Bhadeni village was a tiny village with more people who were depending on the government pension. People were free to do whatever they wanted to do after democracy in 1994, but there was still much that needed to be changed. Water was still found in the river and there was no electricity. Bheki left Bhadeni village at the age of twenty-one. He was a good young man, a great member of the youth forum in the community.
He went to look for a job in Durban. Life was not easy in the city especial when you come from the village, you experience new things and some of them could lead to problems. He couldn’t find a job, the only certificate he had was his birth certificate. He struggled and didn’t pay rent for months and he had no food in the shack. He was chased away for not paying rent.
He met Mbongeni while he was taking his bags, not knowing where he will go. He offered him a place to stay and he promised him he was going to take good care of him because he was still a young man and Mbongeni was a bit older than him.
Mbongeni was a tough black man with red eyes. He was scary but Bheki had no other place to run to.
“Thank you for being kind to me. I had nowhere to run to. I thought I was going to end up in the street like any other kid in this town. I was blessed I met you,” Bheki said to Mbongeni.
“Don’t worry about that anymore. Just promise me you will be a good boy and I will treat you like a son I never had, until you become a man and can stand on your own.” Mbongeni said while brushing Bheki’s shoulder.
Bheki felt at home. He was getting everything he wanted; he always had money in his pocket and he even forgot about his village vision. Mbongeni was always working at night, always dressed in black, but Bheki couldn’t ask him anything. Why would he ruin it with useless questions, after all, he was getting everything he wanted as a young boy.
Months went by and one day Mbongeni came back with blood in his clothes and he couldn’t walk properly. Bheki rushed to help him. He said he was fine and didn’t need his help, he looked angry. Since he was injured he couldn’t work and if he didn’t work then nobody would bring food to the table. Bheki had to replace him. He gave him the address of the warehouse where he said he was working. He sent his friends a text, notifying them that they will be working with a new boy, he wanted to introduce him to the game not that he was really injured.
Bheki prepared himself for work. He was dressed in black and took the piece of paper where he noted the address. He went looking for the warehouse and found it. It didn’t look like a place of work, it was out of town. He heard people talking inside and forgot to knock. He just entered and all the guns were pointing at him. He was shocked.
“Mbongeni didn’t teach you to knock before you enter? Be careful son,” Mzwakhe said while pointing at him with the middle finger.
Bheki was shocked and didn’t say anything. Why did they all have guns? What kind of job were they doing? he thought, but he was afraid even to ask. They told him they were waiting for him and they gave him a gun. They told him no shooting; it was just for scaring people. They didn’t wait for him to ask anything, they just got into the truck and started moving off.
They went to town and there was the biggest furniture shop Bheki had ever seen. They parked the truck and broke the glass sliding door. The alarm rang but they were too fast and took everything they wanted and put it in the truck and ran. He was left down there like he had lost his mind. They tried to tell him to enter into the truck but the police siren was sounding close and they left him. He was just standing when the police arrived and he was arrested.
The jail cells reminded him of who he really was and how his community would be disappointed that he was arrested for crime. He was found with the gun and his vision about the village came back to him like a dream. All I wanted was to make a little cash and go back help the people in the village, he thought.
Mbongeni visited him in jail. He told him not to say anything about what happened that night. He said he would deposit his cut to his account because they made a lot of money, but if he said anything he was going to kill him. He had no choice but to keep quiet for the sake of his life. The gun that was found on him had killed many people and he was charged with murder.
Bheki was a good man even in jail and he was becoming a grown man. He was starting to doubt all the dreams he had as a young man. All the thought about was how he was going to face everyone after all these years he spent in prison. And he was out after serving his sentence of twenty-four years.
More than twenty-seven years had gone and Bheki was back in the village where everyone thought he was dead. Thing were a little different in the village. There was electricity and water engine, water was no longer found in the river. He felt like he was in a different place with the lots of changes. The money they made from the score they did was too much but it couldn’t fulfil his vision for Bhadeni village.
He went to the municipality to meet with the mayor and his meeting was successful. His vision for the community was amazing. They found more businessmen to invest to the future of the youth. They built a skills’ centre and it was the only way they could help the youth with grade twelve who couldn’t afford to go to university. They opened a library with many computers to help grade twelve learners to access information easily.
Mbongeni felt like he shamed the village people. The town had changed him but because they knew him they were not angry at him because of the mistakes he did. At the end he came back to help the children who were in need and he was the motivation to them. They wouldn’t do the same mistakes he did; he was their hero. He brought change to the community after more than twenty-seven years of nobody knowing he was still alive.