Near the border of Lesotho, lay a small-town, rich with heritage and history; the incomparable town known as Matatiele. In a little coffee shop, she sits near the window, watching, with all the confidence and faith. She carried herself with an admirable air of sophistication, she was beautiful; her glowing skin and her lips pouting, her eyes mesmerising, inviting you to stay. She was more beautiful than all the people you would regularly see on TV. She was dubbed the sexiest, the most beautiful. Her beauty was above criticism. Equally, the world was giving all that she wanted, all she had to do was ask. Her name was Dimakatso.

Men would fall all over themselves trying to get her attention. Women would ask, “How does she do it?” “What is her secret?”. Ladies were desperate to know her secret, going as far as seeing dermatologists and ‘dingaka’ for this coveted beauty and all its perks, but no one could ever compare. No one could ever compete. They would have done anything. Anything! Steaming with medicine, crawl into caves with the best-known witches and go to the water to ask for this beauty. Women of all ages, wanted what she had and were willing to do anything to get it.

Dimakatso had it all, the job of her dreams. She was the municipal manager of the town at only 25. She had a farm, other businesses, her own house and a snack of a husband from overseas. How did Dimakatso convince an Arab from Asia to move all his businesses and wealth here, to this small town of little consequence?

We are all aware of the hardships women must endure in South Africa; unemployment, abuse, and not being able to fend for themselves. Their desire was deeper than a narcissistic need to be beautiful. Dimakatso changed the meaning of beauty completely. Beauty meant respect, independence, being listened to, travelling and a world view, having a husband who would love you and respect you, also having in-laws and connections outside of this country, it meant changing the position of women in this country. Dimakatso signified a change and every woman wanted that change. They were willing to risk anything for that change.

One woman who unashamedly wanted this for herself was Mankutsepe. Mankutsepe had visited all caves, churches and specialised clinics. She put all she had into finding this beauty. She had fasted and prayed to the brink of death for this beauty, she wanted a chance to change her life. She washed the community’s washing and slept with men to get the funds to consult, she used anaemia, and barfed for this beauty. She exercised and lost weight for this beauty, drank litres of water and concoctions for this beauty. She wanted her life to change, but she couldn’t seem to get it right.

Every year, at the town hall Dimakatso would host a fashion show. Celebrities from all over the continent descended on this small town. Each year was bigger than the last. That year it was the biggest and the best, with the biggest and the best of everything. People all over wanted the coveted front row seats and would go out of their way to get them. The turnout that night was unheard of. Dimakatso influenced everything and everyone like a siren of the seas. People just wanted to outdo each other, to be near her, to impress her, to be her, to be on large screens with her.

Dimakatso went to the bathroom. Mankutsepe had made up her mind once and for all, that she would ask Dimakatso, what her secret was. Mankutsepe followed Dimakatso to the bathroom. Dimakatso was in a stall so Mankutsepe decided to wait for her. Whilst waiting, a golden snake slithered towards her feet. She screamed and the stall opened. A horrid creature emerged, skeletal looking, reeking of rot. Mankutsepe could not scream anymore, she stood against the wall in fear, heaving. The creature grabbed the snake and wrapped it around it’s waist. The snake turned into a golden serpentine belt, the skeletal creature instantaneously changed into Dimakatso. Dimakatso simply looked at Mankutsepe and smiled that charming smile and left. Mankutsepe was in awe, “Aha! So that’s how she does it. All that glitter isn’t gold.”


Tell us: What do you think about this piece?