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Trip to Whittlesea – Chapter 1

AUTHOR: Uviwe Nabileyo

PUBLISHER: FunDza Literacy Trust

LANGUAGE: English

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So it was around 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. when Zandi and I decided to go to a town, Whittlesea, which is not that far from where we live. The plan was that she was going to withdraw some money which her father had sent her as he promised he would. I think it was R800 or so. On our way to the main road where we normally get taxis, we saw a nice car parked outside this pink-painted, nicely-built house and not too big or small, just perfect. The car was a black Honda Civic 2017 model with a V8 engine.

Imoto entle so e-Dongwe?” I asked in shock.

Tshin! Uyayidelela i-Dongwe. Ekuqaleni ubosothuka abelungu e-Komani ngoku yile? Haayi bhuti at least give Dongwe the respect it deserves. Well, give the Eastern Cape the same respect too.” Zandi responded.

The way she was so defensive you’d swear she also lived there full-time even though she and I lived in Johannesburg full-time and had just come for the festive season holidays in the Eastern Cape.

C’mon ma-Zet! Wena when last did you see a white person since we came here? You have even forgotten how they look? And for the car, I haven’t even seen this one in Johannesburg and I see it here; that is strange don’t you think?” I asked.

“I do…” she tried to respond but I had thought of something else again and interrupted her.

“See the number plate says it is from Gauteng…” I added.

Although she wanted to respond she just couldn’t; she was speechless. Yay! I normally don’t lose these kinds of debates until I debated with Babalwa, my second cousin. That is not to say that my argument gets whipped and all that but it is quite the opposite. You can debate with her with all the points you have which are valid, her on the other hand, will generalise and refuse to be defeated so I eventually give her the trophy most of the time.

She is one of those people who think they know things but in actual fact know a bit about things than she expected. For example, the #FeesMustFall movement of this year, 2016; she argued that the South African government can’t afford free tertiary education, while I had proof that the government can afford it and time and time again I did the same thing: gave her the trophy she didn’t deserve. I guess that’s what makes her to be the great cousin that she is.

As Zandi and I continued to walk we saw a guy heading to the same car we were arguing about. I don’t know why but the guy looked so familiar but I didn’t take the familiarity to mind. As the guy was heading to the drivers’ door, he looked in our direction and for quite some time, I was not sure if he was looking at me or Zandi. But I bet he was looking at her. As we got closer to him he was looking more and more familiar. He smiled and shook his head.

Ye wena son unyakang mo?” he asked while laughing.

Where does he know me from and who is he? I found those questions puzzling my mind. And I wondered. I decreased my pace so that when I had reached him I would have remembered who he was.

Ye wena Uviwe. O dira e nkare ontsebe o lemo geno,” he added. I got even more shocked by the fact that he knew my name. I looked at him and he looked like Tshepang I thought.

“Tshepang?” I thought aloud.

“Oh you remember me? That’s nice I thought just because you’re here you don’t speak to Pedis…” as he spoke it became clear which Tshepang he was and not the one who I left in Diepsloot. He was a different one who was also from Diepsloot but we got to know each other from a day-care organization in Diepsloot, Akani.

“…Where are you and your girlfriend going?” he asked.

“We’re going to Whittlesea and where are you going? And wait what are you doing this side? You have a family this side?”

“Well, yes I do have a family this side. I just found out recently my grandmother from my father’s side lives here and my father said nothing about…” he paused for a while.

“Just get in with your girlfriend and I’ll tell you the rest of it while we’re on the road because I am also going to Spar.” He added.

He said that Zandi was my girlfriend twice now and I was in no mood to explain to him that she was my little sis; I just let him assume.

Normally I tell people there and then that someone is not my girlfriend but I guess that day was one of those days I had to change the routine. I sat in the back seat while ma-Zet sat in the front with Tshepang.

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Tell us what you think: Do you find it strange that Uviwe doesn’t correct Tshepang? Why do you think that is?

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