Dumisani had never felt this humiliated before. In the entirety of his ministry he had never done anything that directly affected the running of its day to day function. He knew that the committees would always stand behind him but knowing that he had let them down broke his heart. He was not this person that he had become an opening to someone else could cause further exposure to his church. He had to go try talking sense into them again that’s how he found himself on the gates of this plush estate again.
“What house number are you going to sir?”
The guard in the booth said. It seemed like everywhere relevant in Jhb there was security now.
“3 Beech Avenue!”
He said confidently.
“May I say who is visiting?”
The guard asked again,
He said. The guard made the call and in about a minute came back and said,
“They say they don’t know a Dumisani! Is there another name?”
He sat there for a second and shook his head. They wanted him to humiliate himself because they knew truly well who he was.
“Yes. Reverend Sibeko!”
He said. This time the guard opened the boom gate for him to enter and came outside with a book to fill in plus a scanner.
“Is this really necessary!”
He asked the security guard,
“We don’t make the rules Reverend!”
He said and let him through. Now that he was here he realized that he had been impulsive and not really thought this through. He could not turn back now though because he had turned on to the road where the house was and someone was standing outside.
The man waiting to meet him said.
He said to the man as he came out of the car.
“I thought you will still be walking right now but I heard you made it to church on time! That was impressive of you I must say!”
The man said his voice dripping with sarcastic humor. He actually found it funny that he had left a man his age in the middle of nowhere in the most dangerous city in Africa in the wee hours of the morning.
“God showed me the way!”
He responded coldly.
“I am glad He did otherwise you wouldn’t be here!”
“Now you better have a bloody good reason why you are at my house on a Sunday when I am enjoying family time!”
The man said his tone getting sterner instantly.
“Mr. Gotora we need to discuss this thing of putting that girl in the church finance committee!”
The man responded,
“Sean is my name! Don’t call me Mister I am not a teacher and my father abandoned us very young so he does not deserve that honor either!”
The man said out of the blue.
“Ok then err Sean may you please reconsider having that lady in the company. It raises eyebrows and does the opposite of what you are trying to achieve!”
Dumisani explained. Before Sean could answer a kid ran from the back of the house,
“Daddy mommy says that lunch is ready and you mustn’t eat it cold!”
The kid shouted excitedly.
“I am coming dear go back inside!”
He told the little girl.
“I am going to tell you a story Reverend; I know you and your kind deal in stories. When I first came here from Zimbabwe I had nothing but my university degree. Did you know I have an accounting degree? Of course not. Anyway no matter where I turned no one would give a ‘kwerekwere’ a job! I started doing peoples gardens because to your people that’s what us Zimbabweans are good for no matter how much smarter we are!”
This was not going his was at all because even now the bitterness in his voice warned him that he had lost the argument already.
“Anyway, I slaved away until one day a boy, he could not have been more than 13 told me that I smelled! Imagine me, a grown man to be told that I smell! I beat that boy so badly I got arrested for it. The police beat me up because of course I don’t have rights in your land of Human Rights but they made one mistake, they did not throw me back over the border! Are you following?”
He asked Dumisani who was confused as to why he was being told this story.
“Yes I am!”
“I cleaned myself up and vowed never again will allow myself to be less than I am worth. I didn’t just have a degree I graduated 2nd in my class but here with so many uneducated people I was only good enough to cut grass!”
He said with so much anger in his voice. Dumisani could not understand what this had to do with the accountant who had been placed in the church.
“Do you know what the moral of the story is?”
Sean asked him,
“I am afraid I don’t!”
“Adaptability. I had to learn to adapt to survive! That’s the moral of the story so now you go figure out how to make it work in your church for my girl!”
He warned him without blinking an eyelid,
He said looking him in the eye,
“If you ever come to my house uninvited I will kill you myself and feed you to the crocodiles at the Zoo!”
He said and turned around and entered the house leaving Dumisani standing there speechless.
Church was lovely as usual but from time to time her husband just knew how to spoil it for her!
She screamed as she hit the steering wheel of her Porsche Cayenne. Ntokozo had left already so at least she could scream in peace. This time she allowed the tears she had refused to shed in the morning slide down her cheeks silently.
She tried him again.
“Dumisani I don’t care where you are! You need to come home ASAP because that stunt you pulled at church is not going to work!”
She screamed again on the phone. Sometimes she wondered if her husband still considered her feelings at all. Her husband had this uncanny way of surprising her with the topics he chose to discuss. To some extent she felt as though she was still his inspiration be it in a morbid way. Whenever they had a fight the topic at church would always have something to do with that fight. Sindi never one day thought they would have made it this far but sitting here in her mansion and Italian furniture her life felt empty. There was something missing. She was the envy of all those lying jealous women at church and she knew that at any moment they would gladly go after her handsome husband. Dumisani had never been an ugly person. In his younger days she had had to fight off many suitors to her throne and not one had stood a chance. At 48 however she knew that the one fight she could not win was starting to battle itself within her and that was time and age! The lines were starting to become visible now. She needed an intervention.
