I think a lot of people take for granted how much we are brainwashed as a people.
It’s easy for the ones starting to become conscious of what it means to be black to judge the rest who are ignorant on it. If you grew up in a church going to a Sangoma was something you did secretly. Neighbors had no right knowing that information for fear of judgment yet when you go to the hospital, especially private the more visitors you have the better. In the villages where people believe that the craft is still respected, if you are not lucky you will be burnt alive after being labeled a witch. How many stories have you heard of entire families being burnt alive by people having wrong beliefs? That’s just the reality and once upon a time I had thought Sfiso had overreacted when the truth is our society has not evolved enough to realize being educated and modern does not mean that your traditions are shameful. Even that bible you take so much pride is labels you as Gentiles and have you ever wondered the word Gentiles would be in South African languages?
“Lungi what is going on here?”
Ezile asked again clearly unhappy about all this. Her demeanor was one of a woman who did not want to be messed with. She reminded me when I had job, in my office I was territorial and did not allow nonsense. That was her right now.
“I am sorry!”
“Maam this is not allowed here, I could get in trouble!”
She said to my aunt who was ignoring her because she continued with her thing.
“No no doctor we must respect people to have their own beliefs!”
Sfiso said taking me by surprise. I had honestly thought that the look he had given me was one of judgment and disgust.
“This is a hospital and we do not allow such. It is not me its hospital policy and any hospital staff present has a duty to stop it. Lungi you are my friend but I can’t allow this!”
Ezile pleaded with me. I am not sure if it was fear in her voice. She came across as pedantic so I was not surprised at all.
“Doctor can we talk outside?”
Sfiso asked her literally standing in front of her with his back towards my aunt and I. It was a clear ploy that naturally ushered her out..She did not argue as she was led out. I noted she made sure to close the door to my room behind her.
“So this is how your friends react to things that are this important?”
My aunt said sarcastically. That’s just the thing; everyone believes that whatever it is they do is more important than the next persons job.
“Aunty see the resistance I am facing from even my friends on this. I know you think I am stubborn but the truth it’s so hard to live in both worlds!”
I told her.
“Well you are going to have to choose what’s more important then, your friends or this?”
She dismissively and not stopping with her bones,
“Blow into here!”
She said sternly. I did not want to prolong this longer than necessary and I did so. We did it twice actually and she picked two bones which seemed to keep on landing on the same place.
“You are fine but your baby is not. I am not sure how to explain but the bones are telling me that ingane yakho needs an intervention!”
She said and I was not even listening because in all fairness I wanted to stop. The problem with believing in such things is that everything you do or see becomes a bad omen. You start seeing things which are not there. To my relief she packed her bones but part of the ritual includes snuff so she snorted her snuff and sprayed some towards my way. Snuff if you are not used to it makes you sneeze and I sneezed which made the two outside walk in.
Ezile said as she entered.
“Its ok I am done here anyway. Wena Doctor if you are really her friend tell her that she must get her house in order otherwise you will see her here every day!”
My aunt said to my doctor. She did not stay longer she packed her bags and left. The way she walked out made it clear that she was not happy and I think it’s because of the way Ezile had spoken to her I don’t know.
“I am sorry!”
I said to Ezile who just shook her head and walked out visibly annoyed.
I said finally left alone with him.
“I was not sure who to be more scared off the angry doc or the angry Gogo!”
He said by way of a joke,
I asked him.
“Yeah really one can poison me with white medicine and the other can strike me with lightening when I am in the toilet! Tjo just imagine the headlines in Daily Sun if that happens?”
He said and at that I laughed. This guy could be such an idiot when he wanted to!
“I don’t think anyone wants to end up in that newspaper because I won’t put it past them to make a joke out of you! Picture your obituary written ‘Here lies Sfiso who died taking a dump!”
He said and we both laughed.
“You are making my stomach hurt with all your jokes!”
I told him and he responded,
“That’s the right kind of pain hey. How are you anyway?”
He asked me.
“I am fine as can be expected. You came earlier than I thought you would? Don’t you have a woman to entertain?”
I asked him.
He responded. It annoyed me actually because why then was he here!
“She is hospital right now carrying my twins!”
He said cheekily.
“Ha ha ha very funny!”
I responded sarcastically.
“Whether you like it or not those kids are mine and I will do everything I can to protect you!”
He told me.
“I can protect myself!”
I said defiantly. Career women like me are not needy and we don’t need a man telling us that we cannot fend for ourselves!
