It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. The sun is shining bright as if it was not raining yesterday. The smell of MamAngie’s fat cakes wake a lot of people up; the long queue says it all. Everyone is longing to get some fat cakes and indulge; they want to have a 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 as if they just came back from an all-night party; their faces look horrible. Oh my goodness! Some girls! Why didn’t they come 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 look of things, the Lobola negotiations went well. I am so jealous. She got her degree in time and her boyfriend just paid Lobola for her. Some girls are lucky.
Where is my Prince charming? Sigh! As I look across, I see MamGrace in her sleeping gown and a towel at her gate, shouting to Charmaine’s mother. She is telling her about the man who got beaten by his wife. This woman: I wonder where she gets all the time to gossip about people. She always has news, and that pink gown! Hai, it’s 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 nearly forgot because I greet every person I meet on the street. Yes, mama taught me well. She taught me to respect everyone, regardless of age and colour.
Jabulile’s granny is getting old. Look at her, basking in the sun like an old sag. 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’re really slow and they take forever to finish their sentences.
Me: “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.”
Jabulile’s granny: “Good morning Lathitha. I am just okay my child. Eish, my legs and joints are killing me, you know us old people. Go inside the house and ask Jabulile to pour you some sugar.”
“Thank you Gogo, I’ve got it!” I said. I run quickly before she starts complaining. I cannot afford to hear another story. Old people and tales. I cannot deal with them.
“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, and I found a new job. I have a meeting in about an hour with my new boss.”
“That’s great, Owethu! Please help me find a job. You know that 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.” Owethu says.
“Married men?” I ask, looking at her with shocked eyes. “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 running late, and yes, they need people. I will SMS you the details later. They want to interview people on Monday.”
“Thank you girl, I will wait for it. Bye.”
(After an hour) “Beep” “Beep”. (Sms notification).
“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!!”