Durban Deep is a very small town situated just between Roodepoort and Soweto. There lived an eighteen-year-old young man named Thabang. He was different from most of the boys there. He’d just moved from the suburbs of Ruimsig, where he was living with his brother, to live with his aunt in this small ghetto. The popular styles were Pantsula and hip-hop. Thabang’s usual attire was skinny jeans, a straight cap, a Dashiki T-shirt and he was always holding a skating board.
Thabang was to attend Kelokitso Comprehensive High School in Soweto which was different from his old model-C school, Allen Glen High School just near Clear Water mall. After a couple of days of living there he felt like he was not fitting in with most of the boys and nobody wanted to be his friend. He had to wait till his first day at school to have something to look forward to. Every night he went to bed feeling like he didn’t want to live there anymore.
The day of school finally came. As he woke up to prepare himself for school, his aunt was preparing his favourite breakfast for him, bacon and eggs. A few minutes later his transport to school came and the driver hooted. Thabang walked out and quickly got in the front passenger seat next to the driver. When he got to school he stood near the gate and said a prayer, “God be with me.”
The first few periods before break made him feel like committing suicide. He had not made any new friends yet. As he was walking around the school yard at lunch time, he saw a group of boys in a circle under a tree. There were loud noises being chanted and he knew exactly what was going on.
He walked up to the circle and saw that it was a hip-hop session. One boy looked at Thabang and asked “Who are you kid?”
“I’m Slimm-Wizzy18,” said Thabang, introducing himself by his stage name, every rapper had one.
The boy started dissing Thabang with rap rhymes and everyone laughed. Thabang waited for the boy to finish dissing and with his suburban English accent, he dissed back. Everyone was so shocked at how good the boy was. This was his thing and he had been rapping for more than four years now. Most of the girls who were there went crazy and started screaming.
Later that day after school, Thabang was surrounded by a crowd of girls asking him out. He was spoilt for choice. He eye was on one girl, Keamogetswe and he asked to date her. As he was walking with his new girl home, the guy who was dissing earlier at break walked up to him.
“Hey man, sorry for disrespecting you like that at break. You are really good. We want you to join our rap group called Dope Game Changers.”
“Yeah man,” Thabang said agreeing.
“By the way man, my name is Floyd. See you tomorrow then,”
“Sharp,” Thabang said pleased as he walked his new girlfriend home. He kissed her good bye when they separated.
When he got home he was so happy that nothing could ruin his mood. He went to bed happy. He thought about his new girlfriend, Keamogetswe and how much he liked her; it was love at first sight. He also thought of his new friend Floyd.
The next morning Thabang woke up very early before his aunt and he made her breakfast. She was shocked, teasing that maybe the aliens kidnapped Thabang during the night, did something to him, and then brought him back. When his transport came he was already outside waiting for it. The driver was also surprised. “Boy, you look different today,” he said, “you look much better than yesterday.”
“It’s just that everything is changing for the better, things are starting to go my way,” Thabang said with a smile.
As he got to school his new girlfriend, Kea, was waiting for him at the school gate. When he got off the transport he heard someone call his name. It was Floyd. Floyd grabbed him and introduced him to the crew.
“I want to introduce you to the rest of the DGC crew. This here is Zero-dot-com, Young Kati, Skeltor Mator, Euro Notorious, Tybo, and Ar-Tee.”
Thabang introduced himself as Slimm-Wizzy18 and the group welcomed him to the crew.
Thabang remembered that his girlfriend was waiting for him at the gate and told his friends that he had to go.
“How many girlfriends do you have?” Floyd asked.
“One,” answered Thabang and they all laughed at him.
“One? You must be kidding bro,” Floyd started giving Thabang advice. “You should date as many girls as possible here because rappers are meant to be players. You must chow them all because us rappers, we are players, we don’t date girls we just use them,”
Thabang was shocked and didn’t understand at first but soon learned what Floyd was talking about.
As time went by, every girl wanted to be with him. After a few weeks with his new friends, Thabang started to change and the hype was getting too big for him. He started going to late night parties, sleeping with multiple girls, drinking alcohol and coming home very late from school. He had more than ten girls at school. He was now a cool rapper, getting any girl he wanted.
When Thabang first came to the school he was one of the brightest kids in the school but his grades started to drop.
Kea was now one of his side chicks. He didn’t have time or make time for any girl he dated; he only went to see them when he wanted sex. All the girls new that Thabang was cheating on them but none of them ever wanted to break up with him.
When Thabang saw one of his girlfriends with a boy he would get jealous and beat up the girl. He started becoming abusive and wanted all the girls to himself. It got so bad that one of them once woke up in hospital. When the doctors asked what had happened she lied and said she was walking at night and got robbed, so the criminal beat her up. One of the girls fell pregnant and told Thabang. He told her she was crazy and that she must go look for the real father for her baby. His relationships progressed to one-night-stands at the parties he went to.
A few months later Thabang started to get skinnier and skinnier. His aunt thought this was serious and that he should go see a doctor. She accompanied him to the hospital where he had tests done and was told to come back after five days.
He and his aunt returned to the hospital and the doctor called them to a private room.
“Mr Thabang Ntlhokoa, we have your results. I’m sorry to say this but you are HIV positive.”
His aunt was shocked and asked “How?” and “When?”
Thabang confessed everything that he used to do and how he played girls. When they got home his aunt sat him down and gave him advice.
“Thabang, it’s not the end of world for you. If you can just change your behaviour and always use a condom when having sex, being HIV positive doesn’t mean you’re gonna die soon. You can still live a normal life if you take your pills and change your life style.”
Since that day Thabang went to all the girls and apologised to them. He told them about his status and that they should get tested as well. Thabang changed and left his friends and crew but he never stopped rapping. He still hopes that one day he would be signed by his favourite record label Family Tree, led by his faviourite successful rapper, Refiloe “Cassper Nyovest” Phoolo.
Tell us: Is it easy to get girls or boys when you’re famous?