That burly body!
Simamkele Mbambo

“Hello friend!” Busi gives Andiswa a warm tight hug. They start mincing to the spaza shop, walking in the dusty streets of Bram Fischer.

“Chommie, you said that you are going to tell me about a boy that you like,” says Andiswa with a very intrigued face.

Busi clears her throat, “Ummhh!”

“Haahaahaa,” they both lough as Busi blushes.

“Chommie, I really like this boy from my class. His name is Thato. He is really cute, his skin is so soft, his nails are so clean and he smells good too.” Busi could not stop blushing.

“Thato the rugby player, the serene, light-skinned boy with a burly body?” asks Andiswa.

“Yes chommie, I can’t stop thinking about him and I think he likes me too!” says Busi with her eyes filled with love.

“What makes you think he likes you?” Andiswa murmurs to herself.

“Did you say something friend?” asks Busi feeling bewildered.

“Nothing chommie, I’m just excited for you.” She rolls her eyes.

PING! WhatsApp message notifications.

Busi opens her WhatsApp. Her face brightens with excitement.

“Aaaahh!” she screams. “Thato just sent me a WhatsApp message chommie!” exclaims Busi.

It reads: Hey Busi, it’s Thato here. Thank you very much for giving me your numbers, I would like to take you out on a date. Xoxoxo

“What did he say?” asks Andiswa.

Busi jumps up and down.

Peep Peep! A car hooted at Busi. She is so excited she doesn’t even see that there is a car behind her.

“Heyi wena be careful!” the driver yells.


Hidden crush
Lungelwa Kulati

Busi and her friend Andiswa were on their way to the spaza shop. The sun was blazing hot, and they kept wiping away sweat from their foreheads. As they passed by a group of kids playing soccer, one little boy smiled and waved at them. They smiled and waved back at him, and continued walking.

“So, do I have to beat this thing out of you? This thing you are hiding from me?” Andiswa asked, annoyed.

“Fine, it’s Thato!”

“Thato? Thee Thato? The one you are always drooling over. You like him, don’t you?” she guessed.

“Is it that obvious?” Busi blushed and hid her face with her hands.

“I’ve seen you daydreaming about him,” she laughed.

“What?” she peeked through her fingers.

“Am I wrong?” Andiswa continued laughing.

“Fine, I like him. A lot! And I think he likes me too.” she said shying away.

Busi’s phone beeped. She took it out of her back pocket of her shorts and looked at it. It was a text message from Thato. She opened it and her face lit up.

“Let me guess. A message from him? ”

“Look.” She handed the phone to Andiswa, smiling from ear to ear.

“Hey, Bee. I am a frank guy. I like you and I would love to get to know you better. I have tickets to a music concert tomorrow afternoon. Would you like to come with me?” Busi read.

“Isn’t this amazing?” She jumped with joy.

“I am so happy for you. I must admit, I wish I was you…. Now go on and answer him!” Andiswa said handing the phone back to Busi.

Busi took it and quickly replied to the message. They arrived at the spaza shop and bought a 2 litre cool drink. Afterwards, they walked back to Busi’s house.



A jealous friend
Phumula Mkhwanazi

“Hi mkhozi,” Busi greets Andiswa.

“Molo mkhozi wami, unjani?”

“I am good and you? How you holding up?”

“Ndiright mkhozi wami, but you look like you dying to tell me something.”

Busi looks at Andiswa surprised that she can tell there was something on her mind.

“I have news to share”

” Mhmm nazo ke! Spill”

“I like a guy in my class. He’s smart, sweet and I think he likes me too.”

Before Andiswa can talk she is interrupted by the sounds of taxis hooting and nyaope boys calling out for commuters.

“Eish maan this corner is busy! Iyadika I can’t hear myself think!”

“And to think there’s no other route to get to the spaza shop,” she shrugs.

“So does this mystery boy have a name?”

Busi blushes and can’t help but smile.

“His name is Thato.”

“Oh ungasho!” She gives Busi a high five.

“Ukhethile phaya mkhozi, he is cute with a capital letter C.”

Busi’s phone beeps and it’s a WhatsApp from Thato.

Hey sweetness, it’s Thato. I was wondering if we can go check out a movie this weekend at the mall.

Busi jumps and screams with joy. She can’t help but smile.

“What is it mkhozi. Oh wait it’s Thato right?”

“Yes look!” She hands her phone over to Andiswa so that she can read the message.

Andiswa reads the message and although she is happy for her friend she is a bit jealous because no one has asked her out. She forces a smile and looks at her friend.

