I’m driving and Mimi is busy burping on the backseat. She’s with Fez and mama is on the front passenger seat. Mimi never misses church her life

is quite well balanced. She gets wasted on Saturdays and asks for forgiveness and protection the next day at church. She spends her money and she works hard for it. I wish I can be just like her. She is a mother a

sister a lover an entertainer she tries helping people in need she is dedicated in everything she does and well she’s a happy mistress. Her married boyfriend takes good care of her even though she is stupid sometimes. She once declined a car! A whole big car because she is not with him because of his ‘money’ she loves him genuinely. I asked her

to take the car and if she still doesn’t want it in a few months she can give it to me. She refused! Now she has no car.

I remember the first day I met her it was my first week at work. Four months after my breakup with

Cwati. I had rough days at work it was tough! I had found the place on the internet. An old Lodge. I was using Google searching for ‘ways to heal a broken heart' I would have searched for ‘ways to deal with breakup' but it wasn’t breakup only that I was dealing with. I had lost a child and my heart was broken. I was tired of crying everyday I wanted

healing. During my search I came across this Lodge that was on sale. I looked thoroughly just nje. I found out that the Lodge was actually situated in Margate. I first thought it was a scam I mean who would advertise a sale of a Lodge? Can’t they get buyers in other ways? I hesitated a bit and then decided to give this a try. I was unemployed and Lonwabo had taught me that property is good investment.

I looked at the prices made calls and the following day I went to see it. I understood why the previous owner wanted to let it go the walls were cracked everything was out of place. I had the money and I wanted a destruction so I decided to take the risk. I had enough money my savings my salary from the hotel because Lonwabo didn’t want me using my money then.

I used all the money I had to buy the Lodge. When I was introduced to the staff they all laughed. I still don’t know if it was because of my age or the fact that I had bought a dead place. No one took instructions from me they ignored me like I didn’t exist! On my fifth day I saw that I wasn’t getting in tune.

I had asked Noma a receptionist slash PA I don’t know what her title really was. She was doing anything and everything. I asked for her help in choosing the right furniture for the lodge since I was thinking of renovating it.

“That’s not my job Missy. You’re more stupid than I thought you think that just because you have money you’re going to own us? You’re renovating now? Don’t bother no one comes to this place anyway. You stupid bitch should just close down this place and give us something to make us smile” she had said paying no attention that she had insulted me. How could she be so cold to a person she only met days ago? I was more than confused.

By something to make them smile she meant money where was I going to get that when I had bought the lodge days ago?

“You don’t talk to me like that Nomandla. I’m your boss” I said. She laughed loudly and clapped her hands landing us an audience.

“She’s the boss! Guys you heard that? She’s actually the boss! Listen here I will talk to you whatever way I want you don’t scare me. I’ve dealt with far more better people than you” she had said laughing her lungs out in the process.

“You know I can fire you right now at this moment?” I was trying to stay calm but I was too angry.

“Go on! Fire me I don’t care. You won’t find anyone like me bitch I’m irreplaceable! Stop dragging your filthy feet and fire me!” She looked like she was ready to fight.

“Nomandla Dunywa you are fired!” I said and started packing for her. If there was security I would have called security on her but the place didn’t even have a security guard!

We both packed her belongings and I pulled her by arm just for control. We made it to the gate and I threw her out with her belongings everyone had followed us out of reception. When I returned inside again they were following me. I felt like a little princess with all those people. I don’t know where I get this strength that I suddenly think I have I don’t know what I would have done if Noma had beaten me up. They all gathered inside and I decided I should set the rank right then.

“If anyone has something to say

speak now or forever hold your peace!” I spoke with a commanding tone looking at each and every one of them straight in their eyes. Nobody answered good! I was afraid but I had to do it for peace to reign. I thought that maybe they would all pack and leave since the place was already dead.

“Good! Now return to work” I had dismissed them feeling proud of myself but I was worried about getting a replacement for Noma. The bitch was good at her job but she was rude and it was going to be hard replacing her especially that the Lodge was new. How could I have hired another person? It was better with the old stuff because maybe they would understand that we don’t have money and accept the little they get. I couldn’t focus after the ordeal with Noma so I decided to leave early.

