“Son, today after school you must come and help at Mr Nduluvo’s,” said Mr Mbasi to his son Jakey.
“But father, today the principal said we should stay behind till 5:30 so that we can catch up on the work we are behind.” Replied Jakey respectfully.
“I also hoped you will be there the whole week.” Mr Mbasi shouted. Thandi, Mr Mbasi’s wife entered the room.
“What is going on here?” Asked Thandi. Jakey explained to Thandi and she told him to do anything at any time as long as it was a school thing. That made Jakey feel free at the moment. He called Thandi’s daughter, who was three years younger than him. They then went to school.
Mr Mbasi and Thandi were going to Mr Nduluvo’s house to work on the garden.
“Wife, I think Jakey should quit school so that we can have enough money in the house for food and things we need in the house.”
Replied Thadi with lots of confidence. “Please don’t do this to your only son, he deserves good things in life.” She begged.
They arrived at Mr Nduluvo’s house, they were late.
“You idiots! Can’t you see what time is it?” shouted Mr Nduluvo.
“Sorry sir,” said Mr Mbaso respectively.
“Go to work, you silly slaves.”
Mr Mbaso then got to work with his wife. Suddenly he started crying and was hiding so that Thandi wouldn’t see him crying.
“Are you injured?” Thandi asked.
“No it’s just painful coming to this house every day and getting nothing but leftovers. What have I ever done in life to live like this? Why can’t I just die?” he said painfully.
Those words touched Thandi’s heart and she started crying too. She wiped her tears and said, “I was thinking of what you were saying”
“What?” he asked.
“That Jakey should leave school and get a job so that you get time to rest.” She said with a strong voice.
When Jakey and Sesi arrived home afterschool they found Thandi and Mr Mbaso sitting on a stool.
“Jackey, Sesi, come and sit. We want to talk to you.” Said Thandi. The children sat on the ground and were ready to listen to what their parents wanted to say. “Jakey, you know that we love and care for you and will do anything to make you happy. But you have to quit school and get a job so you can help us in the house.” Thandi said crying.
“What? No! You can’t do that to me, you just can’t!” he shouted with all his voice.
He ran to the room and closed the door. He wanted to have a bright future with a good job and beautiful children. His heart was painful like never before. Sesi came and knocked on his door but he kept quiet.
“You can go to school and I’ll work, do not worry,” said Sesi whispering.
“No you need to be educated, I’ll handle everything I promise.” He said.
But Sesi wanted her stepbrother to be happy. She went to Mr Mbaso and Thandi and told them that they should let Jackey go to school and she will work in the kitchens. Her mother first did not like the idea of her daughter leaving school but she was forced to accept it. Sesi worked at Mr Nduluvo’s kitchen meanwhile Jakey went to school.
With the pain he felt everyday he made sure he did all his schoolwork and was often thinking of what he would do when he reached grade 12. When he finished his last grade things became more terrible. Mr Mbaso didn’t have money to take him to a college or university.
“Mr Mbaso, your child was the top student in high school and can’t afford to stay home. He has to go to university.” Cried Mrs Williams.
“I don’t have money as you can see. I can’t even afford to buy myself a pair of trousers and where do you say I’ll get the money to pay for university?”
Mrs Williams talked with the other teachers at school so that they may find a way to help Jakey. They then got him a bursary and donated money so that he could buy food, clothes, school books and things he would like to buy. He finished his degree and became a doctor and he also wrote books. Sesi was now 15 years old. He paid for her classes and she started school in grade 10 in a boarding school in Polokwane.
He spent two years without doing anything for his cruel father. He always told himself that he would never forgive him. But he thought again if it wasn’t for him he would not have been in the world.
Jakey is now living in Cape Town in a double story house. He has twin babies and a wonderful yellow-bone wife. When he thinks of how he had made it in life, he always says, “This can only be God.” Sesi is now a producer for the SABC. When she tells people of her story they all think she is just encouraging them to study.
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