“I am happy for you mkhozi.”

Busi cannot stop smiling. Her happiness has consumed her and taken over her state of mind. She can already see everything that will happen on the date.

“Thank you my friend your support in this. Means a lot to me”

They embrace each other in a passionate hug but it’s awkward for Andiswa who is green with envy.


Away with the clouds
Bulelani Kambula

“Chommie why are sitting here at the car wash, I thought we were going to meet at the park and walk to the spaza shop together.”

Busi just sat there daydreaming. Andiswa called her out again.

“Busiswa! What’s happening with you? What’s up?”

She came back to earth for a moment and a bit lost.

“Yes chommie, hi, I just came back from the spaza shop, no need to go back.”

“Okay…” said Andiswa confused. “Then where is the bread?” she asked.

‘I don’t know. Where Thato is now, I just saw him going to his house.”

“Thato? I said bread! Oh I see you were with him, that’s why you weren’t at the park. Tell me more.”

“Not here let’s walk to the spaza shop.” she said dragging Busi.

“Wow what has Thato done to you on such a cloudless day? You want to go back and forth to the spaza shop instead of sitting under the shade?”

“Oh shut up! So Thato neh, I really have this huge crush on him.”

Busi just glowed and blushed as she told Andiswa about Thato.

“I actually I like him chommie.”

“Wow you have it bad, you’re even glowing just talking about him.”

“I do! I mean he is good-looking, kind, he has a sense of humour and he his smart. I’m sure you’ve seen him.” Andiswa’s said

“No I haven’t I’ve been sitting next him in class for the past four months.”

“No need to be sarcastic.”

As Busi was talking she received a WhatsApp and she read it. She glowed even more, jumping up and down with excitement.

“Let me see!” Andiswa snatched the phone and read it:

Thanks for accompanying me to the shops, I take it I owe you a favour. Can’t wait to settle it and be with you again.

“That settles it, he likes you too” said Andiswa. “Now let’s go to the spaza shop.”

“You really think he likes me?”

“Yes. Let’s go the shop, it’s scorching hot out here.”

“Chommie, I’ve found someone.”

“Yes you did, now let’s go.” said Andiswa with an annoyed tone and a stern look whilst walking.


A surprising crush
Zanele Dlamini

Busi was waiting for Andiswa at the bus station. The township morning buzz was filled with taxis hooting, workers in green overalls running to catch the bus and children playing in yards. It was a typical Saturday morning.

“Hey friend! I’m so sorry I’m late,” Andiswa greeted and stretched her arms to hug Busi, paying no mind to the boy who sat there selling vetkoeks, cigarettes and scones. She was panting, indicative of having run to meet her friend.

“Hey friend!” Busi hugged Andiswa back. “Ah don’t worry, I haven’t been waiting long.”

They walked towards the spaza, ignoring the taxi marshal who was signalling that his taxi was going to town by his index finger pointing upward.

“Friend! There’s this boy in my class neh!” Busi excitedly began; she could no longer keep her little secret.

“A boy? You and a boy?” Andiswa was taken aback. Busi had always been focused on school and thought boys were stupid.

“That’s interesting! Tell me about him!”

“His name is Thato! He is smart, very clean, probably the kindest man on earth and he is hot my friend!”

Busi’s eyes looked soft and sparkly; she looked up at the sky as she spoke of Thato. If hearts could pop out of eyes, they would have popped out of Busi’s.

“Oh wow! Someone has a crush!” Andiswa exclaimed. They both giggled at the idea.

“I know! Who could’ve known?” Busi asked, blushing as she could hardly believe the feelings that ruled her world.

“Has he told you if he feels the anything for you?” Andiswa asked.

Just then, Busi received a WhatsApp message from Thato asking her out on a date.

“Speak of the devil!” Busi said and shared the date details.

“I guess that answers your question now girl!” Busi said boastfully.

“I’m so happy for you friend!” Andiswa said, though a bit envious. She also longed to go on a date with someone she liked.


 A date to the dance
Somila Mjekula

It was a smouldering hot afternoon in the middle of September. Busi and Andiswa were similarly in the midst of a hot conversation as they walked home from school. “Suxoka! OhEmGee! No way!” they screamed, paused, and continued as they crossed Bheki Str, annoying the passing cars that hooted at them to get out of the way. Indeed, there was a different buzz in the air that Friday afternoon. It not only came from the flies that claimed the corner of Bheki Str, a popular outdoor bring-and-braai spot but from excitement around the upcoming grade 11 Spring Dance to end off exam trials. When they left school, Busi had decided a detour to the spaza shop for iibompi would give her ample time to tell Andi about her new crush, Thato.

