Most African villages, if not all, have strange stories that took place during the times of our ancestors. For interest’s sake sit down with the oldest person in your clan, it could be your great grandfather, if you are fortunate enough to have one, like myself. My great grandfather was 86 years old but he was still fresh enough to make fire out of wood.

“You kids nowadays know nothing about the adventures of life,” he said.

As he prepared the firewood nicely in the fireplace, I looked at him and thought that he would clarify what he had just said, but he did not utter a word, as he was still busy with the fire.

While he was at it, I reached out for the window that was behind me and opened it up so the smoke could make its way out. I stopped for a minute, my eyes hypnotized by the sight of the beautiful horizon as the sun disappeared behind the beautiful Drakensburg Mountains; the clouds were orange-red right above the mountains. The scene was so beautiful and artistic; it looked like some sort of painting. But, something
ruined the moment. My great grandpa threw a twig that tore open a small scar under my right eye which then started to bleed. He laughed and handed me a piece of tissue that he had in his pocket. Angry at him, I took it and wiped the blood off my face when he suddenly stopped laughing and fixed his eyes on the red blood that was on the piece of tissue that I held in my hand. Something was on his mind, I could tell.

“There was blood in the river,” he said, nodding his head. “I used to go to the same school that you go to, son. I remember it well, I was in the twelfth grade when it all happened and those days we used forms, so, in other words I was in Form 6.

“The Catholic premises did not allow us to smoke, drink alcohol, talk to girls, or leave the school premises. You break any of the rules? You pack and leave as soon as you get caught.” He paused, then continued, “But who were we to abide by the stupid rules? Besides, rules were always there to be broken. At least, that’s what we told ourselves.

“The schools had closed for all of the grades except grade twelve, so we attended winter school with other grade twelve learners from other schools. It was recess time and we sat under a tree that was next to the girls’ toilets watching every beauty that passed by. We were planning on leaving the premises that night to go buy some weed and booze in a close-by village. The booze was supposed to keep us warm and the weed was supposed to help us concentrate in class the next day,” he sighed.

“When the sun finally went down, the lessons had all ended and the girls were locked up in their block of dormitories. The two boarding masters were holding a nice conversation in their office next to the fireplace and the time had come for us to sneak out. Seven of us went and in no time, we were at the village. We had all agreed that if one of us got caught he would not mention others. Soon we came across an old man who wore a white coat and a white hat. We asked for directions to the nearest shebeen (illegal bar), and without uttering a word he pointed to the only house in the village that had electricity like the ones in the cities.”


Tell us: Do you think the boys should trust this old man? Would you?