“Love…your line is bad.”
“Baby, what is happening? I can’t seem to hear you.”
“I love you…baby nooooo!”
That was the last time I heard his voice. After that I heard explosions rippling continuously across the country. They were so loud, I almost went deaf. My heart was pounding with fear, I could hardly think. I wondered where my family could be, were they safe? I was expecting this to happen, but I was never really ready for it. Never really prepared for it.
It had been a long time coming. Political parties had been promising change for a long time. The next five years things will get better. People waited for the change until one day they could wait no longer. Then the politicians had to deal with the consequences of the stealing; the time had come where poor people had nothing left to eat but the rich. This awful day occurred ten years ago.
Where telephone lines were cut and the internet was destroyed. It made communication impossible. Lost communication with all my loved ones and felt alone in this world. Now it’s the year 2044 and my life has completely changed. I was found crouching at the corner of a torn down building, unable to move, with the fear of God running through me.
Let’s just say, I decided to join the struggle for our land. Needless to say they quickly discovered that I was an asset to the team. Yes, I was hard to train because I was stubborn but very soon, I had hit the enemy where it hurt most and they were searching for me high and low.
How rude, I forgot to introduce myself, my name is Uzonqoba. However, I am known by many different names. I live my life on the run, always moving from camp to camp this past eight years or so. Making sure that the goals and ideas of the revolution are reaching our people. When we started this revolution, all we had was love and numbers. We have worked hard to build the resources we now have. At all times the enemy was there killing us off one by one. We had to hide; we had to work in secret. I had even forgotten who I was, my true self, I was whatever the revolution needed me to be at that time.
Only time I would remember, was when I was thinking back to the day I last heard his voice.
Usually during the long trips, travelling from place to place, where I would look at the land and what has become of it. This once beautiful land and its beautiful people. Greed led us here. In our camps we are busy training our people to take over, to work the land, so it can produce for us. We wasted too much time squabbling over money. Instead of focusing on our land.
This would make me angry. Thousands have died for this cause. I lost my family, the love of my life just because a few greedy men could not let go of this love for money and power. Sometimes I wish I could ask them if they’re now happy. Is this the future they had envisioned for our beautiful land? It has now turned into a place of murders and thieves that have nothing but greed in their hearts.
We formed these camps to teach our people to love, love our people and our land. Love was the only thing powerful enough to fuel the revolution. When I mentioned this in the early days at camp; they would laugh and say ‘Uzonqoba you will die, we need killing machines out there’. I also laughed because they had no clue of how powerful true love for something was. A hurt that made me not shed a tear in ten years.
Our country was in a terrible state but I knew I had to fight for what I lost when all this started, it was an unbearable pain. They took away my land, my family, my dignity. I had become a dog in the wild, wondering and scavenging for food and the right to a decent life. Our people had become slaves in their own land with their own people policing their slavery.
“Uzonqoba we are here.” We had finally arrived at the camp.
I had not visited this particular camp for over five years. I knew it was in good hands. The camp master was an old friend of mine.
We shared common views on how best to move the country forward. Under the supervision of Noxolo. It was beautiful, it had a clinic, gardens of food, sports ground, training centres. Our people were growing there. However, nobody knew me as me. I got there and I was undercover as a man. My name was to be Ndumiso. A transferred general who had come to oversee the camp. I walked around the camp and looking at all the wonderful things that were taking place, all the learning. All the time I had two young soldiers that always travelled with me for my protection.
We had gone back to fighting wars the old way, technology had destroyed most of the world and in turn it destroyed itself. When bombs go through countries and missiles hit satellites, nothing survives. So here I was undercover. As I was walking through the grounds, I saw a face I knew, and could never deny that I knew it. It had grown a lot in the ten years, and you could see the pain of the war in the eyes but nowhere else.
I felt a tear drop, and I quickly wiped it away. I could not suppress the memory of his voice, the last time I heard it. Ten years ago and then the explosions that left me timid crouching in a corner. Little by little we were gaining ground in our country. Some parts of it belonged to us, others to the enemy. They were refusing to leave our country alone, it had things they simply could not live without.
We were winning because we were always one step ahead of them. That is why the leaders were being killed off one by one. That is the reason why I was at this camp, the reason why I was in hiding. However that face, it reminded me of all the things that this war had made me lose. It crashed my soul; I had to steal a moment.
The following day, I did not dress up like Ndumiso or put on my uniform. I put my shorts on and my top to go play ball with the guys. It was a beautiful Sunday with the sun out. The two soldiers warned me that this would be a bad idea, as there were rumours that some of our camps now had spies. I did not care, because love was pumping through my veins. The same love that had brought me here and that had led me to join the fight.
I walked straight onto the field, I walked straight up to him as Uzonqoba. He froze hardly, believing his eyes and unable to hide his smile. Fear, hope, and love were all the emotions that were rushing through me. As I felt his lips touch mine and connecting our souls again. Above all was the excitement and the joy. Not only because of him, but as I was Uzonqoba, many of my friends that were in the camp were happy to see me. It was like I had come home and we were all happy to see each other and share with each other; the laughter, the good memories before all this pain that had separated us. It was a beautiful Sunday shared by people who loved each other and who loved their nation. However, where there is love, surely you must be aware that evil is always lurking with its fake smile and cold embrace.
We had worked hard at our camps but jealousy was something that was inside a man and it was hard to root out. I spent the day with the love of my life. We shared where we will meet after as I had to leave. I had revealed my identity and it was no longer safe for me to be there. As we walked hand-in-hand, saying our goodbyes with excitement in our hearts for the future, I passed Noxolo and embraced him, I told him that this would always be my favourite place, I found love and the revolution here.
The day he was supposed to arrive I waited where we had agreed. I waited but there was no sign of them, I waited, security warned we might be compromised, I waited…word came in. A bomb went through the camp just before they left…his leg was hit he could not walk, he was being treated and Noxolo had died… After ten years I could not stop the tears from falling and my anger from raging…they had lit an unstoppable fire.