“Gurl, remember how Mrs Nxumalo gave me a death stare in Math class this morning when she caught me giggling?” started Busi, enticing Andi who gleefully nodded.

“Well, I’d just read a text I got from Thato,” Busi paused the moment she said his name, waiting to see Andi’s initial reaction.

Andi was confused. She tilted her head hoping that if she continually stared at Busi, her mind would eventually remind her of the last time she heard Busi say that name and why it was important now.

“Thato! The prefect in Matric class who gave us free snacks at the soccer game last month. He’s got a fade haircut, big bright eyes and the most amazing smile,” said Busi, responding to Andi’s questioning stare.

“Tshini! Ewe chommie, I remember him! OhEmGee, since when did y’all start texting each other?”

It’s been two weeks and gurl, I have the biggest crush now. We can’t stop chatting online. I think he might like me too!”

“OhMySoul! Suxoka!” screamed Andi, slapping Busi’s arm and skipping up and down in front of the spaza shop they had now reached.

Ouch! Undibethela ntoni?” laughed Busi, slapping Andi back in excitement, pleased that her news was so well received.

“I can’t believe it’s taking you so long to tell me, chommie! You caught the attention of the hottest guy in Matric and you’re keep it to yourself?!” yelled Andi, bringing her and Busi curious attention from the students who queued outside the spaza shop, who had now stopped their chatter to listen to theirs.

“Sshh, I don’t want the whole WORLD to know,” Busi whispered, pulling Andi out of the queue to avoid potential eavesdroppers.

“Kanti are you two planning to keep this a secret?” whispered Andi, raising her eyebrows in suspicion.

Just as Busi was about to tell her she was not sure if this was anything serious, she was interrupted by her phone vibrating loudly in her skirt pocket. It was a WhatsApp text from Thatho.

“And then? Wattaguan?” nudged Andi, noticing the growing grin on Busi”s face as she read the message.

Busi looked up from her phone, cheeks plump from her widened mouth and gaping teeth.

“He’s asked to be my date at the dance,” uttered Busi, almost in disbelief of the words that were coming out of her mouth.

“Thato wants to be my date at the dance,” she repeated again, in a whisper, as if trying to convince herself that this was indeed her reality.

“WOW! I’m so happy for you!” Andi screeched, immediately jumping to give Busi a hug. As she held on to Busi, feeling the sound of Busi’s heartbeat accelerate she couldn’t help but feel hurt that she would no longer have her bestie as a date for the dance.

“It’s still hot as hell though, maside sithenge ezibompi, sihambe,” said Andi, releasing herself from the embrace and turning away from Busi to re-join the spaza queue.

Unaware of Andi’s slight mood switch, Busi smiled as she responded to Thato’s text:

I look forward to it 


Top secret
Zukisani Nongogo

To anyone else there was nothing singular about Busi and Andiswa, nothing to separate them from the other uniformed teenagers who milled about like a colony of ants in the schoolyard. Yet Busi insisted on talking, almost whispering, conspicuously to Andiswa and suddenly stopping mid-sentence when they passed too close to people.

“I wish you’d let us hang out by the EGD class friend, there’s too many people here,” Busi said.

“Busi you are being paranoid, it’s not like anyone is following us around listening to you talk about Tha—“

“Not so loud friend!”

“Okay, okay but remember you yourself admitted you were lis for a pie and you know how crowded it gets near the tuckshop”

“You never know who’s listening Andiswa.”

“Oh come on friend would it be so bad if someone heard you and word got around? You yourself were just saying that you think Tha- I mean ‘you know who’ likes you back. Actually we should deliberately mention his name when we are in line. Some of the rugby boys from grade 11 love hanging around the steps near the tuckshop. If they hear us, word will definitely get around. There are no bigger gossip queens than…”

Andiswa suddenly realised that she was talking alone. Busi was a few metres behind staring intently at her phone.

“Busi…” she was starting to say walking back towards the girl but then her friend ran towards her squealing in delight closing the gap between them.

“He just asked me out on a date Andiswa. Friend he wants us to go out on date after school today!” Busi said shoving her phone in her friend’s face.

Andiswa was quiet for a few moments as she read the WhatsAapp message from the boy.

“How can you be so sure Busi? He just asked if you to see you after school and besides you had said you would accompany me to town to shop for a new blazer remember?”

