Chapter 4

KENEILOE

We just came from my mother's grave. I had a really emotional moment when I spoke to her. 

We made sure to rinse our hands before coming inside the house. 

My uncle's wife helped us settle down and made us something to eat.


Uncle: Eyy dilemo di matha ka potlako (years run by fast.) Like it's been so many years we've buried my sister. Yet it feels like yesterday.

I wiped my tears.

Me: Yah. I wonder how life would have been if she was still alive.

Uncle: I for once never imagined her to be a parent.

We laughed

Me: Why Malome? 

Uncle: She was just all for the butepo life liking all her things to go butepo.

We laughed once again.

Uncle: It was just us being young though maybe she was gonna make a good mother.

Me: We don't know. I wish there was someone who'd tell me more about her you know... My dad is dead granny is dead. Akekho onoze andixelela lukhulu ngaye (No one can ever tell me anything about her)

Ausi Ririe came with a tray of food.

Ririe: Ke tliselitse dijo (I brought food)

Uncle: Rea leboha (Thank you)

She handed her husband then me.

Me: Aah my favourite muhodu le dombolo (tripe and dumplings)

Ririe: Yes! Let's give thanks.

We closed our eyes and said grace. Then started eating.

Ririe: So Keneiloe how was life back in Eastern Cape?

Me: Good really good but we moved out of the province long time ago.  

Ririe: Ka nnete? (Really?)

Me: Yeah we moved to Umlazi but now I live with my brother this side.

Ririe: Ohh okay.

Uncle: So phekolo ea Mm'ao wa bobeli e ne ele joang? (how was your step-mother's treatment?)

I smiled

Me: You mean my Mother. It's been perfect we have a good relationship like any mother and daughter would 

They nodded.

Ririe: We're happy that you're happy. We were getting a bit concerned when you were no longer coming like you used do.

Me: Dintho di ne di ngata feela (Things were just many)

Uncle: We understand. Why does it seem like you struggling with your own lingo? 

We giggled.

Ririe: She was raised by a Xhosa woman kaloku ithini nalento ndaxoka dahn kaloku mna ntwenje sana? 

I cracked up.

Uncle: Who taught you that?

Ririe: Shini heee uBrothers haz'ba!

I giggled.

Me: Hay hay Auntie that's a bit over-exaggerated.

Ririe: Am I going right still neh?

I nod with a surpressed laugh

Me: Yeah you're trying but too much

Ririe: Too much??

Uncle: You heard that.

Ririe: Mxm bobedi ba lona le mohona ka nna. (You are both jealous of me)

Me: Aww but we're telling the truth nje.

Ririe: Aisuka ha re jeng dijo tsa rona pele di omella. (Let's eat our food before they congeal.)

We laughed and resumed eating our food.


My uncle cleared his throat while looking at me.

Uncle: Keneiloe

Me: Malome?

Uncle: You just said your dad passed on and your granny passed on. Therefore you have no one to tell you more about your mother?

I nod and stopped realizing where this is gonna head.

Uncle: Well nna ke ntse ke phela (I am still alive.) I may be your mother's half-brother but that doesn't change the fact that we grew up together. I know her more than anyone else. So you're welcome if you want me to take you through all of it.

Me: I do Malome

Uncle: It's okay then

A girl who was dressed in a school uniform came in.

Her: Dumelang (Greetings)

Us: Dumela

We looked at each other.

Ririe: Well Keneiloe this is our daughter Paleho and Paleho meet your father's niece Keneiloe.

She smiled at me.

Paleho: Nice to meet you sisi

Me: Nice meeting you too doll.

Paleho: Uhm well let me go change my school uniform then I'll be back. Mma I hope you cooked.

Ririe: Well you'll only eat once you done plaiting my hair.

Paleho: Aow Mma with dandruff e ngata so?

Ririe: Eyyy wena!

We all laughed. I think I'm gonna enjoy my stay here

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JOZEA

Dad my sister and I just arrived at the airport to fetch my Aunt and Sheree. I passed to pick them up so that we can all come along to meet them except for Mom. She was busy prepapiring something for them back home.