Just around the corner of the Lodge’s gate there was a woman sitting butt flat on the road with a baby in her arms. The woman looked up at me her eyes reflecting on her pain and her lips cracked.

She looked horrible with her bad hair that looked like it was eaten by mice.

“Ma'am I’m looking for a job… Anything” she had said struggling to get up. I watched her for moment. I couldn’t understand what she was doing with a baby in her arms. “I can even take a garden job anything to get me money” she tried standing up again but she fell down causing the baby to cry.

The cries were faint and it was like they were coming from a distance.

I quickly kneeled down and took the baby from her. I was freaked out I had just lost my son in. He also was that pale and cold. The thought of carrying a dead baby broke my heart a third one for that matter.

“What’s your name?! And geez! What are you doing with a baby on such a cold day? The baby is not even dressed!” I shouted at this woman who looked so frail and lost. The baby was naked and only covered in a light blanket.

“My name is Mimi. I was told that there’s a new owner of the Lodge. I’m not sure if you are the owner but even if you’re not I would appreciate any kind of job. I was about to get in but my baby started making funny sounds I thought I was losing her” she said. The circles around her eyes were disturbing. She was outspoken and she looked like a person full of life. The only problem was that life had dealt with her.

“Why didn’t you leave the baby home? She’s cold dammit!” I shouted. I didn’t regret it though I was shouting at a woman I didn’t know but I was angry. I was angry for being deprived a chance to have a baby which I was going to take care of; but a woman who wasn’t able to take care of a child was blessed with one. I was also trying to keep the baby warm by putting her on my chest then zipping my jacket. The child was small anyway.

“I live at Siqalo” she said. That was enough to shut my mouth I knew what the place looked like I knew the kind of people that lived there. The horrible stories about Siqalo would make you hate the place. It wasn’t for children.

I used the little money I had and took the baby to a doctor in Margate. The doctor said that she was fine but we should return with her the next day just for checkups. I went home with Mimi I had to explain to my mother about what had happened. She didn’t approve as she thought I was using the baby to sooth my broken heart trying to avoid my loss. I was literally broke but I wanted to be the one to help Mimi and her daughter. I tried Lonwabo's card that was left with me by mistake.

Voila! I withdrew some cash and paid for Fezeka's medical bills clothes food and everything. Fezeka I don’t understand why Mimi would name a baby with an ancient name like this.

The lodge looked like a ghost house so I became a thief and kind of wiped out all the cash that was on Lonwabo's card. I combined it with the loan I got from my mother and bought all the required furniture. Beds desks fridges new roof got the new security system I mean I did everything.

The Lodge ended up having classic rooms deluxe rooms and executive suites. I also added a conference room we have a big pool and the view of Margate Beach is to die for. I got Mimi to fill up Noma's space and all was good. Since I had all the rights to myself I decided to change the Lodge’s name to Sinovuyo Lodge (we are joyful). It’s a combination of both my babies name Sinazo and Luvuyo. They may be sleeping but they are not forgotten. I have a special space for them in my heart.

Four years later which is two years back I bought a hotel in Durban. It’s big and expensive compared to the Lodge but I guess I love the lodge more because it was my first baby also I spend more time in Margate than in Durban. I bought a house at Durban Umhlanga a week ago. Mama suggested that I buy a house for myself so that I can stop sleeping at the hotel.

Mimi and Fezeka have been family ever since we met. We are close and mama treats us both in the same manner but she’s harsher on Mimi because she doesn’t listen. She’s a no-rest type of person.

She parties and doesn’t go a week without going to her boyfriend. Fez on the other hand is my day one I love her and I’ve treated her as my own. I got the chance to raise her and it’s been awesome she was only two months old when we met but now she’s a forward six year old.

Family is everything. I would not ask for more they are everything I have. The only people by your side.

I’m brought back to my senses by the sounds of the keyboard playing and the worship. Ooh I’m driving to church! It’s packed today so I find a spot after minutes of looking.


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