She shouted when she entered the house. Her niece was nowhere to be found. Usually she would take off her makeup immediately but today because of the earlier bruise she did not want to. She went straight for the wine in the fridge, Nederberg Barrone, poured herself a glass and added her own special mix, a shot of Jack Daniels to give it that sink. She did not sip the glass but took a good swig chugging it until it was half way.
“I might as well get drunk!”
She mumbled as she went and sent down. Her phone vibrated and she picked it up thinking it was her husband but if wishes were votes the DA would be in power right!
“Mum, we coming for lunch Lu and I so please tell dad so that we don’t surprise him. XoXo!”
It read. Her problems just seemed to have no end though.
“Ntokozo I thought I said you must not go and sit in the servants quarters what is wrong with you?”
She asked her sister’s daughter when she entered the room laughing from a conversation she was having with someone outside.
“Mma I just enjoy talking to Alice and them. They always have stories to tell you know!”
Her bubbly cheerful niece told her. Why couldn’t her own children be like this? When she met her husband he already had a son. Dumisani made a girl pregnant when he was still in Grade Ten and the girl had been in matric. His name was Unathi and they did not get along that much because her mother had wanted him to raise him one way and Dumisani another. When the son chose to stay with that witch of a mother of his it had broken his father’s heart. Five years ago he came to join the church broke and destitute, full of anger and had blamed his father for abandoning him.
“Aunty you just got lost in your thoughts there!”
Ntokozo said out to her. Her niece reminded her of herself growing up. She was bubbly and naïve. It’s not like she did not want her to mingle with the help but it embarrassed her sometimes the amount of wealth they had whilst others did not.
“Yes sorry. Your cousins said they are coming over today.”
She told her.
“Please tell Alice that she must make oxtail as that’s Uluthando’s favorite and also roast some chicken for Emihle! She has always been a fussy eater that one!”
She told her niece. Ntokozo liked being given responsibilities and in comparison to her cousins she was a marvel to have around. In comparison Uluthando, her first born was rude and arrogant. He had gone to some of the best schools money could offer but he scorned his father’s wealth. When he joined the EFF he had called him a Capitalist Pig yet he spoke with a twang that could embarrass 702 blacks any day.
“Oh ok I will do so. What would you like to eat?”
She asked her.
“I will just have a chicken salad! Nothing heavy for me!”
She said and Ntokozo posed for a second,
“Yes what’s on your mind?”
Said her niece.
“Aunty it’s the third day you will not have eaten anything solid is everything ok?’
The amount of empathy this child had made her wise beyond her years. She was so loyal and obedient. Her own daughter Emihle on the other hand was self destructive, flashy and she was very certain sleeping around. This was the curse she had been given and no matter what interventions she had done her kids were lost to her!
“Don’t worry about me! It’s this new diet I am on you will see the results soon!”
She told her. She was hungry that’s for sure but if she was to keep up with these young ones she had to make sacrifices.
“Honey I am home!”
Dumisani announced himself as he walked in a few hours later.
“I am in the TV room!”
She shouted out. He had a big bunch of roses and chocolates for her as had become custom after such a morning like the one they had today.
“Thank you dear they are lovely!”
She lied to him with the best smile she could master. She used to love flowers but lately she had come to associate them with pain.
“What smells so nice?”
He asked her.
“The children are coming today for supper so we making a late Sunday lunch for them. If you are hungry now I can make you a sandwich for now!”
She told him.
“I told you I don’t want Uluthando here until he apologizes!”
He responded to her his mood darkening! He had made it very clear to him and now this boy thought he could just waltz back into the home he had shunned.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Good day Mike and readers. I would like advice on a certain issue I’m having.
I’m a 26 year old lady, I started working this year and I can say, I love my job and the pay is good. I am in a long distance relationship now and have been with my partner for 5 years.
I have been engaged for ages, from 2014 and really wasn’t in a rush to get married because wanted to finish university first, so we had agreed to wait with my fiancé until I’m working. He has always been supportive of me finishing school, but I’ve never been financially dependent on him, I’ve always made sure I have an income even if it meant part time jobs.
My mom has been on my case lately asking me why isn’t he coming back to finish lobola, advising me that I can do better and that he is wasting my time and probably cheating on me since we in a long distance relationship, like she has nothing good to say about him, including commenting that his ugly and I’m too pretty for him.
So I confronted him to ask what his plan was regarding us and marriage.
To my surprise he says his not ready and want to sort out his finance and career first we will get married when he is ready. Now this didn’t sit well with me because his 35 and has a good job, but financially his irresponsible to a point that every month I have to “loan him” money every month and I do everything for our son , he even earns more than me, has no bond, just rents and pays off his car. He has two sons from a previous relationship and he can go years without seeing them even though I always encourage him to be more than a dad who can only offer his maintenance money. I always visit him in Gauteng and pay for everything, like he doesn’t give me a cent and I was ok with that but now I feel his taking advantage of me and I feel like I’m wasting my time because obviously things happen when he wants to and my feelings are not taken into consideration. It’s truly breaking my heart to think of us separating, but is it truly worth it waiting for something that might never come?., I’m ready to settle down and build a stable family environment for my son, but his not and I’m just thinking of giving up on us. Am I over exaggerating? Because this doesn’t feel right anymore, I don’t feel loved and I have this fear that he he will never settle down with me.
Sorry for the essay