Folktales

INDABA EMFUSHANE: Jiki

Wade Smit

“Mfoka Jiki,” lasho labhodla izwi efonini kaLingelwa, “Asisadlali ngalolu daba. Sibuyisele leyo mali noma uzithole usenkingeni.” Umakhalekhukhwini lona usuke wathule du. uLingelwa Jiki uwubeke phansi esaqoshama. Isandla sakhe sakwesokudla wazifihla ngaso ebusweni.

Ayi ngiphelile. Konke kuphelile kimi.”

Waze wasukuma ecindezela ifoni aze amaqupha akhe abe mhloph. Ngaphambi kwakhe kwagqama khona amagquma ezimoba. Zazilokhu zigobela umoya zigeleza njengemisinga yolwandle.

Wabubula nje esebona uklebe olwaluntanta esibhakabhakeni.

uLingelwa wahlezi nje kwaze ilanga lazilahla kunina bese asukume wazenza ukubuyela emotweni eyayilinda eceleni lesihlahla somkhuhlu. Wangena kuyo wayivuthisa, wayiqhuba kude emgwaqweni wothuli.

Ngesikhathi wafika ekhaya kube namakha amnandi esishebo sesiNdiya. Kodwa wanuka lutho engalanjiswa yiwo nakancane.

Nxa angena emnyango wendlu yokuphekela umkakhe wayemqalaza ngendlela eyakwenza ukuthi kwacacile bha ukukhathazeka kwakhe.

“Ya silima, ube kuphi isikhathi eside esinje? Kade ngikuphekele ngikulindele noNikith hawu. Yazi ukuthi ngiyakuthanda sithandwa ndini?”

“Bengi… bengizulazula nje ngithungatha imisebenzi.”

“O. Kwahamba kanjani—”

“Ehhe ngithole lutho. Ngiyaxolisa sithandwa sami. Jessica, vele ngihlulekile ukunondla.”

“Hayi lutho thandolwami, nanku ukudla engikuphekile ngalo hhavini owasithengela lona! Noma kunzima emhlabeni usasisizile ngokusipha izinto zokunandisa impilo. Lo hhavini, umabonwakude lowo omkhulu osendlini yokuphumula, i-washing machine—”

Waqeda lapho uJessica ebona ukuthi kunento engalungile ngempela.

“Khuluma nami Lingelwa, ngikhona nawe. Ungazithulisi futhi ngiyakucela.”

Lutho kuye.

Endlini yokuphumula kwabavelela qaphuqaphu imisindo yemidlalo yethelevishini kudlala ingane yabo uNikith.

Esikhaleni saleyo ndlu ukukhanya komabonwakude kwacwebezela njengomlilo oluhlaza okwesibhakabhaka.

“Lingelwa? Lingelwa awukhulume nami uyangisabisa.”

*

Izingane kwakugcwele ngazo kuyo yonk’indawo ngasesikoleni i-Inyathuko Primary School yasoThongathi. Ebaleni kwadlalwa ibhola nemidlalo yobumsulwa bobungane. Emaphethelweni alo kwaklanywa khona wucingo oluhlaza lwensimbi lapho ezinye izingane zazithanda ukuhleli khona ngezikhathi zokudla. Leli qembu lalidlala ngamakhadi eYu-Gi-Oh! nsuku zonke phansi kwemisindo yezimoto namaloli ezidlulayo. Kwakuyizingane ezintathu; uHarry Peters umalethamakhadi, uBheki Sana umanqoba wawo, noNikith Jiki othanda ikakhulukazi ukubukela ukuqhubeka komdlalo. Namuhla nje izulu laliphola ngokuphephetha okumnene nesibhakabhaka esingenambala. Iqembu lalihwebelana ukudla kwabo kwasemini.

“Ngiphe uphuthu lwakho ngikupha ijusi lami,” kusho uHarry.

“Hayi ngeke ngodlani vele? Ngingakunika leli qatha elinye lenyama ungiphe ijusi,” uphendule uBheki.

Okay sure,” washo nje uHarry esemupha uBheki ijusi.

“Nikith? Awufuni nawe elinye iqatha?”

“Hayi mina ngisanaso isishebo sami sikamama. Akukho okunye engithanda ngaphezu kwaso.”

uHarry boBheki bahleka bobabili bephendula ndawonye bathi “Siyazi!”.

