My favourite cuppa
Simamkele Mbambo

I woke up with a heavy smell of coffee in my nostrils. Mmhhh it smells so good.

I immediately jumped out of my bed and tiptoed to the kitchen. I found my father drinking a tangy cup of JJ – juicy Jacobs – my favourite coffee… bye bye Rooibos tea.

With my puppy eyes already in play, I asked him to make a cup of coffee for me. He is such a generous person.

I minced back to my room feeling ecstatic. I looked out the window; the sky was bright and blue the weather was very pleasant.

“This is going to be a beautiful day”, I murmured.

As I was admiring the nature and its beauty, I forgot how sweltering the coffee was.

Birds were chirping; my dog was playing in the back yard.


The struggle to wake up
Bandile Sibuyi

A ray of sunlight entered via a gap between the curtains and sent a stabbing pain through my head as I slowly began to open my eyes. I continued to stare at the ceiling, ignoring the urge to pull the sheets back over my head just for a few more minutes of warmth. When I finally mustered the courage to get out of bed I stood up and walked to the kitchen where a heap of unwashed plates and cups seemed to be screaming for attention in my mother’s voice. I filled the kettle with water, switched it on and patiently waited for its steady humming to turn into a sharp click so I could pour myself a hot cup of coffee. A rich aroma arose from the brown liquid and gave me the energy to kick start my day.


An early start
Lungelwa Kulati

I woke up with the need to pee. With my eyes closed, I reached for my phone, which was under my pillow, and looked at the time. The phone was so bright. It blinded me and I quickly looked away. I looked back at it, squinting my eyes. The time was 6am and it was still dark outside. I put the phone away and rolled out of bed, dragging my feet on the cold floor to the bathroom. My stomach grumbled while stumbling in the darkness on my way back. I turned on the kitchen lights and walked to the sink, pouring water into the jug, and into the kettle. Five minutes later, I was drinking tea and eating two slices of bread. Moments later, I was back in bed, staring at the ceiling. I couldn’t sleep again. I grabbed my phone and scrolled through Facebook.


Devastation in the morning
Phumula Mkhwanazi

I woke up this morning and my eyes fixated on the ceiling. Damn that hole annoys me. I felt the chills even before I got out of bed and I debated to myself whether to get up or stay in bed but my bladder said get to the bathroom right now. Since I was already in the bathroom, I thought about taking a bath but then the vision of a hot cup of coffee made more sense. After I found the coffee container empty, devastated does not even begin to define the mood I was in.


My morning ritual
Bulelani Kambula

I woke up to the sounds of my loud alarm disturbing my dream. I opened my eyes to the sight of my bulb blinding me for a moment and turned it off as I opened the blinds to let the sunshine in. I kneeled down giving thanks to the lord for another day he has granted me with. I headed to the park for my morning jog. I could hear chirping of the birds flying from tree to tree. I enjoyed the fragrance of flowers blossoming in the morning. I headed home after my jog to a warm bath that relived my sore muscles. I topped it all off with a succulent egg sandwich for breakfast.


Love in the morning
Zanele Dlamini

I woke up to the beep of my daily reminder from my phone. I knew it was 8am. My partner’s smiley face greeted me and he planted a kiss on my forehead; his touch made me feel fuzzy inside. Instead of jumping out of bed as usual, he cuddled me a bit longer this morning. When he eventually got out of bed to make us coffee, he complained of the morning chill.

The sun had started peeping through the curtains; the neighbours had started with their daily exercise just outside our wall. I could hear the banging of the tennis ball against the wall. The resident of our tree by the window was already feeding her kin. For a moment there I thought “perhaps life can’t be perfect but moments can.”

The Arabica toasted bean aroma filled the house and that was my invite to get out of bed and cuddle on the couch with our morning reads while we sipped to begin our day.


A false start

Somila Mjekula

I was woken up by the loud ringing of my phone playing DJ Zinhle’s ‘Umlilo’. As I reached my hand out of my warm covers to the bedside table, I suddenly remembered that the sound of the ringing was not my alarm, but my ringtone. Someone was calling me! My head shot up from my pillow, as I sat up. “Yho, ngubani ixesha?” I exclaimed, panicking at the thought that I had overslept and missed a scheduled Zoom call from work. I felt the sound of my heart thumping against my rib-cage as I picked up the phone. My eyes adjusted to the bright light of the screen on which ‘Unknown caller’ appeared. “Hehake, ngubani lo?” my internal voice sneered, slightly annoyed. I looked at the top corner of the screen and saw the time was barely 7am. “If it’s really important, they’ll call again,” I convinced myself, as I dropped the phone back on the side-table and slipped under my cosy covers. It was hardly 10 minutes into my sleep when I heard the aggressive sound of my vibrating alarm, blasting an Amapiano track, indicating that I’d actually been asleep for an hour.


The torture of waking up
Zukisani Nongogo

-Lie in bed
-wake up

This morning as most mornings I woke up slowly, at first marvelling at how snug and happy I was to be in a warm bed before mercilessly torturing myself. I first 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.


The smell of fresh bread
Lutho Mankayi

Minutes after placing my feet out of the blankets, with both eyes still closed, I reached under my bed using one foot to scan the floor for my pink, plush slippers. Winter mornings are always the worst, at least in our house. Accompanying the crisp air is always the smell of freshly baked bread. I quickly cut myself a slice, careful not to burn my fingers for it was still hot. With my mouth watering, and in a rush to get back to my blankets onto my over-sized slice, I smeared some butter and watched it melt. As soon as I was done in the kitchen I was back in my bed with my bread, a glass of warm milk and a smile on my face eagerly keen to binge on three seasons of Suits.


6 lumps of sugar
Thembeka Mdlalose

I roll over with a groan and fall into a heap on the rough carpet with a dull thud. I look over to see if I’ve woken her and there’s no movement so I’m safe and just stand there like an old lady with a cane for a few seconds.

What a way to start the morning, for a few seconds my back refuses to let me stand up straight and I drag my feet to the kitchen the difference in temperature is astounding, it feels more like stepping outside rather than into the kitchen.

I turn on the kettle then the oven then the heater, this day is off to a bad start. I knew I should have bought that umbrella last week, look at me now. As I look outside the window all I can see are the blurry trees blowing violently in the wind and the loud pelting of the rain against the window.

I shudder at the thought of stepping foot outside. I take a deep breath and make my coffee.

My steaming, creamy golden liquid looks amazing and with the 6 lumps of sugar I know its sweet but all I want to do is cry when I take a sip and all it does is warm my body but no taste or smell. I’m heartbroken. Curse you flu!  Hey, I don’t have to go outside at all, I can just tell my boss I’m sick, lying is wrong but so is going outside in this weather.