I want to drift off to sleep go to my other world and just forget about my life. The minute I fall asleep I hear a knock at the door I remember that I had locked at first I ignore the knock but the person is not giving up I wake up drag myself to the door and I open
“Ntombi “ I say im shocked to see her here I last saw her 4 years ago shortly after my brother was arrested
“Can I come in” she says I move aside then she walks in
“You’ve grown so much you look so pretty “ she says
“Thank you I haven’t seen you in such a long time “ I say
“That’s why I am here I went to see your brother last week I hadn’t seen him since he got arrested I was sad disappointed and hurt by what he had done. I had no idea he was doing illegal activities shortly after he was arrested I found out that I was 3 months pregnant with his child. Kungumusa is 3 years old now he is a spitting imagine of Sabelo last week I woke up and looked at him then I knew it was about time I forgave Sabelo for what he did. There is no man I loved more than your Brother till this day I love him more than love itself. The reason I came he asked that I come check up on you and your Mother you should see how much he has lost weight he says not knowing how we are all doing ate him everyday” she says already in tears I am also now crying.
I had lost all the hope of seeing my Brother it has been 4 years and not even once has his name been mentioned it has been as if he never existed.
“How is he doing “ I ask still crying
“ He is just living he is living “ she says
“Possibilities of you seeing him are very slim therefore you can talk to him on the phone I will give him your number so he can call you I am not familiar with the times they are allowed to make phone calls but when he calls me I will let him know that I came” she says I throw myself at her and hold her tight
“Thank you Ntombi thank you “ I say
Ntombi and I spend almost 2 hours talking about Sabelo Kungumusa who looks exactly like Sabelo mom and I actually cried when we saw his Picture. After Ntombi says her goodbyes I wake up and go to the fields to fetch the goats that Skhonza and I had took there in the morning he left early today he mentioned something about his little sister being sick .
As I am approaching the herd of goats I spot the old man standing next to it I get abit excited its funny how I always meet him but I have never asked where is he from or his surname.
“Hello Baba “ I say he doesn’t respond strange I think to myself
‘’Why do you want to get married ‘’ he says after a long silence
‘’To get married no I don’t want to get married ‘’ I say
‘’What do you want to do’’ he asks
‘’I want to go to university and study towards being a pharmacist’’ I say
‘’Then why are you are still here ‘’ he ask again
‘’Because Gatsheni wont let me go ‘’ I say in a whisper
‘’I see you have gone weak Mpendulo’’ he says then he starts walking
away what does he mean I have gone weak does he know more about me
more than I think he does. I am very confused now I don’t know who this
man is and why does he know so much about me I am going to wait here
until it is 5pm Ntombi said 5pm is the only time Sabelo call at
exactly 5pm my phone rings.
*Mpendulo yama Gatsheni*
*Say something I just want to hear your voice*
*I need you Sabelosenkosi*
*I miss you Little sister although ive heard you are not little anymore*
*I will always be little to you*
*I don’t have much time Mpendulo Ntombi told me what has been happening there if there is anything you need I mean anything Call Ntombi*
*I wish you were here *
*Don’t cry everything will be okay*
After talking to Sabelo on the phone I feel actually much better my mind has been made up I know what to do. I walk back home to find my Mother reading her bible again in her bedroom
‘’Mother’’ I say
‘’come sit here ‘’ she says
‘’You know I love you right ‘’ she says
‘’Yes I do I love you too ‘’
‘’Okay good now go cook I have defrosted chicken for you cook 4 pieces its just you and me Gatsheni will only be coming back next weekend.
Today I'm writing my first final exam paper I'm not looking forward to it because I doubt that I will do well I've been highly stressed these past few weeks uMemulo is in 3 weeks. Gatsheni and my Mother haven't said anything about being married off to Mkhonzas soon but I know Nosipho was right that's why there's a sudden rush for me to have uMemulo in my family a girl can't get married without having uMemulo they believe if you don't have it you experience problems in your womanhood and marriage therefore I doubt I'll do well in my exams.
I haven't slept a wink I've been up since yesterday; I stopped revising at 11pm I've been staring into space the entire time.
"Wake up wake up" my Mother says walking into my room pulling the blankets off me and opening the curtains. I sit up on the bed she walks and sits next to me
" I know that you are going to do well today and throughout your exams go write and make yourself proud "she says holding my hands
"Thank you Mah I'll make you Sabelo and Myself proud even though Gatsheni doesn't support my dream I really hope he also will be proud of me" I say
"Wake up now I've boiled water for you to bath I'll make you porridge so long "she says hugging me
The paper actually went well I didn’t feel like I was writing an exam I guess I was prepared I am happy that my studying paid off. My friends and I are in the same classs but didn’t get a chance to talk today during exams it is so tense in the class room everyone is too focused in what they are doing. I am slowing walking home I decide to take the long route through the woods I don’t want to get home early. I can see the old man sitting near the tree I actually notice that everytime I see him he is wearing the exact same clothes today I will ask him what his story is I walk until I am behind him
‘’Mpendulo ‘’ he says he didn’t turn around to look who is so how did he know that it’s me
‘’Yes Baba How are you ‘’ I say
‘’How is it going at school’’ he says
‘’Yes Baba How are you ‘’ I say
‘’How is it going at school’’ he says he never responds to my questions
‘’School is going okay I am writing my exams now. I have never asked where are you from and what your surname is “ I say
‘’But you know all of that ‘’ he says this man is really old why would I ask if I knew
‘’I am from Ndumeni my surname is Ngubane ‘’ he says after a long silence I don’t know where Ndumeni is
‘’Really ? My Mothers surname is also Ngubane “ I say with so much excitement
‘’Yes MaGatsheni it is getting late Ndumeni is far from here I need to get going’’ he says with that he is gone so I also decide to walk home I want to talk to mom about this old man.
