tried to think now. At night where would red and blue be?
“Ok then but think red and blue in your search! I am a sangoma and the colours are playing in my head!”
I told him.
“Maam I think you should go home now. It is the exhaustion making you see things. This road is not safe so I have organized you an escort. They will take you all the way to the Engen then you will join the highway!”
He said and he walked away. I sat there altogether wondering what the hell to do next but ultimately decided to drive home. This is why this Sangoma thing irritated me. I always feared that I would see the wrong things or do the wrong things in the name of right or just. I looked stupid to the police officer I am very certain of it. At the garage the car that was escorting me turned away and I drove the rest of the way home. I should have stopped at the garage though and bought a coke! I needed the acid.
“It was not her!”
I called my sister to tell her. This news might be relief but it was not the best news because we all feared for the danger Ntheteng was in the longer things stayed like this.
“Thank heavens, Mbuso it’s not her! It’s not her! There is hope!”
She said over the phone as she hung up.
“Ntheteng is alive!”
I told them as I walked into the house.
“How do you know it?”
They asked me.
“I can just sense it.”
I told them.
“Did you have an episode of your sangoma things?”
My sister asked outing me in front of everyone. I honestly wished that I could have brought this out in my own time.
I asked her.
“What is it? Did you or did you not?”
She asked me.
“I had a vision but I can’t place it. I see a place with red and blue as the logo but at night you can’t tell!”
I told her.
“That’s not a lot to work with but it’s a start!”
“We have to go and search for her!”
Mbuso said to us again but the truth is like before we had no idea in which direction to go.
“I agree. I think we need to keep the same general area the police are in because that’s where the car was found.”
I told them. It seemed stupid because driving around in Jhb especially in that area could get you easily hijacked.
“Ok then you the only one with a car and Mbuso is in no state to drive so it will have to be you!”
My sister said.
“I will go with you guys as well!”
The neighbour whose name I still did not know said volunteering!
“Thank you very much!”
I told him. We all stood up ready to leave! I had given them hope but now what if I was wrong? What if they found her dead? It will be like I had killed Ntheteng twice to them because with cop at least they had already had to experience the possibility of this happening.
“Lungi are you ok?”
My sister asked me as I stood rooted the spot. I really could hear her voice in my head, was I losing it.
“I am fine!”
I told her snapping out of it. I asked the neighbour if he could drive us because I was not sure I would not pass out.
“Please hold my phone in case the police call again. They already know you so it will be easier!”
Mbuso said handing it to me. He should have given it to his fiancé but oh well, what can I say.
I said to him. I had a headache now and I don’t think I was still thinking straight at this moment. I just wanted to find her. We drove towards the place I had been with the police when the Mbuso’s phone rang. I did not know the number obviously but I did as instructed and picked up the phone.
A man’s voice said and before I could respond I will never ever forget what I heard!
“Daddy please come and get me!”
I could not believe it. The little girl’s voice said from behind or besides the man I don’t care.
“It was Ntheteng!”
I said out loud!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto
I have finally made it to the letter section lol and it’s not an honour because clearly I have problems. Hey everyone!
I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years now and it’s been one thing after the other with him. When I met my boyfriend he seemed to be the most ambitious guy in the world. He had a dream and a vision something he called a five year plan! I believed in him and constantly encouraged the vision. Three years on he is now telling me I am nagging and always put him under pressure. He has not made one move towards any of those big dreams he sold me to get into my pants. I make my own money and I have dreams of my own which I am pushing. I now feel like am exposing myself to a useless man now because he can’t do anything for himself except wake up in the morning to get his salary. He is so content in his Polo which is 5 years old mind you, drinks with the boys every weekend and unless I buy him clothes he never ever sees a reason to buy. He rents three rooms in a when he earns r25k I mean how seriously fucked up is that! When I ask him why he says that he is building up to something but when I check his statements I can’t tell where the money is going. He has no investments and I have actually done a credit check on him (I tricked him into it so no criminal activities here) and he has no debt just that he is bad spender. His peers have houses and businesses and this does not seem to inspire him. I got pissed off three weeks ago when he bought an expensive bottle of alcohol and actually celebrated that like it’s an achievement! If I wanted a loser I would have dated in Midrand there is plenty of those but now looking at those guys there I would be much better off!
What do I do about this potential deadbeat?