The mornings are cold. I used to wake up every day to go to school. But now I have passed my matric and I am staying at home, all day, starting at my grandmother in the face. The day would begin and end with me doing nothing, always asking my granny what I am going to cook for the day. My granny had heart problems so sometimes I had to look after her every day. I was afraid to give her stress. I thought maybe if I went to town and looked for a job then things wouldn’t be so bad this year. But then again, I just wondered if I got that job who would look after her?
And then I had an idea.
I was going to ask her to give me a capital of R500 to start up a business. The business idea I had in my mind was to open a coffee shop next to the taxi rank; there was a market gap there. I was also going to make some breakfast for them as many of them wake up without having breakfast. My target market were the taxi drivers and everybody who went to school or work could also have my breakfast. I just had to convince my granny to give me this money to start up a business. I know her money came and went, but I would ask her to sacrifice just one month.
“My Grandmother, do you see it is very cold today? Everybody deserves a cup of hot coffee to drink. I will make you one,” I said one cold morning.
My grandmother looked at me with suspicion.
“Lutho, why you are smiling today?” she asked.
“No, My Granny, it’s just that I have an idea that can take us out of stresses. I am thinking of starting a business in town, next month, if it is possible. I want to open a coffee shop next to the taxi rank. My target market are those who wake up without eating every day, more special taxi drivers and people who are working.”
“Mmm mm…” that was granny’s answer. “You have a good idea,” she added, “so you need shelter.”
“I will take the cart that my father used when he was working in Umtata, so that won’t be a problem. But my beautiful Granny, I need your support to buy stock in the supermarket.”
My grandmother had no problem about that, she agreed.
The four following months the business was making a profit. I started to save some money to register for distance learning at UNISA.
My customers were mostly police officers who would eat their breakfast and their lunch sometimes. Naturally, I started making friends with my consumers. My purpose was to develop a good relationship with the police officers so they could look after my business while I was not there at night.
There was this young man who was a police officer who wanted to propose me. But shame, he had no courage to tell me because sometimes, as a businesswoman, I had to change my face so that people didn’t take advantage because I was young.
One day my business get robed. My stock and equipment was stolen and I was devastated. I would have to start up all over again. When my granny heard about the robbery, she suffered a heart attack and had to go to the hospital. I wanted to take the money I had saved to spend it for my grandmother’s illness and bills. The police officer heard about that and he was seeking my cellphone numbers. Fortunately, he got them from other taxi drivers.
He called me to meet at the police station. He asked about the robbery, and he was willing to assist me with opening a case. I got so emotional I started crying.
“I saved some money to go to school next year now I have to use that money to pay some medication for my granny,” I ended up sharing with him. I was shocked and relieved when he said he would help me.
“I will help you with everything, just speak out and I will assist you.” he said.
I wiped my tears away because I was not going to spend anything. The business was open running again and running so fast because, Zukho the police officer, had purchased new and fast equipment. And my grandmother got great treatment. Zukho finally found the courage to tell me how he felt about me. We started dating.
Not long after we had started dated, he wanted to sleep with me and that’s where the big issue started. I refused to do that. I didn’t want to sleep with anyone before I got married. The man was angry. He beat me up and insulted me.
He said that he had saved me during the time I needed someone to cry on. And then he beat me up when I wanted to break up with him. He was an abusive man. That made the man angry again.
“Why do you get angry like this?” I asked him. “You never used to be like this.”
He just remained silent. So again, I repeated myself to my now abusive boyfriend.
“What about my money, my love?” Zukho said.
I couldn’t believe it!
“You didn’t want to have love because you are abusive. You can’t tell me about money because you came to me as someone who wanted to help me, not lending me money.”
And that was the end of us.
Tell us what you think: Have you ever had someone use their money to try and buy your love? How did you deal with it?