It’s not an ordinary day I can tell. Everyone in the township knows that it’s never quiet in the morning, in fact mornings are the busiest – the hustle and bustle. There is Mr Sokhulu, the local taxi driver who picks up Sis Nosizwe. She is the kind sangoma from next door who treated a rash I had last summer. There is Baba Sfiso the miner, who works extra hard at the mine and Mama Nomhle the housekeeper who works in the suburbs and who happens to be my mother.
You may notice that there are no professionals in my township. Just like me, Mr Sokhulu, Sis Nosizwe, Baba Sfiso and my mother had dreams of getting out of the township. Mr Sokhulu tells me he wanted to be a professional soccer player, the next JOMO he says but after he twisted his knee his father got him a job as a taxi driver and he hasn’t kicked a ball since.
Sis Nosizwe was raised by a single mother who was a prostitute and a drunkard who would do anything for a quick buck. She wanted to be a medical doctor, but after her mother discovered that she had a gift as a traditional healer, she made her drop out of school and had to consult in order to make money.
Entle, my best friend from next door tells me she overheard her aunt Chumisa, the local gossip, known as “SHWASHWI” telling my mom that Baba Sfiso was a law student at Wits and dropped out when he was doing his second year because his father died and he had to look for a job at the mine in order to look after his 12 siblings.
The only different thing about the residents of Rustenburg and me is that I will not give up on my dreams. Educated or not, I will get out of the hood, not like my mother though who stays at her workplace in the surburbs for 6 days looking after Mr and Mrs Jefferson’s spoiled kids Mike and Jacob instead of me and my 4 year old sister, Buhle.
What is my plan to get out of the hood, you may ask. Well, two years ago I tried asking Mama who my father is but she got angry and nearly disowned me. If it wasn’t for aunt Chumisa from next door I would be just like Noluthando, the street kid who was disowned by her parents when she was 12 years old. A few days ago I overheard Mama telling aunt Chumisa that my dad is a business man who lives in a mansion in Johannesburg. Who knows, he might even support my dreams unlike Mama and send me to drama school and after that nothing is going to stop me from being a star like Thuso Mbedu.
For now, let me go to school. Schucks! I’m late! Ms Madikizela is going to be on my case, AGAIN. I quickly wake Buhle, she is also late for daycare. As soon as I take a bite of Wheetbix I hear a knock, it must be Entle.
“Chommie,you’re always late. You know Madikizela hates you guys.”
I quickly grab Buhle and get my bag as I close the door. On our way to school I see Katlego, everyone’s crush, including me. He’s cute as usual. Unlike the boys here he’s clean, smells good, he has the cutest smile, the deepest voice, the biggest heart and is the smartest in my class.
Every girl sees herself as Mrs Katlego Rabuthata, including the hottest girl who is also my nemesis and the meanest girl at school, Dikamatso, Kat’s girlfriend.
“Hey Kat,” I say with a big smile. My eyes instantly pop and my day brightens up.
“Hello, Buhle,” he answers back. He’s an angel. Him and I would be perfect together. He walks with us and we talk about algebra, as usual. We get to the gate and the school principal Mr Bosman is there. We extend our hands to get sanitised. We adjust our masks and we go to class. Dikamatso AKA Mrs Katlego is there already. She gives Kat the biggest hug to make a statement, and there goes my mood.
I take my seat next to Entle and Mrs Madikizela comes in for maths. It’s 15:45, I am back from school and I am on my way to fetch Buhle from day care. I have loads of homework plus a date with Kat. Well… it’s not a date really, he is helping me with algebra at the park. Since I don’t have a babysitter for Buhle she has to come with me to my ‘date’. Just as we approach the park Kat sees me, he smiles at me and …