He told me,
“You can take care of yourself and I will take care of you!”
“Ok then what do you want in return?”
I asked him.
“Nothing. You think I am not good enough for you and I don’t know why!”
“Oh that’s easy, you cheated on your pregnant wife and me being pregnant right now if that’s not de ja vu for you then you are dumber than you look!”
I told him which by my own admission was rather rude and definitely called for.
“That was a moment of weakness!”
He said to me but I could sense his discomfort as he said that.
“Yeah now your moment of weakness is growing in my tummy!”
I told him cheekily.
“You really can be mean you know that?”
He said pulling out a chair to sit down.
“Did I offer you a sit dude? Why are you so presumptuous?”
I asked him.
“Call security then!”
He said defiantly. I would have done it too but I had had all the drama I needed for one day so rather let me not get myself thrown out.
“Sfiso you and me fighting like this is not good for the pregnancy!”
I told him after what was like thirty minutes of silence in the room. He actually went on his phone and was playing funny Youtube videos clearly meant to annoy me. He kept on laughing whilst I was pouting.
‘I never fought with you by the way. You are the one that has been like this from the beginning!”
He told me nonchalantly.
“Ok then I was …”
Before I could finish the sentence a lady I had not seen before walked in,
She asked me when she entered. She had said Mrs. but I chose not to protest,
“Are you her husband?”
She asked and before I could even respond he responded,
He responded this presumptuous bastard. Before I could even say anything she continued,
“Good then that I found you both. Maam your medical aid is giving us problems. It seemed you are behind on your payments. From what I gather you have not been cancelled meaning if you pay whatever you owe there is a possibility that you can get it back!”
She explained like she knew my life story. I felt rather embarrassed now and to be honest without a job medical aid is one of the most difficult things to maintain. Why did they have to send a white administration officer though? It just felt like behind the smile she was just saying,
“Why did you come here if you could not afford?”
I now looked like those slay queens left with a r37000 bill. I did not even know what to say,
“Please take it from me; you don’t want to pay out of medical aid because you will be looking at around r55000 for your stay here alone!”
She explained and she was not lying too. You think fuel is expensive try staying in hospital for just one night. The experience can truly humble you.
“Oh ok thank you for that. We will fix the problem ASAP!”
Sfiso answered manly taking charge. The white lady walked out and he turned to me and said,
“Lungi I know you live your own life but this is irresponsible! How do you not have medical aid when you are pregnant and clearly always sickly? Do you think that your aunty will take care of you until you give birth?”
He said angrily,
“Dude don’t be condescending towards me or get the fuck out?”
I snapped at him. That jibe on my aunt was uncalled for!
“I don’t care!”
He screamed so loud I was startled.
“You have my kids in there and I will not let your selfish pride bring any harm to them! What the fuck is wrong with you? How do you cancel medical aid of all things?”
I wanted to give him a sharp comment about government clinics that so many people use but then I remembered that once you work going to a free clinic is like bathing with cold water in winter. Its arrogant to say but it’s true, it’s truly embarrassing to go there.
“Sfiso stop shouting ok I don’t want you drawing attention.”
I told him trying to calm him down.
“Ok then tell me why you would just a stupid thing like that?”
He asked me. I posed and then a tear just left my eyes,
“I lost my job ok and SARS has frozen my accounts.”
I told him and he looked at me with a blank stare,
“I don’t follow why would SARS block you unless you…”
He posed to think,
“I am broke dude and I don’t know what to do!”
I told him and the tears flowed. So much for not stressing as the doctor had asked.
When it rains it pours.
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thank you for the platform to write in.
I am in trouble guys. There is a woman at work that I am so in love with I can’t even think straight on the days she is not there. She is beautiful, sweet, soft laugh and very thoughtful. I know all this because from the day it started as a small crush I started talking to her and now I am in this mess. The big problem is that she is married and as if that’s not enough she is unhappily married. Her husband is cheating on her and its not the first time. He even cheated once with a colleague of ours. I just wish I could punch him for hurting such a beautiful soul but I am not stupid. I took the common sense pill and started avoiding her at work as we had become good friends. Being the good person she is she started following me around. There is a work conference in Port Elizabeth in two weeks time. We are both going and I know something might happen between us. I feel bad because with the way I feel for her if anything goes down I would have taken advantage as she is really vulnerable right now.
How do I play this right? I am in love with the wrong woman.