It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. The sun is shining brightly, like it was not raining yesterday. The smell of MamAngie’s fat cakes woke a lot of people up – the long queue says it all. Everyone is longing to get some fat cakes and indulge, as they want to have proper breakfast. At the opposite corner it’s MalomeSam’s spaza shop. All the kids are running up and down to buy bread and some are just buying chips and polony.

Look at Lindi and her friends, they look like just came back from a long all night party. Their faces look horrible – oh my goodness. Some girls though, why didn’t they come home early while everyone was sleeping?

At Ntombi’s house there is a lot of noise, everyone is dancing and they look joyous – they are happy. By the looks of things the Lobola negotiations went pretty well. I am so jealous, she got her degree in time and her boyfriend just paid Lobola for her. Some girls are just lucky, where is my Prince charming? Sigh.

As I look across I see MamGrace with her sleeping gown and a towel at her gate, shouting over to Charmaine’s mother. She is busy telling her about the man who got beaten by his wife, this woman, I wonder where does she get all this gossip about other people from? She always has news, and that pink gown is losing its colour.

I walk down the dusty street of Tembisa, a township where everyone knows everyone. My granny has sent me to ask for sugar at Jabulile’s house. I had forgotten because I have to greet every person I meet on the street. Yes, my mama taught me well. She taught me to respect everyone, regardless of age and colour, but Jabulile’s granny is getting old, look at her, basking in the sun like an old hag.

My granny always says, “Old people have wisdom, they know and have seen things, you should spend time with them”, but I am really impatient. I think they are really slow as they take forever to finish their sentences.

“Good morning granny, how are you? Ma has sent me to ask for sugar. She says she will bring it back after getting her grant money” I say.

“Good morning Lathitha. I am okay my child. Eish, my legs and joint are killing me, you know us old people. Go inside the house and ask Jabulile to pour you some sugar” she replies.

“Thank you gogo. I got it”, I say. I run quickly before she starts complaining again as I cannot afford to hear another story. Old people and tales – I cannot deal.

‘Lathitha, Lathitha, Lathitha!” screams Owethu.

“Hey girl, how are you? You look amazing, that dress is to die for! Oh and those shoes, amazing, and you’re…” She stops me.

“I know girlfriend, and I know I look amazing don’t I?” She asks. “I am in a hurry though, I just wanted to show you my new dress. I am rushing to Johannesburg now. I found a new job, we have a meeting in about an hour with my new boss”.

“That’s great Owethu, please help me find a job, you know between my studies, my cousins and my granny things are really hard at home.”

“Girl, you need to wake up, with my job, you can do anything, I make up to R500 a night, depending on the customers, some customers can really drain you, you know? And married men can be annoying at times.”

“Married men?” I ask in shock. “But that’s a lot of money, if they need people let me know. I don’t mind working at night”, I say.

“Ag, never mind married men. I am really running late, and yes they need people, I will sms you details later, they want to interview people on Monday.”

“Thank you girl, I will wait for it. Bye.”

“Bye girl.”

(After an hour)

An hour later my phone beeps from an sms that reads: “Girl, here is the address. 1524 Lone Hills, Extension Room 44. Ask for Melissa Wethuzzy.”

“Lone hills? That’s where a lot of prostitutes are located. Owethu is a prostitute? My goodness!” I say.

To be continued…