Amamatheke uNikith. “Kodwa iKit-Kat yakho isiyangilinga.”

“Lutho, uzolamba kabi! Come asidlale manje bakithi.”

Baze baweneka amakhadi ukuze wonke umuntu ngamunye abe nawakhe. uNikith wayekhalipha ngokweqile ngezomdlalo lowo. Kusukela isikhathi waqala uHarry ukuwuzisa esikoleni wasuke wawuqambela imithetho emisha yokudlalisa abathathu.

uNikith wayewacwaninga awakhe eqamba amasu. Mmm nginayo iDark Magician esandleni emjikelezweni wokuqala. Uma izodibana neSummon Sorceress ngizobahlula ngempela. Ubheke nasebusweni babangani. Kazi bazokwenzani…

Babelokhu bedlala kahle kwaze kwakhala insimbi yokuphela kwesikhathi sokudla. Izingane ziqoqe izimpahla zazo zizibeke ngqo ezikhwameni zibuyele emakilasini. uNikith noma amakhadi ewabuyisele uHarry wayesacabanga ngentandokazi yakhe iDark Magician nesithombe sayo. Esithombeni salo menzi wemilingo wayephethe ubhoko, olungase lube ngolokuyenza imiligo yakhe ethusayo. Nangemuva kwakhe kube nendilinga yezimpawu zezilimi ezingaziwa. uNikith wayethanda ukuzimela kwakhe, wafuna njalo ukuba nalawo mandla eyabe nawo iDark Magician.

Ngelinye ilanga nami ngizoba ngumenzi wemilingo. Ngizowakhela umndeni umuzi omkhulu bese ngiwugcwalisa ngezinto eziningi ezingapheli neze. Kuzoba nenja engithandayo, ichibi lokubhukuda, insimu enkulu lapho singatshala khona izimbali mina nomama nobaba.

Wathe wangena ekilasini lakhe usaphupha ngekusasa elihle.

*

uJessica wayesancenga ukuthi akhulume umyeni wakhe. Bobabili babehlezi nje ekuthuleni kwendlu yokuphumula. Ngaphandle kwemisindo yemidlalo kaNikith kwathula du umuzi wonke kangangokuba izindlebe zibe nomzwangedwa. Ikhaya labo lalisoThongathi, idolobhana eliseduze kuBallito naKwaDukuza lizungelezwa izihlahla eziluhlaza cwe nezimoba ngezimoba. Lapho bakhona uma kusebusuku kunomsindo womoya kuphela, wona ovunguza phezu kwakho konke endaweni; imakethe yasoThongathi ebe namakha ayo ezithelo, imizi eminingi yabantu abangasekho, amapulazi, namabhilidi amadala amaNgisi esikhathi sobukoloni. Izikhathi zesikhonyane. Kuyindawo endala kakhulu, ngisho nenhlabathi iyakhala ngokungafuni ukunyakaza. Ifuna ukuzigcina njengoba inje.

“Hayi Jess, ku-bad.”

Wahwaqabala ngokushesha uJessica phambi kokufihla umuzwa wakhe. Kade wayesemfundile umyeni wakhe.

“Kanjani?”

“Bengifuna nje ukunakhela ikhaya elihle lana. Bengifuna ukusenza ukuba siphumulele, ukuze impilo yethu ihlobise le ndawo embi. Uyazi ngizalelwa khona nami, ngisazofa khona lapha phakathi kwamathuna amaNgisi. Yazi nomama wami wayengizisela ndawo yonke lana oThongathi engifundisa ngomlando wakhona. Uthi ugogo wayesebenzela iHuletts ezikhathini ezimbi ngempela. Washo ukuthi nogogo wayezalelwa esengazi nakwazi umlando wakhe, ngakho wazenza umazi wayo yonk’into yasoThongathi, njengenhlobo yongoti ozimelayo.”

Manje izinyembezi zivele ebusweni.

“Lingelwa yini manje indaba usukhala kanje? Vuka uziqinise hawu, akukho nto emhlabeni esingakwazi ukuyixazulula uma sindawonye. Noma engabe usukhohliwe ingane yakho? Yona abasitshela odokotela ukuthi ngeke sikwazi ukuba nayo? Bathi si-infertile sobabili? Kodwa-ke ikhona angithi? Isesikoleni lapho iyafunda khona. Ungaduki thandolwami, nogogo okhuluma ngaye, naye wayengawi phansi kanje noma isikhathi abe kuso sasibi kabi kunesethu.” Izwi likaJessica lalikhuphuka manje lincintisana nokukhala komoya ongapheliyo.

