The sun is shining brightly outside. The sheep are crying out Mee! Mee! Mee! Our hut was absorbing all of the sun’s heat. So I decide to play outside.
Bang! Bang! Bang! It is my grandfather banging the door as he is coming outside. He is approaching where I am. He looks very angry. His face all wrinkled up and serious. His eyes are bloodshot with anger. Looking at him, I foresee that it is going to be one of those days where he just likes to bully me for nothing.
“Refilwehape!” he calls out my name. “Refilwehape, why are you playing on your own? Oa loya?” he says.
My face turns red with anger and irritation. How can he ever call me a witch? Playing on my own does not make me a witch. I keep quiet and pretend as if I did not hear him. He then smacks me on the head just because I never say a word to him. “I am talking to you, o tsho ka bofubedu,” he says angrily.
I begin to stand up and run away from him like a headless chicken. I am running away from him, as I see him as this huge, tall, ugly and heartless monster. I wish in my heart that my parents were here. Sadly they are far far away from where I am. In fact they are hundreds of kilometres away. They are in Cape Town. Me and my sister are left behind and so our grandfather is the one who is taking care of us in the absence of our parents.
I am running away making sure he does not find me. He decides to leave me alone for a brief moment and does not chase after me. I am now sweating and gasping for air. At a distance I see a large green tree with leaves dancing around it. I then sit next to it, just to catch my breath and get some shade. The tree is really not that far from our hut. As I am sitting, I can see here is my grandfather approaching. This time around he does not look angry, but my guts tell me that trouble is just brewing, and he is not yet done with me. He seems to like creating unnecessary drama especially with me concerned. I feel like he hates my guts.
From approaching at the distance, he is now exactly where I am. I really don’t know how to react. My fear of him cripples me. At that moment I did a silent prayer, “Thy will be done Lord.” Before I could even say Amen and finish my prayer I open my eyes. I can see he is looking at me. It’s as if he can smell my fear. He then begins to speak.
“I am sick and tired of you, you are not one of us, you are light in complexion, none of us are like you. I don’t think you are my son’s daughter. You don’t belong here.”
Hearing these words begins to numb my senses. At that moment I do not know whether I should cry or scream. I really do not know what to do with myself. I am feeling so sad. Tears stream down my face. I begin to howl very loudly and throw myself on the muddy ground. My throat is drying up from all the crying.
How Ntate can be so heartless, I ask myself. The neighbours are standing outside their yards. Mam Gladys is the nosiest of them all. She then inquires, “Makhi what’s wrong with your granddaughter?”
My grandfather turns to their direction and says “Arg don’t mind this one, she is just acting up.”
In my heart I just wish, hope and pray if for once in his life, my grandfather could stop bullying me for nothing. I am his granddaughter for goodness sake; I don’t want to be treated differently. I am like everyone else, I am human after all, is that really too much to understand? Because of how he treats me I am growing to be conscious about how I look.
My grandfather went to a cold grave still not accepting the fact that I am different from the rest of our family members. But even though he treated me differently I still have some wonderful memories of him. I remember when he cooked a delicious meal for me and my sister. I still remember his daily prayer “O qhetsole mafika a emeng tseleng tsa rona.” It means Lord break the obstacles that are on the way. So at least I have more than one memory of this grandfather of mine.