Most people make bad decisions in life. Very few of us end up in the career path we wanted to begin because growing up was a series of mishaps or stars not aligning in the way we had wanted them to be. No one ever woke up wanting to be a call centre agent, a taxi driver or in my case I never thought one day I would want to be a teacher. They can candy coat the profession with fancy names like educator but being a teacher in South Africa is like dating a South African man. It’s suicidal as one wrong move could definitely be your end. We need to earn though and why we end up where we are setting for less. I had an opportunity to do something here and much as the advice my mother had given was life saving the reality is that you do not eat good intentions. I needed to find her business and maybe this might end up saving her very life from my father too.
“Mum I know you think you know something but that is far from the truth. You should come visit so you can see for yourself.”
I told her. Ada was sitting there so I had to speak in Zulu so he would not understand. Sometimes these people not knowing our languages really is an advantage.
“I can’t stop you from doing the things that you are doing because you kids think us the parents are backward and know nothing but we know how it will end.”
She told me. Her voice had turned morose now all of a sudden. I almost blurted out that she sounded dramatic but you don’t tell a Zulu mother that. It will end in tears.
“Mum I am fine. There is nothing happening that you should concern yourself with I promise.”
I reassured her even though I knew I was lying. Sitting in my living room, wow I actually had a living room was a man built like a fridge looking for a rough diamond. These are things you can’t make up. I wont even lie and say that I knew what a rough diamond was because with us we only get to see the diamonds when they are shiny and on rings. That explains why to me it had just been a stone.
“Well that is not what your father says, he says that even when he came your clothes had changed and you looked expensive!”
I laughed but respectfully so because these are political waters you tread carefully. With parents they tend to always take each side eventually so you have to watch your step carefully before you fall for a trap they set you.
“So that’s what this is about, ubaba!”
I said to her and before she could respond I said,
“Mama I was on campus on campus if you dress funny no one will ever share their notes with you. People here are so image conscious and they tend to stay withing those circles. People like us from Mooi River have to work twice as hard to fit in and be treated as equal. Besides he is just bitter that I advised you not to give him the money!”
I told her. Deep down I was seething because he had coming here asking for my help next thing he was getting me in trouble with my mother. I was not even dressed different that day he came or was I?
“Don’t do things that you will regret in future Samkelisiwe. I am begging you. Your father says you have forgotten your culture and you talked to him like he was your age. He says you did the same thing when you attacked him at the tshisanyama here. He says it’s Joburg that has corrupted you! He even called you loose! I was so angry at him for saying that. He wants you to go for virginity testing because he thinks wa feba. Those are his words not mine!”
Zulu men love pushing the culture agenda to suit their opinions. “Awukho umuzi kababa oyovuswa isifebe” trying to shame women. Lapho kusho uvobe into edakwa ize ihlanze. Eyi fusegani maan nina.
“Upambene ubaba, does he think I will agree to go virginity testing right now?”
I asked her but even though my voice was defiant deep down my heart was pounding. My father had a way of manipulating situations to get things his way. Even my mothers tone sounded like she had forgiven him.
“I am serious Samke and you say you are a good girl so as a good girl you are going. There are too many bad spirits in this house which we must cleanse!”
She told me in no uncertain terms. Over my dead body though. So many of these oppressive cultures did not work for me anymore just because being woman means be subjugated to standards that men do not live by.
“Mum I have to go, I am at school!”
I told her and without saying anything further I hung up. It was a bit rude and abrupt but my body was in shock. I had had sex twice in the last week and one of them had been with a python so big I felt I would never walk straight. The other one does not really count. Speaking of which if a man has such a small dick he has no right demanding anything from a woman. He must respect himself enough to know that he might as well be one of the girls.
“Sorry about that it was my mother!”
I told Ada who was sitting patiently checking something on his phone.
“It’s ok nwa lewa!”
He responded. Nwa lewa my ass this man had just called me bitch I did not feel like “beautiful girl” anymore.
“Is everything ok with your mother?”
He asked me as if he cared.
“No she is being as dramatic as usual; she is on my case about something I am not ready for!”
I confided in him.
“The woman is impossible!”
I added letting out a fake frustrated scream. I told him.
“Are you hungry would you like something to eat?”
I asked trying to sound as calm as possible. I really did not want him to see that I was panicking over the real reason I knew he was here.
“I don’t think I can eat, I need to fix this mess first them I will be alright!”
“Ok then but I am hungry and I can’t eat alone when I know my man has not eaten!’
Rich guys really get away with a lot. This guy had just called me bitch and I was here calling him my man. Where was my badge of honour man are trash hashtag now?
“You can eat, I am good don’t worry!”
He said. He was now changing his tone. He sounded like someone who was deep in thoughts. He followed me with his eyes as I went to the kitchen. I was really scared at this stage.
“I am sure you are here for your money!”
I remembered another import thing not that he had forgotten.
“That could help!”
He said standing up. Where was he going? I went to the bedroom to fetch it. Did the man not decide to follow as though I was going to do something shady. I am sure he wanted to check the room for himself. I opened the suitcase were the money was.
“We had to separate it amongst us so that it would not be detected by the scanning machines. We also checked in our bags separately this way they would not see the bags bunched together!”
I told him trying to distract him as I saw him open the wardrobe. He was barely listening to me.
I said his name. He did not respond as he was clearly concentrating on his mission.
“Is there something you are looking for?”
I asked him. He picked up the jacket I had in Cape Town and frisked it. He checked the pockets even turning them inside out.
“Are you serious right now? Do you think I would lie to you about a stone I didn’t even know as important before you told me?”
I asked him. He looked at me when I said that meaning he had been listening all along.
“After all this time you still think I will rob you?”
I asked him. He did not respond but instead he picked yup my old suitcase the one with the shoe that had the diamond in it. My heart was beating so loud I could even hear it. Could he hear it?
“Ada what the hell are you doing? I did not even have that bag with me in Cape Town. Wow, I can’t believe this. I carry over seventy five thousand for you through high security and you think I would steal a stone?”
I asked him coming to stand in front of me.
“How did you know that it’s over seventy five thousand?”
He asked me without pausing to stop what he was doing. My chest was ready to pop out of my chest at this moment.
“You know what, do what you want. I will sit there in the corner until you are finished. First it was bitch and now you are insinuating that I am a criminal! All in one day. Keep going!”
I told him as though he had anything to lose from losing me. From the angle I was sitting I could see the kitchen door. My phone was still in my hand, I had money on my card still so why not run.
“I am so disappointed in you!”
I told him as he took the clothes that where on too out first. Next layer would be shoes.
“Nkosi yam ngiceli ungisize!”
I prayed to myself as my mouth ran dry.
I said out loud and I stood up angrily to show that I was not joking. The man must have been a bouncer in his side hustle because he was totally u
“You can take it all back!”
I said as I could see the shoe now. If he put his hand down now he was definitely going to touch it.
What to do now?
I had one choice. Run.