Dad: I think I can spot them

Me: You do?

Dad: Over there

Pearl gasps.

Pearl: Sheree!!!!

She screams running to them without waiting on us.

Me: Heeeey! Pearl

I giggled while shaking my head

Dad: That's Pearl for you.

Me: Hay.


We made our way to them.

Dad: Nana

Auntie: Biggie hey

They share a hug and she turns and looks at me.

Auntie: Joz! is this really you?

Me: It's really me in flesh tannie

I say smiling at her. She stretches her arm to me.

Auntie: Ugh! Come here

We also shared a hug.

Auntie: Can't believe you've grown this much. Not long ago you were just a tiny little boy.

We laughed.

Me: Time flies

Auntie: Yah time flies indeed son.

Dad: You look good too sis. Your husband must be treating you well. Why didn't he come along?

Auntie: He couldn't come business got in the way.

Dad: Ohh

Pearl and Sheree got to us while holding hands.

Sheree: Uncle Cuz.

She gave both us a hug.

Me: Sheree hi

Dad: Niggie hugaan dit? (Niece how are you?) 

She furrows her eyebrows in confusion. We all laughed.

Pearl: Dad go easy on her. Miss Australia is still not getting the hang of our taal.

Dad: Well that's just basically me welcoming her in South Africa.

Sheree laughs softly.

Sheree: And I'm so happy to be here

Me: You are?

Sheree: Yeah just needed a change of scenery.

Dad: Abigail what have you done to the child?

Auntie: Nothing! She's just big on exploring things.

Dad: Ain't nothing bad with exploring right?

Sheree: Ain't nothing bad at all uncle. By the way where's my other uncle?

Pearl: He's overseas. Come let's get going I so wanna show you this place.

Sheree: So looking forward to it

Me: Careful of Pearl she's gonna exhaust the living out of you.

Pearl: Lies he's just jealous

Sheree: I'm even lost who's the oldest between you two.

We giggled.

Auntie: Just look at them

I helped them with the luggage and we all went to the car and drove back home. Can't wait to see what's Mommy's cooking for us.

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BUZWE (OB)

It's been few hours since I came back from work. I also fed Funo her second meal. I kept checking the time still waiting for Keneiloe to text me so that I can fetch her. But she wasn't doing so and it was getting late.

I called her.

Keneiloe: Bhuti?

Me: Kene have you seen the time? And you haven't texted me to come fetch you.

Keneiloe: Oops sorry I'm just having fun over here I even forgot to check.

Me: How convenient sis. I'm coming to get you.

Keneiloe: (clears throat) Erm actually...

Me: What?

Keneiloe: Ndicinga ngolala nochitha iweekend apha (I'm thinking of sleeping and spending the weekend here.) If you permit can you please pack me few of my stuffs?

I huff while rubbing my eyes. She's asking for too much right now.

Keneiloe: Pleaaase.

(Silence)

Keneiloe: But it's fine when you're against it. I'll co-

Me: No you're an adult Keneiloe plus you're at your mother's place... it's fine.

Keneiloe: Am I hearing right?

Me: There's no air I'll pack your things just promise to take care of yourself. This is no Thekwini okanye G's.Town (Grahamstown) okay?

Keneiloe: Okay I promise you bhuti

Me: I'll be there in a few. Will call when I get close.

Keneiloe: Alright thank you.

Me: Sharp.

I ended the call and went to her room. I packed few of her stuffs and essentials. 

While I was still busy with that something came to mind and I smiled liking the idea that it crossed and I will definitely follow up to it.

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HLELO ZONDO

It was late really late and I was driving back home. Decided to call my fiancée just to check on her after leaving her like that.

She picked after a long time.

Me: Baby

Gomolemo: Lavo

Me: How are you? You sound so down

Gomolemo: Maybe it's because I just woke up.

Me: Oh. Did Mommy overwork you?

Gomolemo: Cha she actually did all the work herself and let me rest.

Me: Oh that's better. You okay?

Gomolemo: Hm.mm ga ke ikutlwe sentle (I'm not feeling well)

I frown.