“Come on Andiswa. Maybe we can all go. It’ll be fun plus things would be a lot less awkward with you around.”

“Less awkward for who? I don’t want to be the third wheel on your date, Busi.”

“Think what you like girl, one text and already this dude is already breaking us up.”

“You’re being dramatic!” Both girls started laughing excitedly.

“I’m just a little jealous friend; I want myself a Thato too!”


True love
Lutho Mankayi

“Chomi, mamelaaaa! (Friend, Listeeen!)” says Busi excitedly to Andiswa while strolling down the busiest street in Thembisa.

On their way to the shop, they keep stopping to chat and greet some neighbours because everyone knows everyone.

“I could be wrong but I highly doubt it. Andile has a thing for me. I am his Sbwl. And I don’t blame him, have you seen me?” she says as she fixes the over-sized sunglasses on her face for dramatic effect.

“Chomi, Andile is so handsome. The way his shirts hug his body, it’s almost as if they were made for him. His laugh! And his ability to make my name sound so exotic is one of the many reasons I like him. If I had his mom’s number, I’d congratulate her on a job well done because wow, umuhle lomfana.”

“To mask the obvious jealousy on her face, Andiswa kneels down to tie her laces, because she does not understand how one person could be this lucky in love.

Minutes later, Busi gets a text from Andile asking her out with the words:

A beautiful girl deserves to eat, so where am I taking you later? A re ye Sandton!!!(Let’s go to Sandton!!!)

Busi bursts out in song and starts dancing in celebration and excitement, uncertain of the what the texts reads Andiswa joins in the singing and dancing on the pavement.


Bundle of nerves
Bandile Sibuyi

There was only a rhythmic sound of school shoes tapping against the tar road when Andiswa’s sudden burst of laughter broke the silence. Busi leaned over her friend’s shoulder and saw the supposedly funny video of a dancing monkey on Andiswa’s phone and she giggled.

“Friend,” said Busi, staring at the spaza shop which stood straight ahead of them.

“Yeah?” Andiswa’s response was quick and sharp, her eyes fixed on the screen of her phone.

“You know Thato from my class, right?” Busi said to her friend, still trying to avoid eye contact.

Andiswa nodded her head, her big brown eyes lit with curiosity.

“Well,” Busi continued, a smile growing on her face, “he asked for my number and said that he would text me after school.”

“Well, have you checked your phone, yet?”

“No, I’m too nervous.” Busi put her hands on her face. Andiswa was holding out an open hand in front of her when Busi uncovered her face, eyebrows up above her eyes and the other hand on her hip. Busi gave her phone to Andiswa.

“Would you like to go out with … Ah!” The girls screamed in unison.

“Oh, friend. I’m so envious of you,” Andiswa said trying to fake a smile.

Busi watched as the smile began to melt away from her friend’s face.

“After school lollipops are on you today,” said Andiswa in a serious voice.

“You can’t have all the love and happiness in the world. Leave some for the rest of us.”

The friends continued to walk towards the spaza shop with nothing but the tapping sound of their shoes against the road and the scorching heat of the sun accompanying them.


Green with envy
Thembeka Mdlalose

“Well you seem awfully cheerful.” Andiswa cringed as Busi skipped towards her

“Let’s go”, Busi giggled grabbing her arm.

“I hope youre gonna buy me something and I’m not walking all this way for nothing” Andiswa nudged her gently.

“Of course but first yoh,” Busi giggled

“What is it? Spill the beans girl.”

“Remember Thato?”

“Yeah the boy you won’t stop talking about,” Andiswa rolled her eyes. “I hope you’re not thinking of getting close to him.

“I like him a lot,” defended Busi.

“It never ends well liking somebody who doesn’t like you back.”

“I think he likes me back, sometimes when were in class I catch him looking at me and he smiles. God he’s so hot, his lips look so soft not to mention, he’s always clean and neat with his uniform and his voice!” Busi squeals. “Its so warm and kind I just wanna throw my arms around him!”

“What if he’s smiling because he’s just nice?” Andiswa shrugs her shoulders.

“Today he wi—” Busi got cut off by the twinkling of her phone, for a second she stared at the screen in disbelief

“Omg! OMG! Omg!” she screamed jumping up and down.

She waved her phone in Andiswa’s face in excitement

Hy B, ws wondering if u wnna go 2 da movies wit me

The text read.

Oh Andiswas face fell “Thats nice. Look I have something to do, I gotta head home.”

“Hawu but I thought…”

Andiswa started walking the opposite direction before Busi could even finish her sentence.