‘’How did it go ‘’ she asks the minute I walk in
‘’It was good I knew most of the answers. Mah everytime that ive been going to the fields I have been meeting up with this old man we would have conversation about me and the village he seems to know a lot about me so today I saw him again and asked him what his surname is and where he comes from. He said his surname is Ngubane and he is from Ndumeni’’ I say
‘’What ?’’ she asks with her eyes open wide as if she has just seen a ghost
‘’Yes imagine I told him that my Mothers Maiden surname is Ngubane ‘’ I say my mother is not talking now she looks like she is deep in thought
‘’Mah ‘’ I say waving my hand infront of her face
‘’Ndumeni is where I am from originally ‘’ she says after a long silence
‘’Oh really you should see him then you never know maybe you are related to him’’ I say she doesn’t answer me so I decide to walk to my room and change
‘’Tell me when you see him again ‘’ she says
‘’Don’t you want to come with me?’’I say she shakes her head I think she knows something about this old man.
The rest of the week goes by pretty fast I have 3 papers left then I’m officially done with high school Today is Saturday mom Mangcobo Aunt’khosi and myself are getting ready to go to town the preparations for uMemulo are underway. It is funny because I am getting excited about it I think it’s because there will be a lot of traditional dancing which I love so much. My cow has already been picked out from the kraal it’s a big white one.
It is month end so you can imagine how full it is in town we move from shop to shop buying things comparing prices it’s a busy day. After almost 5 hours Gatsheni comes to fetch us in his Van we load everything at the back then we drive home. When we get home I am so exhausted that the minute I get to my room I fall asleep instantly.
‘’The final decision is yours no one must decide your life for you ‘’ he says
‘’But no one listens to me ‘’ I say
‘’do you know what you want Mpendulo’’ he asks
‘’yes I do ’’ I respond
‘’then you know what you must do
“Usizwile wake up’’ Nosipho says shaking me argh I was having a dream Ngubane the old man from the fields and I were having a conversation we were standing in the middle of a lake which is strange because we were not drowning considering that I cant swim I was standing quite confidently.
‘’Nosipho No’’ I say
‘’You won’t believe who is in the dining room with Gatsheni’’ she says
‘’Who? ‘’ I ask sitting up and rubbing my eyes
‘’Mkhonza and 2 of Chief Dlaminis brothers Mkhonza is the Induna to the chief you could call him the right hand man of the chief
‘’Nice we are being visited by royalty ‘’ I say she giggles
‘’You are mad you are sleeping here while your Future Father inlaw is in the house ‘’ she says and bursts out into laughter I don’t know why Nosipho is making a joke about this I think she is just trying to make me feel better but it makes my blood boil I am not an emotional person but this issue makes me cry.
The weekend has been busy that’s for sure I didn’t even get that much time to study fortunately for me my last 3 papers are Life orientation IsiZulu and English so I don’t really need to study that much. Ever since exams started I don’t get to talk to my friends we get to school take our seats and start writing we usually finish at different times so even after the Paper we don’t talk but today I will wait for them because we have to talk about uMemulo and University.
‘’So guys you have to be at home from Monday until the ceremony is done’’ I say
‘’Most definitely Mngani I will be there on Thursday even after we write our last paper ‘’Londi says laughing we chat for a while then go our separate ways.
I walk slowely back home I am just listening to my thoughts like I always do I see Nyanga walking towards me actually I heard him before I saw him he is always singing and whistling
“MaGatsheni omuhle’’ he says I laugh and respond
‘’Nyanga yezizwe’’ I say he bursts out into laughter and starts jumping up and down saying his clan names
‘’But MaGatsheni you make my heart smile ‘’ he says
‘’So we are slaughtering the cow on Friday “ he says again
‘’Yes you know it and I want you to be there my friend’’ I say he starts again Nyanga is a happy person. We chat for a while then I carry on walking home. I get home and it’s a full house there are men painting the main house my Aunts are hanging washed blankets and curtains some are men are repairing the kraal some people are just walking up and down Gatsheni is barking orders as always.
‘’Come come change that uniform and get your water container we are going fetch water ‘’ one of my aunts say im confused because we have 2 water tanks I don’t know why we are fetching water at the river anyway I oblige. By the time we are done I am exhausted to the point that I can’t even walk properly luckily I am not writing tomorrow I sneak to Sabelos Rondavel close the door and get into the bed no one uses this room besides me when I just want to be alone.
The minute I lay my head on the pillow my phone rings Sabelo is calling we talk for a while then we say our goodbyes. I hear the door opening so I open my eyes and sit up it’s my Mother
‘’I knew I would find you here are you okay ?’’ she asks joining me in bed
‘’I am fine you I haven’t seen you since I got back ‘’ I say
‘’I went to see Madlokovu about the old man you have been seeing ‘’ she says