It all began on 8 October 2012, when Mr Xaba, who was an honourable, loving, and caring man, passed on. Mrs Xaba, who was Mam’ Nomvula at that time, only had one daughter-in- law, Lindiwe. She treated Lindiwe like a slave because she knew her family had no power to fight against her family, and they needed the money her son gave to their daughter. Lindiwe’s wedding was cheap and undermined because the money they had paid for her bridal price (lobola) was cheap. She used to run a clean house, cook, and make sure everyone was clean and healthy. She wanted to go back home and start afresh, but her mother always reminded her that they were nothing without the Xaba family.
One of Mam’ Nomvula’s sons married Andisa, who was a lady that lived her life standing behind tills, trying to raise a two-year-old and help her sick mom. Because she was still new to the Xaba family, Mam’ Nomvula was still nice to her, and Lindiwe babysat her two-year-old while she went to work.
Mam’ Nomvula also had a twenty-year-old daughter, Londiwe, who had had her first child at age fifteen. At age nineteen, Londiwe had her second child. Mam’ Nomvula then had her third daughter-in-law, Melisa, and she loved her because she had a high salary that would buy her luxurious things around the house. Melisa was a hustler, and she volunteered for every overtime that was offered at work. She made sure her husband and her children never went to bed with an empty stomach, but later found out that she was only being used and, the worst part, her husband was having an affair with her sister.
While Melisa was still in pain, Lindiwe became a mother to both of Londiwe’s children. Mam’ Nomvula told everyone there would a wedding in two weeks. Like it was with other wedding processions, while the cleaning was in procession, the traditional beer was being made, the wood being collection, and the blankets for the in laws bought. Every family in the Xaba family’s unit was invited to the wedding, except for Lindiwe’s family, that is. When it was time for the wedding day, everyone cheered, sang, chatted and had fun, while Lindiwe stood inhaling smoke and getting burned by big, black pots at the fire.
Lindiwe hoped to see her mother at the door greeting her one of the days, but life after the wedding was still the same and they still treated her like a slave while treating Carol like a Queen or the heart of Africa. After her heartbreak, Melisa dusted herself up, shook off her pain, wiped all her tears, and decided to leave the Xaba household. She got a better position as the bank manager, got divorced to her husband, and started afresh while her sick mother recovered.
Andisa and her husband separated after they lost their child because her husband had fallen into a habit of alcohol abuse and had become abusive. She had no choice but to go back to her drawing board and slowly start afresh. She was a doctor at the time, and after her divorce, her career took her far.
Since Lindiwe was uneducated, she started selling nuts, and as she sold more and more nuts, she got used to them and developed a deep understanding about them. Because of this, she opened her own nut factory that became the biggest nut factory in South Africa and became rich. It all began with her selling nuts at the backroom window, but she became a very successful woman.
Carol’s life became a mess, and she couldn’t conceive children of her own. She couldn’t get a job and, even though she was beautiful, she had no profile and felt like a book with a beautiful cover but no words inside. She then went to ask for a job from the same Lindiwe she had treated like a slave and, because Lindiwe had the heart of an angel, she gave her the job. Londiwe and her mom Nomvula had no choice but to return to the township because the town house rates had become too high for them to pay. Sizwe, who was Londiwes first born, later became a junkie and robbed people of their goods.
One thing I learned from this story I wrote is that sometimes our enemies give us strength and makes us want to hustle. So, keep your enemies close, listen to what they have to say about you, and change it for the better. It’s never too late to start afresh.
Tell us: What do you think about the Xaba family and how they treated Lindiwe?