Chapter 2

In less than an hour I am done getting ready I am wearing a strapless white maxi dress and sandals. I don’t like dresses but because there is a possibility that I will find my dad here when I come back from town I have to wear a dress otherwise the whole of umsinga would hear me screaming while getting a beating. I quickly tie my afro in a high bun I grab my bag and start walking to the taxi rank.

I miss Nosipho today Nosipho is my cousin :my uncles daughter I will steal some change so I can buy airtime and call her. Nosi got married to Nhlanhla last year therefore has been living with his parents they have a cute baby girl Baby Sithelo who is 6 months. My phone is vibrating I look at the caller ID on my cracked screen its Nosi

*my one and only sister*

*Zwile i miss home so bad nhlanhlas mother hates me *

*Nosi just hang in there she will get used to you being there*

*she doesn’t even touch the baby imagine its her first grandchild*

*shes pure evil here comes the taxi im going to town I love you *

Greytown is scorching hot and full as always let me do what I came here for and leave I can’t stand this heat. Shoprite is cheaper according to my mom so I will go there. Surprisingly it is not as full as I expected it to be I load all the items I came to buy in the trolley then I head to the till mom was actually right it is quite cheap let me buy myself chocolate and airtime.

I get to the rank and I think to myself how the universe is always against me the only available seat is next to Bafana the soccer champion at school whom I happen to have dribbled and made fun of infront of the whole school

It was during break buhle londi and I were sitting under the tree next to the soccer grounds when he kicked the ball and it hit me on the head. He came to ask for it I told him that he must make me give it to him then I dribbled him with the ball and then kicked it to his friends. The thing with me is that I hate people who demand attention and recognition just because they have been told by a few people that they can play soccer well.

‘’Usizwile Ndlovu’’ he says when I eventually sit next to him

‘’Bafana’’ I say irritated already

‘’So when are you and your group performing again’’ he says I see he is trying to make a conversation with me but I am irritated as ever

‘’I don’t know you should actually join the guys and stop pretending as if you didn’t grow up in Umsinga and don’t know know ingoma ‘’I say

.The rest of the drive home is quiet he hasn’t said a word since I put him in his place im a straight talker I don’t play games.

‘’eDrayini’’ I shout the taxi stops I grab my plastics and start walking home. I can see my Fathers car parked on the yard as I approach the gate my younger cousins run to me then carry my plastics

‘’Good morning baba Good morning MaNgcobo’’ I say kneeling infront of them I have been told a million times to call her ‘’Mah’’ I am not about that life though

‘’Good morning ‘’ they both say at the same time

‘’Are you well ‘’MaNgcobo says

‘’I am well thank you how was your trip? ‘’ I ask i’m trying to be nice incase she also needs to convince her husband for me.

MaNgcobo is one of those women who grew up in the village but have now experienced the city life so they act as if they were born in the city She is from the outskirts of Richards bay that is where my father travels to the most so I guess that is where they met. She is younger than both my parents she is a beautiful woman lack of fashion sense and wears too much cheap make up. I know how classy and expensive make up looks from Ntombi Sabelos girlfriend.

No knows actually knows her story according to her she doesn’t have any children for a woman her age it is hard to believe unless she is infertile. From what I have heard all her family members passed on so My Father didn’t have no one to pay Lobola too no one in the family has been to her home so she is confusing.

MaNgcobo and Gatsheni spend the rest of the afternoon at home well Gatsheni was with my uncles in the kraal most of the time having serious discussions. When Gatsheni and my uncle meet at the kraal you should know that someones life is being discussed and is about to change drastically I hope they are discussing my university issue.

Good thing about Gatsheni coming home is that he normally brings KFC for us thats the only restaurant Gatsheni knows im sure he spoils us now and then so I am happy therefore I am not cooking tonight I will get to sleep early. People who have tasted my cooking have complimented me a few times cooking is the only chore I enjoy doing whenever there are ceremonies at home I am the one who does most of the cooking and I don’t even complain.