“Awuqondi nakuqonda Jess. Ngomashonisa.”

Manje uJess wazihlehlisa kancane eqinisa umhlane. Amehlo akhe ayengaboni esavulekile. Isandla sakhe sasisambamba umyeni ethangeni, phezu kancane kwedolo, kodwa ukubamba kwakhe kwancipha kancane.

“Wenzeni ngabo?”

Wadonsa umphefumulo phambi kokukhuluma uLingelwa. “Uhhavini. Leyi-TV. Ukuhlotshiswa futhi kwendlu yokugeza. Konke ngakwenza ngemali-mboleko. Ngakuqambela amanga mhla ngakutshela ukuthi ngaphiwa imali yokuxoshwa emsebenzini. Banginike lutho Jess.”

Waze wathuka uJessica endonda kancane. “Konje imali le wayitholaphi Lingelwa?”

“Ngikutshelile. Yimali-mboleko.”

“Eyakuphi? Eyamabhange okanye?”

uLingelwa wazithulisa nje ngeside isikhathi ebukela ezeni. “Kunehhovisi le edolobheni lapho ngangifuna ukuthola khona umsebenzi eMain Street. Basondela kimi bangitshela ngethuba lokuba nemali-mboleko engenayo i-interest enkulu njengeyamabhange. Ngabalandela ngangena ehhovisini ngasayindela.” Amehlo akhe athe akhombise okwakufihliwe, njengenkumbulo embi.

uJess wazithulisa nje ezemboza umlomo ngezandla zozimbili. “Ingakanani imali? Ngingabuyela esiteshini ngiqashwe futhi njengephoyisa. Singathola imali nokuvikeleka. Wazi nawe ukuthi ngangiyincwasimende emaphoyiseni.”

uLingelwa wanikina ikhanda nje ebukele phansi.

Uzwelo nomoya nje vo.

*

iNyathuko Primary School bekuyindawo owayithanda kakhulu kunazo zonke ezinye uMnz. uGodfrey Samuels. Wayenguthisha wesiZulu wakhona futhi wathandisisa ukufundisa izingane ngaso. Namhlanje wazilungisela nendaba emnandi yokuyixoxela abafundi emayelana nengwenya ethanda kusindisa abantu ababhukuda emfuleni ibavikele.

Ekuseni wavuka wavuthisa umsakazo wesiZulu awuthanda kakhulu ukuwulalela nxa edla ukudla kwasekuseni, iNdoni FM, siThelo seSizwe. Wazizwa ukuthi namhlanje kuzoba yimini emnandi. Wagqoka izingubo zakhe zasemsebenzini wadla waze wasuthe, ebese walindela isithuthi erenkini.

Lapho wayelinda khona kwakunabantu ababephikisana ngento ethize. Ubalalele eseqinisekise ukuthi kungabonakali ukuthi undlebe usebavulekelile.

“Unamanga wena, bathi uPutin owangena ngesandla ekuqokweni kukaTrump, akusibo abantu baseMelika abamkhethileyo.”

“Hah, ah, ah! Ucabanga kanjalo ngempela? Awubabonanga abaseMelika bemmashela? Bayamfakela ngisho amakepisi abomvu okumsekela!”

Mxm noma kunje ekubonakaleni uPutin nohulumeni wakwakhe usubenzile ukuba benje. Waphatha nezinkundla zokuxhumana ukuze izingqondo zabaseMelika ziphathwe kalula nguye.”

Manje uGodfrey wazivumela ukumomotheka kancane bese akhiphele ifoni yakhe ephaketheni. Uyicofecofe ecwaninge kabanzi ngale ndaba esematheni. Wangenisa amagama athi ‘Putin Trump ukhetho’ kuGoogle bese afunde konke okwamvelela. Wafunda wafunda waze wazicabangela ukuthi hawu, kusengathi baqinisile bobabili ezinikinela ikhanda egigitheka ngezwi eliphansi. Kuthe kwafika isithuthi phambi kwakhe wangena kuso.

