Alex: “You can do this Rori remember I believe in you. The team and I will be here to help with the Q&A ohk” Alex says before taking his sit. I smile and nod. I take my sit next to Alex and rub my sweaty palms against my pants in an attempt to wipe them. The chairperson stands up and welcomes all of us. The minutes from the previous meeting are read and adapted and we start with the agenda of the day. The first to present is a representative from finance department then communications and lastly me. I must say I was nervous at first but after few minutes I was just flowing. It’s a good thing that I was well prepared. Few questions were asked after the presentation and everyone was satisfied with the answers that we provided. The board was so impressed that they decided to increase our budget by 30% more than what we were asking for. We are done with presentations and having lunch. He is sitting on the same table with me in fact he took a sit next to mine while deserting his sit from a table reserved for board members.
Him: “So we meet again who would have though huh?” he says laughing
I am not going to answer that if he thinks I feel bad for blocking him otlaba strong. I did not drink his wine nor did I ask for it.
Him: “Great presentation in there by the way Rorisang you are going far” he says after sometime.
Me: “Thank you Mr.?” I say with a smile.
Him: “Thendokhae Sioga just call me Thendo”
Me: “Thank you Thendo what does your name mean? Its Tshivenda neh”
Him: “It means praises to him him being God. My mother says she did not have an easy pregnancy because of her blood pressure and I was not meant to be carried full term so when she did and gave birth to a healthy baby she felt she it was all by God’s grace and he deserved all the praises”
Me: “Wow I love Venda names they all have meanings. I had a friend in Varsity called Onarene and she explained that her name means God is with us”
Him: “Don’t worry we will give all our babies meaningful Venda names like ‘Akonaho Mutshidzi……”
I laugh louder than I intended aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves.
Him: “No naka ni a divha? (You are beautiful) I would give my all to hear you laugh like that every day” he says with a smirk on his face.
I just laugh is this man really hitting on me at a business lunch? I choose to ignore his comment and carry on asking him questions about Venda land. I have never been to Venda but I hear it’s a very beautiful part of our province and the people there are very warm and welcoming. All I know about Venda is that there are lots of fruits. Thendo is surprised when I say I have never been to Venda and he offers to take me on a road trip this weekend. I wanted to say no but he just did not take no for an answer. I finally agreed to go with him after much convincing from his side. I am now very excited about the road trip I can’t wait. I know I am the most cautious person but I feel like I can trust Thendo he is soft spoken and very easy to get along. Unfortunately he has to leaves immediately after lunch coz he has a court case to attend at 14:00. Apparently he is not a board member in our company he was attending today’s meeting on behalf of his brother who couldn’t make it. He however owns a law firm with offices in Polokwane and Thohoyandou.
After lunch Alex informed me that I can leave early and rest he appreciates the way I represented him and how hard I worked on the presentation and proposal for the board. As annoying as he is Alex does gives credit where it’s due. I will just have to call Phumla to fetch me. He tells me that he will send a driver to pick me up as he was still busy with something. The driver will drop me at his house and he will drive me home as soon as he is done. I am just chilling in my office when Tebogo walks in.
Tebogo: “I hear you killed them in there girl tsena kamo” she says raising her hand for a high 5.
Tebogo: “Nothing beats hard work girl. I see you are ready to leave how are you getting home coz di taxi tsa Seshego di on strike?”
Me: “Phumlani offered to drive me home”
Tebogo: “So are you guys official?”
Me: “No we are just friend”
She chuckles I guess she thinks I am messing with her.
Tebogo: “just be careful girl”
I don’t even know why she doesn’t like Phumla. She made it clear that she is not in support of our friendship since we started hanging out. I once asked Phumla if they have a history but he assured me that he did not even know her name until the day he had lunch with us.
Tebogo: “Do you know how complicated it is dating a Zulu man?”
What is with Tebogo vele?
Me: “I wouldn’t know but I take it it’s the same as dating any other tribe”
Tebogo: She chuckles “How would you know what other tribes behave like since you only dated one guy and that ended more than what? 6 years ago”
I look at her in disbelief. Why would she throw that at my face that something I shared with them in confidence and now she attacks me with that? I am lost for words and I don’t even know what to say to her but I cannot hide the hurt on my face.
Tebogo: “I am sorry that come out wrong all I mean is be careful Rori this could be your first relationship in a long time and only a second in your life time. Don’t dive too deep and keep your reservations and a little room for disappointment. I am looking out for you and that’s my two cent sisterly advice”
Maybe she is right I mean I have no experience in relationships and I have been off the game for too long.
Me: “I understand thanks for looking out for me I promise to be careful and not dive into anything too deep. At the moment you don’t have to worry we are just friend”
She smiles and walks over to my side for a hug
Tebogo: “I care about you Rori and remember I am on your side always”
My phone rings and the call is from reception telling me that the driver has arrived. He must have been close by. I pack up my backs and say my goodbyes to Tebogo lock the office and make my way out. I find the driver by the reception and he immediately leads me to the car carrying my bags. He is such a nice man almost the same age as my father. He introduces himself as Bra Jed and tells me that he has been driving for the IT Company and since its inception 8 years ago and he was a taxi driver before that. I am shocked as to why would Phumla send me a company driver and car would his boss be so understanding with this whole thing? Hai aretsi.
We drive into Broadlands estate houses here are very expensive and this is one of the most expensive estates in Polokwane. Kante how much money is in IT vele it’s not like he owns the company. To be honest I don’t even know Phumla’s job title in that company. I look at the houses with admiration. I can’t wait for the day I can afford to buy a house like one of these ones here for Ora and I. Knowing my daughter and her love for finer things in life she would be so happy here.
Bra Jed: “Refihlile mam” he says pulling up to a beautiful double story house.
Me: “Ke a leboga Pa” I say returning a smile. Wow the sight before my eyes is really beautiful I find myself in front of a very beautiful house. Bra Jed opens the door for me and I see Phumla waiting at the end of the drive way looking all yummy. He is still wearing same clothes but one can’t overlook his sexiness.
Be careful of your friend Rori. She is jealous of your blooming relationship with Phumlani. I wouldn't take her advice if I were you.