My cat in the morning
Adilet Hamid

I got woken up by my cat who was sleeping soundly at the foot of my bed. He rose with a perfect stretch, accompanied by a very audible yawn and proceeded to jump off the bed and strut towards the door. Then he started his symphony of cries demanding to be let out.

I smacked the side of my head, “Why the heck did I get a cat?”

I sluggishly, ever so reluctantly, put my right foot out to touch the floor mat. I felt the almost rough material it’s made of between my toes. I contemplated every decision I have made in my life as the cold sprinted in to hug my bare skin.

“Alright, one feat overcome,” I murmured under my breath. Then I shouted, “And now for the left foot!” This was to give me courage to pull off the blankets and stand up. I could hear the sweet sound of my cat’s purr as he realised his human had once again heeded his demands. Like the puny servant I was, I strode to the door to open it and watched him scurry off to his adventures and then I jumped back into bed.

Sleep evaded me so I bit the bullet and woke up. This time it was quicker and less painful as the sun flooded its rays through my window making my room come alive with happiness.

I took off all the bedding to properly make my bed for the first time in four days. As I dusted off each layer: sheets, blanket and duvet to put back on my bed, I remembered I had promised myself to jog every morning, but I made a mental note of doing it tomorrow, not today, as the powers of procrastination overcame me.

When I’d finished I immediately propped myself on top of the freshly made bed with my phone at the ready. I proceeded to peruse through YouTube videos about: “How to get your cat to love you?”

Morning Walks
Mothebang Diseni

I knew I had so much to do today so I instantly kicked my blankets away and got out of bed. I picked up my clothes that were splattered on the floor and put them on. I headed outside yawning non-stop to enjoy the warm sun that was shining gloriously from the east.

After a while, rejuvenated, I headed back inside to brush my teeth. I pasted the Colgate on my blue toothbrush and religiously brushed my teeth, while in my head I was contemplating things I was supposed to complete.

Rinsing my mouth, I was rudely pushed away from the sink by my sister who also wanted to brush her teeth. I didn’t say anything — I just brushed her off. I wasn’t ready for an argument so early in the morning.

Back in my room I put on my dusty, black takkies that screamed to be washed and prepared myself for my everyday morning walk. I would bath after.

Longer Blankets
Justice Ripinga

My eyes opened when my skin felt a sting of icy wind. For a second I thought I had left the windows open before I slept the night before. I pulled my blanket over my head which left my legs exposed. I had to adjust it so that it covered them. “They need to make longer blankets for us taller people!” I complained in my head.

It was weird how the sun’s rays filtered through the window curtains and into my eyes, and yet the breeze was severely chilly. I complained yet again. I threw the towel in on trying to go back to sleep; besides, it was already 8 am anyway, right about the time when my mom usually shouts at me and reminds me how lazy I am.

Survival Coffee
Lulu Manyathi

I woke up to feather soft kisses of the sun’s rays on my cheek. They extended over my colourful duvet, dancing all the way to my feet. I lifted a stubborn head to spot my mother’s blurred silhouette wrestling the curtains into a ribbon. She gave a loud, melodious whistle of disappointment before announcing, “Girls do not sleep until the sun comes knocking.”

I gingerly kicked the blankets away as she walked out of our room. I shuffled over to my sister’s bed on wobbly legs and gently roused her. She emerged from a mountain heap of blankets with a sickly moan. We exchanged a knowing look, then mischievously giggled at the familiarity of our mother’s famous announcement.

With that, I tip-toed to the kitchen, seeking the bitter-sweet liquid of survival, coffee.

Happy in my own skin
Lilonke Sidlayi

This morning, as most mornings, I woke up slowly. At first I marvelled at how snug and happy I was to be in a warm bed before mercilessly beginning to torture myself. I ripped my legs from under the blanket, pressing my feet hard against the cold floor tiles as I tried to fish out my slippers from under the bed with my toes. Not allowing a moment of relief to settle in, when I had finally found my slippers, I pushed away from the bed and heard the mattress springs sorrowfully squeak after my body as I stumbled towards my yoga mat.

My bones and muscles seemed to squeak in agony, pining for my mattress, as I started stretching and breathing in deeply. It was only after a few minutes, which felt like an eternity, that my body rediscovered its own warmth and suppleness and again I found myself marvelling, but this time I was happy to be in my own skin.

A chef in the house
Lilonke Sidlayi

I felt an ice-cold and soft touch on my face only to find out it was my dog, Frisky, alerting me that she was indeed ready for breakfast. I quickly made my bed, putting crispy clean linen on since it’s the weekend and that means laundry day.

I opened my bedroom window to let in the winter morning breeze. The weather was chilly and a little bit frosty with a bright blue sky with a few snowy clouds. The way it was so chilly I felt like I was in an ice-skating arena.

I went to take a quick hot bath with lavender bath bubbles, then rushed to the kitchen to find my older sister busy preparing breakfast. She made mouth-watering crispy, salty bacon, creamy mushroom with a kick of ginger, juicy sausages, fresh garlic-butter cheesy rolls, soft tangy scrambled eggs and freshly squeezed citrus fruit juice to wash down the greasy breakfast. The beauty of having a professional chef in the house!

Facing the day
Gugu Radebe

As my eyes snapped open I was immediately aware of the neighbourhood slowly beginning to awake – the sound of quiet music, conversations and traffic, slowly becoming a part of my consciousness.

I sat up, not daring to stir the cold air around me, and begrudgingly going over the tasks that awaited me for the day.

I slipped out of the warm comfort of bed to get ready for my first cup of coffee for the day, a ritual that – over time- has become a mandatory part of my morning routine.

I sat down with my freshly brewed cup to a blank journal and tried to put pen to paper to no avail, and out of exhaustion I finally decided to face the rest of the day.

Setting the tone
Siyamthanda Mabizela

As usual, my alarm went off at 3 am and I gripped my hugging blanket as I contemplated if I should seize this day. Ten minutes later I finally collected the will to get my snuggly self out of bed.

I brewed myself some perpetually hot and fresh coffee, lit my candle, and played some chilled music to set the tone for a serene atmosphere.

I instantly proceeded to translate my racing thoughts and feelings into my journal.

Approximately an hour later, I switched on my laptop and got on top of my academics. And that was the end of my magically swift and restful sleep.

How I wish
James Masilo

How I wish this was one of those good mornings where I would wake up and give thanks to the man above for keeping me and my family alive the previous night. But in this case I guess my wish was just a wish – not strong enough to become a reality. I guess it was just a wish that was washed away by the cold breeze of the winter night.

I jumped out of my bed wearing just boxer shorts. After hearing the crying and the screaming in the house I realised my family had lost a member. Rest in peace Mama!