Nxa waphuma etekisini lapho erenkini eseduze kwesikole wazizwela intokozo enkulu ngempela eqalaza ilanga elaliphuma emuva kwehholo. Lona lakhanyisa ibala elinotshani ngapha nangapha bukhazimula kuhle kwamaconsi abo. Wayehamba edlule ibala leli eya ehhovisini lapho okumele aqale umsebenzi wakhe ngokusayindela. Kodwa-ke ekudluleni kwakhe kwamsukela umuzwa omubi ngaphakathi esiswini. Wathi wazimisa wama nje esebukeka enobuhlungu. Kwakungenjengobuhlungu obujwayelekile, kwamshaya njengovalo kanti lutho ukwesaba ngakho? uGodfrey waphenduka ikhanda wayibheka imoto ehuthile, ibe mhlophe qhwa iwuhlobo oludala, kodwa inakekelwa. Umshayeli wayo wambheka futhi ebese waphakamisa izandla engathi efuna ukuthi “uxolo!” emamatheke. Kwehle ukuduma kwenhliziyo yakhe ebona ukuthi akuyona leyo ‘moto ebomvu’ ethiwa iyingozi emiphakathini eminingi. uGodfrey naye wamkhombisa umshayeli izandla zakhe zokuthi “hhayi ungakhathazeki!” Umshayeli wayivusa imoto yakhe ebese wayihambisa emgwaqweni. uGodfrey waqhubeka nje ukuhambela ihhovisi lakhe.

Noma izingane zingaganga ngendlela yazo zisemsulwa. Wayezikhumbuza lokho uMnz Samuels ebe esezifundile ngamahora amaningi amade. Kungadlala enye kulalela iningi. Wayezitshela lokho njalo uma ekhathele. Namhlanje yammangalisa engavamisi kakhulu ukuganga, uNikith. Injwayelo kaNikith ibe wukulalela afunde azithulise kahle abe nenjabulo yokwenza umsebenzi. Kodwa whu! Namuhla! Wayejikijelela abangane bakhe amabhola ephepha ekilasini ebashaya emakhanda ubaphazamise.

“Yekani bakithi, nibang’umsindo! Letha iphepha lelo!”

Okwakumdida kakhulu ngawo wukuthi abe nezimpawu ebengazazi. Futhi namuhla kwakuwusuku olungavamile ngempela njengoba uHarry noBheki yibona ababethula besebenze.

Kwandiza futhi iphepha laze lathi phefu ekhanda likaHarry. Kwagigithekwa futhi yikilasi lonke.

“Yeyi bakwethu. Please,” kusho uMnz. Samuels ngezwi elikhathele. “Singaqhubeka kanjani ‘ma kunje esikole? Nikith angithand’ ukukuthethisa kodwa manje awuziphathi kahle. Uma uzophinda ukwenza lo doti ngizokudingisa kule ndlu yokufundela khona!” Iphimbo likathisha lake labhobhoka ekusho lokho. Wamgqolozela ngamehlo athukuthele phambi kokujikela futhi ebhodini. Uzicabangele esabhala amagama esivivinyo esilandelayo ethi “Ngizokusindisa”? Hawu ngabe ngikushilo lokho ngempela? Godfrey ubofunda ukuzibamba umlomo ngempela akukhulunywa kanjalo nengane ngisho ezigangisa. Umcako webhodi wawushaya ebhala uthi klwiklwiklwi.

Kuthe kuvele futhi omunye umsindo wento izwakala engathi iyawa. uMnz. Samuels wajika futhi athi “Eyi ngitheni bakwethu? Ngubani osagangayo?” Wayezibukela zonke izingane kodwa lutho, onke amehlo azo amgqolozela nje.

Uthe uqale ukuzwa amazwi amadoda ngaphandle komnyango wekilasi. Wagqekezwa umnyango kwaqhamuka amadoda amane abe nezibhamu ezisabeka kabi ezidliwa ukusetshenziswa. Kwenyuka ukukhala okubi kwezingane. Amadoda ayesongela bonke abantwana ngezibhamu zabo. Omunye wasondela kuMnz. Samuels owayezama ukutshela izingane ukubhaca phansi kwamatafula. Isigcwelegcwele lesiya sikhiphe ucelemba salubeka le eceleni lentambo yakhe. Sithe simsike khona ophe uMnz. aze awe.