Me: Yini ndaba sthandwa sam? (What's wrong my love?)

Gomolemo: No it's just a stomach bug nyana but I'll be fine.

Me: Okay. I'm on my way yezwa

Gomolemo: Okay.

Me: Ngiku lethe leni endleleni? (What should I bring you on my way?)

Gomolemo: Anything I'm actually craving for di zinger wings.

I chuckled. 

Me: Okay they're coming.

Gomolemo: Tankie (Thank you)

Me: Gomo

Gomolemo: Baby?

Me: I'm really sorry for leaving you like that

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I promise you bhuti

Me: I'll be there in a few. Will call when I get close.

Keneiloe: Alright thank you.

Me: Sharp.

I ended the call and went to her room. I packed few of her stuffs and essentials. 

While I was still busy with that something came to mind and I smiled liking the idea that it crossed and I will definitely follow up to it.

.

.

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HLELO ZONDO

It was late really late and I was driving back home. Decided to call my fiancée just to check on her after leaving her like that.

She picked after a long time.

Me: Baby

Gomolemo: Lavo

Me: How are you? You sound so down

Gomolemo: Maybe it's because I just woke up.

Me: Oh. Did Mommy overwork you?

Gomolemo: Cha she actually did all the work herself and let me rest.

Me: Oh that's better. You okay?

Gomolemo: Hm.mm ga ke ikutlwe sentle (I'm not feeling well)

I frown.

Me: Yini ndaba sthandwa sam? (What's wrong my love?)

Gomolemo: No it's just a stomach bug nyana but I'll be fine.

Me: Okay. I'm on my way yezwa

Gomolemo: Okay.

Me: Ngiku lethe leni endleleni? (What should I bring you on my way?)

Gomolemo: Anything I'm actually craving for di zinger wings.

I chuckled. 

Me: Okay they're coming.

Gomolemo: Tankie (Thank you)

Me: Gomo

Gomolemo: Baby?

Me: I'm really sorry for leaving you like that it's really the last time something like this happens.

Gomolemo: It's fine babe no need to explain I understand. It's your job you have to bring in money so I'm not mad. Given another circumstances that it happens again you jump for it without hesitations.

I smiled.

Me: Ngempela? (Really?)

Gomolemo: Ee

Me: And then they don't understand why I wanna marry you. These are one of the reasons why I love you so much sthandwa sam.

She giggles.

Gomolemo: Aow ruri rre? (really?)

Me: Ngokwe qiniso sthandwa sam (For real.) Look I'm on the road neh. We'll talk more when I get back.

Gomolemo: Okay chat later then bye

Me: Good bye.

We both hang up. I place my phone on the dashboard while still smiling and focusing on the road.


Later on still on the road it felt like I overstepped on something as my car humps. I'm one of the people who have a good sight yet still I didn't see anything on the road.

My car suddenly stopped moving and the tires made a funny sound before my car stops and drops more lower.

Me: Eish yini ke manje le

I got out of the car and realized my tires were pap. I sighed. My car looked fine not long ago I don't know what would have brought about this. I even walked back on the road to look for something but there was nothing.


I stood in the middle of the road. Contacting the car insurance and waited... this will seem like another excuse to my wife.

A car stopped by behind my vehicle it was in the middle of the road.

A gent came out of the car.

Him: Mhlekazi (Sir)

Me: Nsizwa

Him: Just saw your car being parked on the way and I knew there's a problem. Ndiqonda mandiphume kengoku mhlambi kukhona endi nganceda ngakho (I thought I should come out maybe I can be able to help)

Me: Yona ikhona inkinga amathayi 'am afile (My tires are dead)

Him: Okay do you have your tools with you?

Me: Eish cha ngikhohliwe (No I forgot)

Him: Njani ndoda (How come?)

Me: Angithi ngiphume endlini ngi jahile (I left home in a rush)

Him: Your tools and that extra tire should always be in the boot for incidences like these.

I scratched my head

Me: Eish yah. Angazi nalabantu bama insurance bethathi iskhathi ukufika. (I don't know why the car insurance people are taking long to arrive)

Him: You seem to be in a rush too

Me: Yeah my wife is waiting for me

Him: I can wait along with you if you don't mind.

