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Chapter 1


(After Nomathingo's parents passed away it was over for the Ugu Kingdom. Her father had no son to take over the throne after his death and women weren't supposed to rule so Nomathingo was no longer a princess There was no royal house to brag about anymore. After the death of her mother She had no one else. The Cetshwayo family took her in and they raised her as one of their own. The Cetshwayo's were also from Ugu Kingdom but after the death of Queen Nandi they all moved to Emalahleni village. They loved Nomathingo but things became complicated when no man was willing to marry her. Every month they held a ceremony called Umgidi where different Kings and their Princes came to choose one lucky virgin lady for their Prince. Nomathingo was never lucky. She was never chosen) 


(Cetshwayo made it a norm to take Nomathingo to Ugu where Nomathingo was born. Where King Bhekifa and Queen Nandi ruled years ago. He took Nomathingo there the day before uMgidi) 


Cetshwayo : Your father was a respected King around here and everyone loved Your mother Queen Nandi. They may be dead but you are a princess Nomathingo and you will forever be one. Walk like a princess and keep your head 


Nomathingo : I'm no longer a princess baba. I'm just like any other girl in the village 


Cetshwayo : No no. Princess Nomathingo you need to believe in yourself. 


Nomathingo : I understand baba and I know you only want the best for me but the truth is I failed you baba. Ngihlazo emndenini wako Cetshwayo 


Cetshwayo : No my princess. Tomorrow you will find your prince. Believe me princess Nomathingo. Believe me 


Nomathingo : What if I don't baba. You know what's going to happen King Benzangakhona will banish me. 


Cetshwayo : I won't allow that. I'm going to protect you princess Nomathingo 


Nomathingo : You can't protect me anymore Nzwakele. We all know the rule When a woman turns 21 she needs to leave home and get married to one of the princes. 


Cetshwayo : I will speak to King Benzangakhona. 


Nomathingo : Nzwakele ngiyacela leave it. If you keep going back to the King he will start asking questions and eventually he will discover the truth. 


Cetshwayo : What is the truth Princess? 


(Nomathingo stopped walking and took a deep sigh) 


Nomathingo : I don't have royal blood Nzwakele. I'm a commoner here


(Cetshwayo took her hand and squeezed it) 


Cetshwayo : You are not a commoner Princess Nomathingo. You have royal blood you are from the Ugu Kingdom. Your father was a King and your mother was a Queen. 


Nomathingo : Only you know that Nzwakele. People from the village don't know that King Benzangakhona doesn't know that. 


Cetshwayo : I will tell him. The people from Emalahleni village deserve to know the truth about you. It is time


(Nomathingo kneeled down and bowed down in front of Cetshwayo) 


Nomathingo : Baba you can't tell anyone that I'm not your daughter not even the King If you tell them they will send me to the orphanage and you know how they treat girls at the orphanage. 


(Cetshwayo helped Nomathingo to stand up) 


Cetshwayo : I made a promise to your father that I would take care of you and I'm not going to break that promise. Let's go


( They arrived at the Ugu river where King Bhekifa and Queen Nandi were laid to rest) 


Cetshwayo : Speak to your parents Princess. Ask them to guide you 


( The sound of the river was deafening and the stream was supposed to be calm as soon as Nomathingo put her hands into it.) 


Cetshwayo : Go ahead Princess 


(Nomathingo sinked her hands in the river but the sound of the river continued. Nomathingo was puzzled

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She slowly turned her head to Cetshwayo and shrugged her shoulders) 


Cetshwayo : Drink it my Princess 


( Nomathingo bowed her head and drank water but the sound never stopped. Nomathingo stood up angry) 


Nomathingo : They don't recognize me anymore Cetshwayo. Let's go home 


Cetshwayo : That's not true. 


Nomathingo : Then how do you explain this baba? Are they angry? But why? 


Cetshwayo : Maybe things will go well tomorrow Emgidini


Nomathingo : Do you really think so? 


Cetshwayo : Yes. Come my princess we need to go back to the village before sunset. 


(The next day Nomathingo woke up at dawn and made fire outside. She boiled water in a pot and she took a bath. Nomathingo was the eldest. Cetshwayo had 2 daughters Gugulethu and Alondwe who were younger than Nomathingo. Alondwe walked in while Nomathingo was getting dressed.) 


Nomathingo : Dadewethu 


Alondwe : Sisi. Is there any water remaining? 


Nomathingo : Yes. Are you hungry? I need to make umdoko (Porridge) as soon as I'm done here. 


Alondwe : Don't worry I will make it Hamba uyokha ubulongwe (Cows dung) 


(In the village they used cow dung to swarb the floor) 


Nomathingo : Ok. Thank you dadewethu 


Alondwe : Please be quick kumele siyotheza (Collect woods) 


(Nomathingo combed her hair and applied petroleum jelly on her face) 


Nomathingo : Let me go


(Nomathingo walked out and grabbed an old bucket. She went straight to the kraal to get cow dung and as soon as she finished she went back and she poured water in a bucket that was full of cow dung. She mixed it together) 


Alondwe : Are you not going to eat first? 


Nomathingo : I'm not hungry 


Alondwe : Are you nervous about uMgidi wanamuhla? 


(Nomathingo pulled up her dress and tied it up above her knees. She grabbed the bucket and went to the rondavel. Alondwe followed her) 


Nomathingo : Did you sweep the floor? 


Alondwe : Yes. Dadewethu uyasaba angithi? 


(Nomathingo kneeled down on the floor and started mopping the floor with cow dung using her hand) 


Nomathingo : Yes I'm scared Alondwe. What if they don't choose me? You know what's going to happen right? 