“Mthatheni! Mthatheni! Nanti ingane kaJiki ikhona esikhaleni, mthatheni, asihambe woza, woza!” kusho nje omunye wabeviyo. uNikith owayezama ukuzifihla ekhoneni wayenganyakazi nakancane esedliwa uvalo ngokuphelele. Ngesikhathi bambambe engalweni akenzanga lutho. Ibhulukwe lakhe libe manzi ngaphambili. Bamhudula phandle baze bamfake ebhuthini lemoto bahamba. Kwathatha ihora phambi kokuba afike amaphoyisa. Nxa befika uMnz. Godfrey wayeseshonile elele egazini lakhe.

*

Ngaphakathi kwebhuthi uNikith Jiki wayelila engawenzi umsindo. Babembophile emlonyeni, emehlweni, ezihlakaleni nasemaqakaleni bemfaka nesaka ekhanda. Imoto yayihamba ngesivinini esivamisile semoto yanoma ubani. Wayeyizwa ime emarobhothini iqale futhi ukuhamba. Kwakukwenzeka kanjalo waze walala kathathu. Njalo nxa evuka wavukela indwangu egcwele nezinyembezi zakhe nobumnyama obuphelele. Wayengazi nakwazi ukuthi wabe esekhona ngesikhathi esingakanani. Waphinda wathathwa ubuthongo engafuni nakuvuka.

*

Ngasendlini kaLingelwa wayenikina ikhanda nje esabukela phansi. Wayesetshelwa ngalokho obekwenzekile esikole iNyathuko Primary School. Isifuba sakhe sike siphenduke ugobolongo olungenalutho. Amandla okuma nokuziphakamisa wayengenawo. Wayelokhu ehluleka ngisho ukukhuluma nomkakhe uJessica Jiki.

“Phakama vila!” kukhononde uJessica. “Phakama Lingelwa sithole ingane yethu! Uyalibala kanje singazi ukuthi ukephi uNikith wethu! Uyini? Uyini vele?”

uLingelwa waze wazinyakazisa ngekhanda ukumbuka emehlweni. “Singenzenjani baby?” Amehlo kaJessica avula ngokuphelele ngangokuveza ububomvu bawo kodwa wamphazamisa uLingelwa eqhubeka ethi “Singenzenjani ngempela? Sizobathola kanjani omashonisa abamthathile bese senzeni? Bazosiqeda sobathathu sithi nya phambi kwabo.”

uJess wazenzela ukukhuluma aze azithulise nje. “Cha. Angizukukhuluma nawe. Sala ufe vila akunakeki kimi. Mina ngizosindisa ingane yethu. Nxa ngibuya naye ungazisondezi kithi. Sesihlukene, sithandwa. Sesiqedile. Uyihlazo nakugogo wakho.” Kuthe wasukuma ngqo, ethathe imizuzwana yokuphefumula phambi kokuphuma.

“Linda, Jess, linda sikhulume,” washo nje uLingelwa ngezwi elinqotshiwe.

Lutho impendulo. Ubesehambile uJessica.

*

Kwakusesiteshini samaPhoyisa sasoThongathi lapho ayeya khona uJessica. Siseduze kakhulu nomgwaqo omkhulu uMain Street lapho uLingelwa wafica khona nomashonisa. Wayezicabangela ethi Mm, ubugcwelegcwele bakhona buseduze kangaka namaphoyisa. Sengathi ziyazifihla kahle izinswelaboya. Ngempela ababulali benyathi balala ubucwayimbane.

Wafika esiteshini wema ngaphandle. Kwakunomugqa wabantu ababelinda ukuzenza izinto ezinhlobonhlobo; ukubika ngobugebengu obake benzeka; ukugunyaza amaphepha; ukuthola ukuvikeleka ngokuhlukunyezwa ekhaya, nokunye, nokunye. Isiteshi lesi uqobo lwaso sibe umuzi wabelungu ezikhathini ezedlule. Kwakucaca kakhulu kuthi qhakalala uma kwakubhekwa ngeso elinesineke; ivulanda lesiNgisi; amafasitela nomnyango waso naleyiya nhlobo yezindonga ezimfushane ezinomthangala wensimbi ezithintana phezulu nophahla. Kodwa manje isiphendukile ibe yisiteshi samaphoyisa afanele asize abantu – uJessica wabe nesizathu esithile sokushiya isikhundla sakhe sakhona. Wabona ukuthi namalala akaka isiteshi lesi sasiqhaqhazelela umoya obandayo.