I sceptically looked at him. 

Him: I'm being a nice brother to another andinoze ndik'bambe nkunzi khululeka (I won't rob you relax)

I sigh

Me: Ngiyabonga kodwa besingekho isidingo. (Thank you but there was no need.) 

Him: We should stay kind to one another always my brother. Indlela ibisiya phi? (Where were you headed?)

Me: eMbumbulu

Him: Same route with mine mos. I can offer you a lift.

Me: Cha njengoba bing' shilo (As I said) the car insurance people will sort me out.

Him: I insist maan mfowethu. I mean Mbumbulu is the same village I also come from.

I looked at him

Me: Really?

Him: Ndikuxelela ungak'xokiseli (Seriously)

Me: Hay I guess no harm will be done then. 

Him: Definitely not for now we wait

Me: Yah we wait.

I glance at him.

Me: You didn't even tell me your name.

He looks at me and just giggles.

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GOMOLEMO

Dumazile: Ohh! Nabo befica. Kanti yini uHlelo iskhathi esingaka. Waze wamenza umuntu akhathazeke. (Here they come. Why would Hlelo take so long. He really got us worried.)

We saw the headlights deeming through.

Dumazile: Asambe Makoti phela ayikho le (Come this is not on)

My mother in-law forced me to stay up all night and wait for Hlelo. As much as I wanted to sleep but I didn't mind cause I was also worried.


We got up and went out hearing voices outside it seemed like he wasn't alone.

Dumazile: Wee Hlelo

Hlelo: Mama?

I froze on the spot seeing who he brought along. My heart began to pound abnormally against my chest.

Dumazile: Yini ekwenza uthathe iskhathi eside kangaka? (Why did you take long to get back?)

Hlelo: Amathayi am aye acisha ngise ndleleni Ma manje ngalinda abantu bama insurance bafike. Ngahlangena nale ndoda yiyo ke engisizile wangi letha la ekhaya. (My tires went dead on the road so I waited for the car insurance people to come and then I met this guy on the road. So he offered to bring me home.)

We all looked at him. As my heart still beats in fear of him.

Dumazile: Aww asbonge ndodana (Thank you)

He just smiled moving his eyes to me. Hlelo pulled me in his arms.

Hlelo: Woza sthandwa uright?

He asked kissing my head. I nodded and made a fake smile.

Me: Yah ngi right

Hlelo: By the way Mama nawe mkami. This guy is Buzwe and Buzwe this is my Mom and wife Gomolemo.

Buzwe: Such a pleasure to meet you Mama.

He says extending his hand to my mother in-law.

Dumazile: Ngaze ngajabula nami mfana ukukwaz (Pleasure to meet you too son.)

He slowly looked at me and extended his hands.

Buzwe: Nawe Sis' Gomo I'm delighted to meet you.

I looked at his hand for a sec then at my husband. I swallowed and gave him my hand. We shook hands.

Me: Delighted to meet you too sir. Thanks for helping my husband.

I quickly retracted my hand from him. He remained smiling at me.

Buzwe: Hayi bingu bala nzwakazi (that was nothing.) Andithi nam one day I might need help from someone.

Hlelo: I don't know how I can thank you. This is the little I can give just to appreciate you.

He stretched out a R200 note to him

Buzwe: No no no I'm not expecting anything in return. When you do good to people you don't expect anything back.

Hlelo: Hhaw?

He brought back his hand while smiling.

Dumazile: Ave unomusa ngane yomuntu (you're so kind)

They giggled. I cleared my throat.

Me: Excuse me.

I walked away and ran straight in the house. I locked myself in the bathroom and sat on the lid of the toilet seat. I kept twitching my legs anxiously and cupped my face.

Why is he here? He's really going back to what he used to do. My phone beeped in my gown pocket.


" See how easy it was to find you? Why don't you want to give us a chance? I can offer you much better than this.

_ you gonna guess this is from who "


I shook my head as I stood up and checked over the window. He's car was driving off.

Me: No no no!

...

>>> To be continued...

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