Chapter 4


Manqoba : There will be no funeral there is nothing to bury. 

Mzwandile : Impossible 

Manqoba : Everything burned down to ashes there are no bones. Nothing. 

(My father is pacing the room he is sweating) 

Mthunzi : He is right bafo The forensics confirmed. 

(Mthunzi is my father's youngest brother) 

Mzwandile : No!!! (He yelled) 

maNcwane : Awuzosithethisa ke Mzwandile Your wife burned to ashes. If you want someone to blame It's her. She died due to her recklessness we told her countless times ukuthi ecime ikhandlela melala. 

Mthunzi : maNcwane that is a bit harsh 

(maMyeni walked in. she is Mthunzi's wife) 

maMyeni : Bakwethu kahleni ngomsindo You are drawing unnecessary attention from the neighbors. 

Manqoba : Our lives must go on. maKhumalo is gone and we can't bring her back. 

Mzwandile : We will bury the ashes 

(maNcwane clapped once) 

Manqoba : My family won't be part of that funeral singcwabe umlotha? You are out of your mind Mzwandile. 

Mzwandile : bafo ngiyacela this is my wife. She deserves a dignified funeral. 

Manqoba : No Mzwandile I won't spend my money on some useless funeral. 

Mzwandile : Mthunzi bafo ngiyacela.You do know that if i had money I was going give my wife a proper send off but I have nothing. They didn't pay me at work again. 

(My father was right. He worked with no pay sometimes.) 

Mthunzi: I don't know bafo. Manqoba is right having a funeral will be a waste of money. Money that you don't have. 

Mzwandile : Kwalunga follow me. 

(I followed him and we walked out) 

(We went home. He is carrying a plastic and a shovel. We got home and he started gathering the ashes he poured all the ashes into the plastic and asked me to follow me) 

(He started digging a hole and filled it up with ashes) 

Mzwandile : Lala kahle Khumalo Mntungwa Mzilikazi kamaShobana. Lala uphumule Mbulaz'omnyama. 

(I guess this is my mother's funeral I don't believe this) 

Mzwandile : Say your final goodbye to your mother Kwalunga 

(I don't know what to say I'm so confused at the moment) 

(I walked closer to my father I cleared my throat) 

Kwalunga : Mama your death took me by surprise. I wish I didn't leave you alone that day. You may be gone from my sight but you are not gone from my heart

May the wind of heaven blow softly and whisper in your ear how much I love you. 

(My tone is changing. I want to cry. my father shook my shoulders roughly) 

Mzwandile : Don't do that Kwalunga Don't do that!! (He is shouting) 

Kwalunga : I'm not crying baba I'm not crying. I promise. 

Mzwandile : Good pull yourself together and start burying your mother. 

(He means the ashes. He hands me a shovel) 

Mzwandile : You are a man now Kwalungalet that sink in. 

(I nod and bury my mother's ashes) 


(I passed my Grade 11 with flying colors my hard work paid off.) 

Kwalunga : Baba my grandmother called todayI want to go and stay with her. 

(My father sighed) 

Mzwandile : Is staying here really that bad mfan'wam? 

Kwalunga : I can't stop thinking about my mother I want to heal and I need some time with myself to think. Going to uMlazi will really help me. 

Mzwandile : What about school Kwalunga? 

Kwalunga : I don't know baba

Mzwandile : What do you mean by that? 

Kwalunga : Baba I'm not coping please allow me to be a man and decide what's best for myself please. 

Mzwandile : Kwalunga school is very important maybe if I went to school our lives would have been different. 

Kwalunga : If I stay here I won't pass my matric trust me baba. 

Mzwandile : Kwalunga don't say that you know my son the power of tongue is something else be careful of what you say. 

Kwalunga : Baba I will find a way to complete my matric. 

Mzwandile : It's all about dedication son put your mind to it and trust me you will make it. 

(I sigh) 

Kwalunga : It's ok. Let me visit my grandmother and I will come back. 

Mzwandile : Now that's better Kwalunga you are the future of this family. 

Kwalunga : I'm trying my best to meet your expectations of me Baba 

Mzwandile : You are in the right lane. Just finish your matric. 

Kwalunga : l will baba. 

Mzwandile : I am proud of you son you are the best thing that ever happened to our lives. 

Kwalunga : I will continue making you proud. 

Mzwandile : When are you planning to visit your grandmother then? 

Kwalunga : Tomorrow Baba Ngizogibela i bus ka 08h00.

Mzwandile : This should cover your trip. 

(He said giving me R100) 

Kwalunga : Ngiyabonga Baba

Mzwandile : Ungikhonzele ku Mkhwekazi wami. 

Kwalunga : I will baba I need to go and see someone before it gets dark. 

Mzwandile : A girl? 

(My eyes are wide open) 

Kwalunga : No baba! (I laughed) 

Mzwandile : You are a handsome young man and I'm sure every girl wants you so I get it Lunga (He laughed) 

(I don't remember when was the last time that I actually laughed like this with my father.) 

Kwalunga : There is no girl baba eish. 

Mzwandile That "eish" answers my question go to your girlfriend Kwalunga. 

(I laughed and walked out) 


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