Wathe wazivusa angena kusona eziba umugqa.

Lapho esengenile wabona ihhovisi labo elincanyana. Amadeski amabili abe nesikhala sokungena nokuphuma lapho sicishe siphambana khona, umshini wokugxifa amaphepha ngemuva kwawo, namaphoyisa esebesebenza kanzima ebasiza abantu ngephepha nangekompyutha.

“Hayi bo uyaphazamisa lona-ke! Zihlehlise ubuyele emuva,” kumemeza omunye umuntu endlini. Kwavunya ngamakhanda abanye bethi “Ehhe nathi kwamele silinde” bembukela. Wayengabanaki uJess esacingela utho ngemuva kwamatafula namakhanda abantu.

Hey, lady excuse me? You are cutting in the queue,” kuphakamise umlungu owambamba ehlombe.

uJessica wasusa isandla engambuki aqhubekela phambili.

Absolutely ridiculous,” kuphinde umlungu.

Kuthe kwaduma ilizwi njengebhubesi emgedeni. “We mame! Nguwe qobo lwakho Jessie! We ma isikhathi eside kangaka?” Khona manje kuphuma egumbini kude emuva uSayitsheni wasesiteshini lesi uNonhlanhla Dube. “Sisi ngikukhumbulile kabi, woza sikhulume ehhovisini.”

Wamlandela uJess esangakuzwa ukungajabuli kwabantu.

Lapho ehhovisini kwakukhanya konke kuthi bha. Ezindongeni kube khona imiklomelo yokuba uSayitsheni ophambili esifundazweni nesithombe somndeni wakhe esimsulwa. Etafuleni lube ngekho uthuli noma udoti nakancane.

Bahlale phansi bobabili ezinhlangothini ezimbili zetafula likaNonhlanhla. Waqala wathi, “Konje Jessie uziselwani kimi namhlanje madala amehlo ami kanje? Angithi uyabuyela isikhundla sakho?” asho nje emamatheke.

Wathula uJess ngesikhashana. “Mhlawumbe awuzwanga, Noni.”

Waziphakamisa esihlalweni uNonhlanhla eqala ukukhathazeka. “Kwenzekeni sisi wami?”

“Bekuyingane yami abayithathe yona kwaNyathuko Primary School.”

Wawemboza umlomo uSayitsheni Dube ngesinye isandla evale amehlo engathi ubezokhala.

“Omashonisa kaLingelwa,” kuphendula uJess esemazi ukuthi wayezobuzani umngane wakhe.

Waqhubeka wathi “Sihlobo, ngisidinga isibhamu sami sakudala. Ngiyazi ukuthi akukho semthethweni kodwa… Ngizobaqeda. Kumele ngithole uNikith wami.”

Bemi bobabili beqalazana kungakhulumi muntu. uSayitsheni Nonhlanhla wayembukela ngqo umngane wakhe ngamehlo aqinile.

*

Kwakushuba khona emgwaqweni wasoThongathi uMain Street ngemisindo yokudubulana. Abantu bebebalekile belishiya idolobhana libe lingenabantu. Namatekisi ayeshiyelwa phakathi nendawo. Omashonisa babezifihla ngemuva kwawo bebambe izibhamu zabo. Eduze nabo kube khona izidumbu zozakwabo ezine zibhojozwa kaningi. Labo babejuluka kabi kusasala ababili nje vo ngemuva kwetekisi elimhlophe.

“Mhlobo asenzenjani? Angimboni nakumbona ukuthi ukuphi. Iya ngapha nangapha isibulala le ndoda,” kuswebeza omunye. Umuntu owabhekana naye wathula engaphenduli wakhefuzela nje.

“Qhubeka kancane uhlole isimo. Sesihambile isikhathi ngingakuzwa msindo.”

Lo omunye wavala amehlo usahefuzela phezulu bese azinyakazise kancane ezinqeni waze wakwazi ukuphenya eceleni lemoto.

“Angiboni lutho bhoza.”