My mother loves baking I particularly think baking is alot of work it requires too much energy which I don’t have im generally a lazy person. One thing about me is that I am a serial sleeper not necessarily because I love sleeping I love the world I drift to when I am sleeping it becomes more than a dream. I always tell Buhle and Londi my friends that I live in two worlds. I don’t get to sleep as much as i want to though because my Mothers baking business if I could call it is busy so I am forced to help her even when the only thing i want to do is sleep or study. If you were to ask about me they would tell you that i study cook and sleep thats all i live for.

It's morning already I feel I haven't slept at all

I was busy on my phone chatting to Londi and Buhle they are very much excited about leaving for Durban they have both received their acceptance letters. I am very happy for them but a part of me is envious why can't I also go to Durban and start a new life. I have to wake up now feed the chickens then take the goats out to Graze. I slowly get up I get dressed in tracksuits it's quite cold this morning Gatsheni will just have to understand why I am wearing pants.

"Morning Mah" I say walking in the kitchen to find mom reading a bible I've never seen her read a bible. My Family for some reason doesn't go to Church not even once I've been to a Catholic church a number of times with Londi her grandfather has her position at the church so she invited me a few times.

"Hello why are you up so early "she asks quickly closing her bible and getting up from the chair

"I'm taking the goats to the field you heard what Gatsheni said has he left?" I say

"No he hasn’t left he went to go see someone Mangcobo went into town she said she needed something. Your Father is unreasonable why can't Mcebo do that" she says with such a soft voice

Mcebo is my uncles son we were born exactly 1 month apart but he acts like a child he plays with wire cars the whole day or go skinny dipping in the river ever since he dropped out of school.

"Mah let me go before the fields get full I'll leave them and come back to eat I'm starving" I say

"I'll try talk to him again when he comes back I'll make him see why you have to go " she says with so much sadness. I don't respond instead I hug her very tight and leave. My mother is a beautiful person she is not high spirited just like me she has this calmness about her which draws you to her.

This is my favorite part of uMsinga from here you can see almost the whole of Umsinga the beautiful houses the River the schools basically everything. Sabelo and I used to sit here for hours he would be on his phone and I'd be playing alone chasing invisible friends Sabelo understood me he allowed me to be me.

If Sabelo was still around I'd probably be also excited about durban he's the only person who challenged Gatsheni and quite frankly Sabelo always got his way. To be quite honest I love doing this walking on the fields with the goats in front of me all of them are white in colour with patched of brown here and there. I have come to realized that I love animals and nature the fields are still very dry the grass is brown and hardly anything on the trees but the goats have to eat.

I am walking slowly listening to music on my phone I make a mental note to charge this phone the phone belonged to Sabelo before he went to prision so when he got arrested I kept it. I will spend an hour here then I will go back home to do my washing school is opening soon I am surprised that not a lot of people are here with their cows and goats.

‘’Hello Mpendulo’’

I turn around to see an old man with a walking stick behind me strange because I did not hear walking towards me

‘’Hello baba how are you ‘’ I say still in shock he called me Mpendulo no one calls me Mpendulo in the village

‘’How are you MaGatsheni’’ he says im freaked out but I am trying to act normal as I can be

‘’I am well baba how are you ?‘’ I say

‘’how are you ‘’ he says

‘’ I am okay thanks just a cold morning ‘’ I respond

‘’yes it is so when will we get sweets from you you can see for yourself that im getting old I need to eat them before I die ‘’he says that’s a way old people ask when will you start working

‘’soon baba soon ‘’ I say laughing

‘’Okay then I’ll be off now don’t forget time waits for no man MaGatsheni’’ he says and with that he is gone I watch him until he disappears into the trees.

I find a good spot for the goats to graze i tie them up then i start walking home hunger is upon me

"Mah" I shout when I walk in I get no response instead I hear a person shouting I follow the voice until I'm standing outside my parents room

"She's not going there and that's final MaNgubane it's final how many times must I tell you?" he shouts

"Calm down baba" she says in a low voice

"Don't tell me to calm down don't tell me where is Sabelo? Prison isn't he ? why ? it is Because Durban became too much of a play ground for him. Usizwile is a girl and she must get married and bare children that's all not this university nonsense" he roars

I can’t help but let out a soft sob I run outside until I am standing behind Sabelos rondavel I sink down to the floor and cry.


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