Let’s take it back to where it all started maybe together we could figure out where it all went wrong. Maybe we can be able to identify all the signs that were there but I failed to notice.
It now 14 years ago and I am 20 years old. I am doing my teaching practical at a school in Seshego. My name at this point in time is Pheladi Molopa from Glen Cowie in Sekhukhune district. I am new at this place and I don’t know anyone I am renting a back room not far from my school.
Today is Sunday and I need to find myself a church to attend while I am this side. I am a God fearing child who was raised in a God fearing home. One of the tenants in the yard tells me she is off to attend a church in a zone 2 after she heard me tell my mom over the phone that I am going church hunting. I decide to tag along with her and hope to enjoy the service there.
We drive to church in my sgedlembe (Jalopy) as we get to know each other. Okay maybe the car is far from being a sgedlembe but it’s not new either. My mother passed in on to me when she bought a new one last year.
The drive with Cate is very pleasant she is bubbly energetic and outspoken while I am what you would call ‘the shy type’. Cate directs me to church while she gives me her whole life story in just 10 minutes. I think I like her already.
We soon arrive at church. Its big and modest you can tell they have a large following. We are welcomed and ushered to our sits the moment we walk in. The service is beautiful and I am in love with the way the pastor ministers. His delivery of the scripture is somewhat interesting and powerful. I have now decided Glory to God Ministries is going to be my home during my time here.
“Hi my name is Thapelo and I have never seen you here before is it your first time in our church” says the guy who was playing the keyboard earlier.
It’s now after church and I am waiting for Cate to come back from the ladies so that we can make our way home.
Me: “Hi and yes it’s my first time” I say with I smile.
“Thapelo they are looking for you at the back” says another guy who just reached where we are standing.
Thapelo: “I hope to see you around” he says before walking off.
“Hi I hope my brother was not bothering you”
“No he wasn’t” I say giving him a smile.
“My name is Tshepo Mamabolo and I hope you enjoyed the service today”
Me: “Actually I did”
Tshepo: “So we will be seeing you back here again soon”
Me: “Every Sunday I plan to make GTG my church away from home”
Tshepo: “Church away from home where is home?”
Me: “Glen Cowie”
Tshepo: “Glen Cowie as in Guardian Angel?”
Me: “Yes Guardian is in Glen Cowie”
Tshepo: “Okay. Since you plan on making us a church away from home maybe you can join us for bible study on Wednesdays at 17:30 if you are free”
Me: “I will make time thanks for the invite”
Tshepo: “I will see you on Wednesday then” he says walking off as soon as Cate arrived.
Cate: “Ne areng Mr holier than thou?” she says as soon as we get to the car.
Me: “Wow Cate ‘Mr. holier than thou’ come on” I say laughing
We drove back to our rooms with Cate telling me about the whole Mamabolo dynasty
So Wednesday came and after School I went home and prepared myself to attend the Bible study at GTG. I drove alone because Cate was preparing for a test that she was writing the next day. You see Cate was a student at Capricorn FET College studying electrical engineering.
When I arrived at church I was shocked to see how packed the place was. I was wasn't expecting a large crowd especially considering that the Bible study was only for the youth and it was during the week. I was welcomed by Thapelo at the door.
We stood there for some time while making small conversations. He was down to earth and easy to get along with. He had this soft spoken aura about him. I later learned that it was not just an act Thapelo is still the most humble person I have ever met. Down to earth and patient. To this day I have never seen him loose his cool no matter how hostile the situation is.
Tshepo: "Hi you came? Thank you very much for honoring my invitation" he said excitedly giving me a hug.
Thapelo stool there shocked at his brother who just disturbed our conversation without any care in the world. The guy came out of nowhere and boom we were sharing hugs like old friends. All I could do was smile shyly and nod.
Tshepo: “She did say she is here with me right?" he said to his brother who looked very disappointed.
Thapelo looked at me with eyes seeking an answer and all I could do was just smile. I mean what do you say to that?
Thapelo: "I guess I didn't not give her the chance to explain that since I was talking too much. You know how I get sometimes. It was great seeing you again Pheladi I guess I will be seeing you around" he said with a smile before walking off.
Tshepo and I stood there making small talk until it was time for us to get started. He offered me a chair before taking his place in the middle of a center to lead the Bible study. It was amazing how good he was his interpretation of the word was mature and interestingly beautiful.
Tshepo was also down to earth but not at Thapelo's level. He had this leadership thing about him and he was good with his tongue. When he spoke he spoke with such authority and confidence something I found lacking in Thapelo.
It was clear that as much as Thapelo was older than Tshepo he didn't possess Tshepo's leadership or communication skills. It’s no surprise that Tshepo grow up to take over the ministry after his father's passing even though he was not the first born male child.
After the Bible study session Tshepo insisted on driving me home because it was not safe to drive alone at night as a woman while making his brother to drive behind us so that they could drive back together in one car. From this day going forward Tshepo and I grew closer and eventually fell in love.
He was only a year older than me and at the time doing his second degree because God showed him that he is not the type to seek employment but his destiny was to be a business man and create employment.
Now that I am recapping all this I think Tshepo has always been a bully. A bully that used his tongue as the most dangerous weapon. He could charm his was out of a very sticky situation by just using words just like he charmed his way into my life and later my heart.
He also had a sense of entitlement if he wanted something he would make sure he gets it. It’s all clear now he wanted me and he went out of his way to get me disregarding his own brother's feelings. I am talking about his brother because I later learned that Tshepo knew how Thapelo had a thing for me and still went out of his way to court me.
I must have been blinded by love not to notice this up until now when it’s way too late. But how many of us could have seen this as a red flag?