Wagwinya amathe uBhoza wabo. “Phuma unyonyobela ehhovisini, uzodibana noSicelo osangaphakathi. Zonke izingane esizozidayisa zikhona ngaphakathi. Sisayothola eyethu imali mpintshi yami, kodwa hayi ngaphandle komkhiqizo. Ubohamba uwuvikela buze buphele lobu buphihliphihli.”

Umngane wavuma ngekhanda.

Wazenzela ukuma ahambe.

Kuthe kwaqhamuka umzimba womuntu phambi kwabo. Baphakamise izibhamu zabo ngokushesha kodwa hayi ngokwanele. Kwathi qhuzu-qhuzu ngezinhlamvu ezimbili kuwe ikhanda likaMpintshi kusale uBhoza. Isandla sakhe sokubamba isibhamu sasopha. Walila esezama ukuyekisa ukuphuma kwegazi ngesinye. Wayezihlehlisa ekhala.

uJess wacosha isikhali sikaBhoza asibeke esifociyeni amnyathele entanyeni.

“Iphi ingane yami?”

uBhoza wakhomba ngomunwe onegazi umnyango owakhona buqamamana kubo le emgwaqweni. Usho ngokuthi “Yilo mnyango… onesikhangiso esiphuzi… Ungangibulal—”

Kwamduduza inhlamvu.

uJessica washiya isidumbu wadlula umgwaqo othulile nowawugcwele nezinkomba zokubaleka kwabantu waze wafika emnyango wehhovisi. Waqhamuka kuwo enyukela umkhakha wesibili ngezitebhisi egijimela phezulu. Wafika phezulu ezwa izililo zeziningi izingane aqale ukufikiselwa izinyembezi. Azehlise kancane ukungawenzi msindo anyonyobela phakathi.

Kwathi qhumbu ngenhlamvu ecishe yamshaya ehlombe ibhoboza udonga ngemuva kwakhe. Wabheka isandla sesithi hloko sibuyele emuva komunye umnyango ngokwesokudla. Wangenela ngokunyenya egumbini eliseceleni kulelo lapho sasizibhaca khona isikelemu, waqonda esibukweni. Waphuma kuso ezibeka endaweni encane yokhonkolo wazihambisa kalukeke waze wafika esibukweni esilandelayo. Waze wema khona wazilungiselela lokho okwakuzokwenzeka. Uphefumule eqalaza uphahla lwezakhiwo zasoHlawe. Bese wajika waguqa wabona isimo sangaphakathi; kwakuma umuntu ekhombela isihloko sesibhamu umnyango; kohlangothi lwegumbi zibe khona izingane engathi ziyisithupa. NoNikith! Ubuso bakhe bacwebezela kancane ngethemba nxa wambona umama wakhe.

Aphakamise isibhamu sakhe uJess asiqondisele lona ophambi kwakhe.

Wacindezela ingcupho yaso. Kwachofoza isikhali singenzi lutho; Ziphel’inhlamvu zami!

Umuntu lona waze wajika ebukeka ngokuthukuthela nokwesaba ebusweni wamkhombela. uJess wamjikijelela kanzima esandleni ngesakhe kuwe zozimbili izibhamu. Ngokushesha okweqile uJessica wasikhipha esikaBhoza wasithi qhuzu ngesikhathi sokugcina.

Kuwohloke phansi isidumbu.

Bese kwathula konke.

Kancane kancane asukume uNikith ekhala ngezwi eliphansi. Waqala ukusondelela ifasitela. Wangena kamnene umama wakhe ehlela efasiteleni bese washesha kuye wamthatha wambamba njengoba wayembamba kanjalo esanda kuzalwa uNikith wakhe.

“Ngane yami, ngane yami, ngane yami. Usuphephile ngane yami ungesabi lutho. Uma nje ngikhona emhlabeni uzophepha njalo mntwana wami.”

Yonk’ingane ize kuye zimbamba emilenzeni zikhale ubuhlungu novalo. uJess wambeka phansi futhi uNikith waqoshama wazibamba zonke zimbambe futhi naye. Babebambana kanjalo kwaze kwafika amaphoyisa, abezindaba, izithuthi zeziguli eziphuthumayo, nosonhlalakahle ababezohlanganisa izingane ezidukile nabazali bazo.

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Categories: Folktales

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