It was daybreak on a Monday morning when Thabo and his little brother Mbuso were getting ready for school. Mbuso was busy getting dressed in his school uniform when he looked out of the window and saw that the sun was starting to rise. Thabo was still in bed and Mbuso was trying to wake his older brother.
“Hey, wake up Jo! The queue at the meat factory is growing as we speak! Wake up you fool!” he said.
Then Thabo replied, “Eish… my head,” because he was partying too much the night before.
Mbuso smiled alone and asked, “Too much partying, huh? Where did you get money to buy alcohol because last time I checked you said you don’t even have a coin in your pocket to buy food in this house? And now I’ll be going to school with an empty stomach.”
Thabo got so upset and said, “Mxm! Don’t even begin to lecture me, school boy! In case you’ve forgotten, I completed that drama two years ago, so please leave me alone.”
Mbuso just got powerless and replied, “I know, my brah! That is why you should be at the factory now.”
Thabo didn’t say anything, all he did was cover his face with the blanket. Mbuso grabbed the blanket and shouted at his older brother. “Get up Thabo! Please.”
Then Thabo got so angry. “I’m going! Wena just get to school,” he said, covering his face again with the blanket.
Mbuso asked, “What are you doing?”
Thabo replied, “Just thirty more minutes and I’ll get up. And don’t bang the door when you leave.”
After some few minutes Mbuso’s friend, Freedom, was knocking on the door. When he was knocking Thabo asked, “Who’s that dog knocking on my door?!”
Then Freedom replied, “It’s me bhuti Thabo, please open up the door for me. Mbuso! Let’s go.”
Thabo got so upset because he did not like Freedom at all. “What do you want here Freedom, you brainless, foolish, reckless boy?”
Freedom couldn’t believe those harmful words were coming out of Thabo’s mouth and the tears started coming out.
Mbuso angrily said to his brother, “Stop it Thabo!”
Thabo replied, “Eish, that foreign friend of ours is a noisy pain!”
Mbuso then asked Thabo, “Why must you always refer to Freedom as my foreign friend? Why can’t you just call him by his name? I know my friend doesn’t come from here, but that does not mean they are different from us. We are the same, God created us in the same way. What’s the thing you have and they don’t have?”
Mbuso was looking at Freedom crying, then Thabo replied, “Ubundoda, they don’t even go entabeni (to the mountain) ezinto and they are here to take our jobs. We’re jobless because of them.”
Mbuso then said, “Look brother, I know they don’t go to the mountain, but still the fact is we’re the same inside and outside, and le yobundoda doesn’t count.” Then looking at Freedom, he said, “Please forgive my brother for what has happened. And you Thabo, do you know the say ‘umntu ngumntu ngabantu’, huh?”
Thabo replied, “I’m so sorry Freedom, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Please forgive me, it was the drugs that are controlling me, please forgive me.”
Mbuso smiled and said, “That’s how this thing works.”
Freedom, who had been standing at the door crying, then said to Mbuso, “Thanks a lot my dear friend for being there for me, for being my hero. May God bless you and give you more and more lives in this world to make others understand the word ‘foreign’. And you Thabo, you’re forgiven.”
Mbuso is my hero because when I was growing up I used to say refugees and foreigners need to be killed. But now I have more information and I know that they have rights too.