Kwakungomgqibelo ngentsimbi yesibhozo ebusuku, ngexa unoZizwe ephuma ekhayeni lakhe ezithe tye ngeteki ze Nike ezimnyama, nelokhwe eyacuyacu elimhlophe. Akacacisanga kakuhle kubazali bakhe ubaqhathe ngelithi uyojonga umhlobo wakhe edolophini, bavuma. Kume phambili imoto emnyama emabaleni yatsho phakathi lento kazi.

“Ingaba ngubani lo uzokulanda,” babuzike abazali bakhe.

“NguXolani lo ndifunda naye. Ningakhathazeki ungumhlobo wam,” uncumile wajonga phantsi unkabi esemotweni.

“Oh molweni mama,” utshilo ephakamisa isandla emotweni, balahleka.

“Kanti asifiki sithandwa apho siya khona, yhu ndidikiwe mna, khawutsho uthe siyaphi?” ubuzile uNozizwe.

Uncumile unkabi ebetha umlozi. “Khululeka sthandwa, ndizokuxelela xasifika khona.”

“Nozizwe, Nozizwe vuka, sele sifikile,” watsho ke uXolani. “Mamela uthi ndingu knowlage apho siyevana?

“Kuphi apha?”

“Hayi, kuse tavern sithandwa,”

“Yintoni lento ka knowlage?” ubuzile ke uNozizwe.

“Natsi ijakhethi, nxiba singene phakathi.

***

Kwathi kanti le ndawo indawo apho amantombazana athengisa kuyo ngemizimba. Bamthathile ke uNozizwe bamnika igumbi azolala kulo, kwaye bamthembisa ukuba uzakurhola imali eninzi ngokuthengisa umziba. Okubi kokuba waye engasamboni uXolani lowo wamabhongo. Wayeshiyeke namadoda amakhulu awoyikekayo, lamadoda ebebonakala njengamadoda akhohlakele.

“Ngubani girls owazi erhwabe?” ubuzile kumantombazana abelapho.

“Yhu, Nozie erhwabe! Kha usiyeke ntombi yasemakhaya,” ushilo uGety.

Girls ndiyanicela, ndifuna ukwazisa abazali bam ngalemeko ndikuyo andinokwazi ukuba lapha, noXolani akasekho,” utsho sele’khala)

“He wethu uXolani yiboss yalapha, suyithetha lonto uphambene,” uphendule watsho uGety.

“Ibhosi, kanti yilonto wayethe zendithi ngu Knowlage?

“Ewe yibhosi, yintoni ngawe?”

Ngelixa uNozizwe ekhalayo, ekhaya izinto ziyajiya.

“Nkqo nkqo apha kwelikhaya,” utshilo umfana obenxibe isheti, idangari, neebutsi ezimnyama.

“Ngena!” Washo umama kaNozizwe.

“Mama, size kuwe ngokuba uNozizwe uboleke imali engango R800 ezala uR50 ngeveki
kwaye ngoku loo mali yi R2500. Mama uzoyiletha nini imali yethu?”

Owu, uvukelwe kukugula umama eyicinga lonto intsuku zonke ezibuza imibuzo.

“Ndizokuyibhatala ngantoni kuba ndiqhola iR1000 qha, kanti utata walapha akasebenzi,”

Wasweleka umama kaNozizwe, kwasala utata lo ungasebenzi kwaye ongaboniyo.

Emthatha, apho akhoyo uNozizwe, besekumnandi onwabile elibele nalapho avela khona. Wafikelwa liphupha, kubonakala umzi usentabeni ubiyelwe. Kwafika umoya wawa ke lomzi waphela. Elo phupha lifike kathathu ngobusuku obunye.

“Thandiwe, kaloku sihlobo ndashiya umama ekhaya notata kwaye bangabantu abangaphilanga. Ndinewari nyani,” ebalisela uhlobo wakhe.

“Kutheni ungabafowuneli okanye uthumele isms okanye ileta yini ntombi?”

“Hayi wena mhlobo wam, akukho mntu onayo imfonomfono phaya kulalali yaseRhwabe. Yayindim ndedwa ndiyithengelwa nguXolani kodwa ndandingayisebenzisi tu kuba ayikho inetwork kwintaba zasekhaya.

Kwadlula iminyaka emihlanu.

“Ntombi uright kodwa?” ubuzile uThandiwe. “Sekuphele intsuku ezisibhozo ungatyi, yintoni?”

“Khululeka mhlobo wam, ndizokuya kwaqhirha ndiziva ndiphelelwa ngamandla,”

Ngoba kaloku unozizwe egula uzamile ukugoduka, endleleni uhlangene no Sandile.

“Sandile, Sandile yima apho.”

“Yintoni mama ndingakunceda?”

“Ewe, ewe. NdinguNozizwe kwaKhumalo.”

“Intoni? Nguwe lo ulixhegokazi elinje?”

“Ewe, phofu yintoni le uyiphetheyo? Ayisosabhokwe sikatata, sifuna ntoni kuwe?

“Kutheni ufuna ukwazi? bekungakuhle uhambe, hamba hamba apha Nozizwe,”

“Hayi yima, Sandile yintoni, ndixelele,”

Uthe akuvelela ekhayeni lakhe wabona inkomo zigudla ngezindlu, ulahle ezo zikhwadlana zakhe waphuthuma komakhelwane. Bakrobile kuba beve isikhalo esikhulu.

“Yho, yho mama, tata yintoni endiyenzileyo kuni? Vukani epha emangcwbeni.

Wonke ubani usondele apho ebeguqe khona emangcwabeni katata no mama wakhe. Bamxelela ukuthi utata wakhe wafumaneka exhonyiwe esihlahleni. Umama wakhe wabulawa kukunyuka kwesigulo sakhe. Zehla inyembezi kwintokazi ikhala izesula phofu.