Alondwe : Then don't go dade. You don't have to go there 


Nomathingo : I have to go there because if I don't they will think I'm no longer a virgin. 


Alondwe : King Mzwengezwi is the one coming today along with his son. I hope they will choose you Noma


Nomathingo : I hope so too 


Alondwe : Let me help you khona sizohamba siyotheza 


Nomathingo : Ngiyabonga 


(Minutes later they were done and Gugulethu joined them in the kitchen where they were washing dishes) 


Gugulethu : Bo Cetshwayo 


Nomathingo : Usuvukile dadewethu 


Gugulethu : Yes I was preparing imvunulo yakho ( your traditional attire) 


Nomathingo : Thank you sisi


Gugulethu : Asambeni siyotheza bakwethu umuntu ephelelwe icala 


(They laughed. Gugulethu was very lazy) 


Alondwe : I'll go and get the axe and hand saws


Gugulethu : Uphathe nocelemba Alo


(Alondwe walked out) 


Gugulethu : Mtaka Mah unjani kodwa? 


Nomathingo : I'm nervous Gugu 


Gugulethu : It is going to be alright. Come let's go


( Before 05h30am they were done harvesting sugarcane. They ate sugarcane on their way to the bush while they sang the songs of uMgidi) 


🎶Thumela izinkomo wensizwa ngiyafa amakhaza ekhaya ko Mah🎶


🎶Kanti wena ungishada nini ngafa amakhaza ekhaya ko Mah🎶


(They sang until they disappeared inside the bush.) 


                   *************


( 2 hours later they appeared with a bunch of woods over their heads.) 


Nomathingo : Who is that man? 


(Nomathingo pointed at the man) 


Gugulethu : Aibo! Wee Alo usebuyile futhi 


(Alondwe and Gugulethu laughed) 


Nomathingo : Ubani? 


Gugulethu : The crazy man. They said he never sits down. He has been walking for over 60 years 


(Nomathingo laughed out loud) 


Nomathingo : Stop lying Gugu. 


Gugulethu : I'm serious Noma. Ubuze u Cetshwayo uma ungangikholwa


(They continued walking. Nomathingo stopped and turned around to look at the crazy man. The man was wearing dirty clothes and carrying a chain) 


Gugulethu : Woza Noma! 


Nomathingo : Yes. Yes I'm coming 


(Nomathingo felt really bad watching that man wandering around. Finally they arrived home) 


Cetshwayo : Nomathingo you need to get ready. We need to get going people have arrived. 


Nomathingo : Yebo baba 


Cetshwayo : Awukakagezi? Come on Nomathingo!! Did you see the time? 


(Cetshwayo had a soft spot for Nomathingo but when he was around his children he treated them the same way including Nomathingo. He shouted and yelled at all of his children) 


Nomathingo : Uxolo Nzwakele 


(Cetshwayo's daughters were all ready for uMgidi. Alondwe and Gugulethu were accompanying their sister Nomathingo. They were still too young to participate in uMgidi) 


Gugulethu : You look beautiful dadewethu 


Nomathingo : Thank you sisi


Alondwe : Today you will be the chosen one 


Gugulethu : Of course dadewethu 


(Alondwe smiled and fixed Nomathingo's hat (Isicholo)) 


(Cetshwayo walked in) 


Cetshwayo : Can we go now? 


Nomathingo : Yebo baba


Cetshwayo : Umuhle ndodakazi and I want you to know that no matter what happens there it will never change how we feel about you. 


Nomathingo : Ngiyabonga baba


(Tears ran down Nomathingo's cheeks) 


Gugulethu : No no no. No tears Nomayou are going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine 


(Gugulethu wiped out Nomathingo's tears) 


Cetshwayo : Your sister is right everything is going to be fine. Let's go bantabami 


(The Cetshwayo's arrived at Esigcawini sase Malahleni. King Mzwengezwi and his prince Sizanani were already there and the girls were doing traditional dance) 


Cetshwayo : I wish you all the best Ndodakazi yami 


(Cetshwayo whispered in Nomathingo's ear before he joined other men of the village) 


Nomathingo : Ngiyabonga baba


(Isigcawu was packed with plenty of people. The girls were singing The women were ululating. Prince Sizanani was sitting next to his father smiling and his eyes were searching amongst the girlsincluding Nomathingo. Nomathingo was nervous and her palms were sweating. She turned around and looked at her sisters who were sitting far from Isigcawu. Gugulethu smiled at her) 


(King Benzangakhona raised his hand and suddenly there was silence. He stood up with a spear in his hand and he walked towards the King and the Prince) 


Benzangakhona : It's time for you to choose Prince Sizanani 


(Benzangakhona handed the spear to Sizanani and Sizanani stood up and walked toward the girls slowly. They started singing again. Nomathingo rubbed her hands together. Sizanani walked past the girls and everyone was confused. Nomathingo turned around and looked at Sizanani who was making his way to where her sisters were sitting. Cetshwayo stood up quickly and whispered something to a man that was standing next to him. Cetshwayo seemed confused and angry at the same time. Sizanani stood in front of Gugulethu and he went down on his knee) 


Nomathingo : What? 


(Sizanani stabbed his spear on the ground in front of Gugulethu. Gugulethu was just as confused as everyone else) 


Cetshwayo : No no. Not Gugulethu please King Benzangakhona. He can't choose Gugulethu She is young. 


Benzangakhona : Inkosi ayiphikiswa Cetshwayo 


Cetshwayo : There is Nomathingo. Let him take Nomathingo 


Benzangakhona : He doesn't want Nomathingo. The prince wants Gugulethu 


(Nomathingo looked at Cetshwayo and tears were running down her face. she ran away leaving Cetshwayo and her sisters behind.) 



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