With his eyes closed and with murmur he demanded for my mother’s hands.

“You will get a job again; the cloud that was hanging over you is out… But someone has to carry your son’s burden, you son will live but after some time he will die.”

“My child will die Ndlovu! Uthini kimina (what are you saying to me)?”

“Don’t be afraid! Don’t, your child’s death will be part of the mission. Since evil is attacking so hard on him, God will take him for a few days until he is ready to come back. Don’t burry him otherwise you’ll bear the consequences.” Ndlovu lectured. He said everything as if he was looking into my future because he had his eyes that gazed steadily all over me.

After he was done foretelling my mother about what was to happen to me, he gave my mother some herbs and told us that now we needed to leave. It was so hard to come out of that small hut because it was small and hidden. You had to bend and crouch out like a snail, but finally we came out and faced the intense heat of the sun outside.

Things did get better for my mother and for me because she had found me a new school.

Easily, I was able to enrol into that school. But I also did not find peace because I was bullied. I couldn’t fight back because I did not know English and in an English-medium school when you fight, you have to be able to tell the teachers who the person bulling you was. And they would expel him with immediate effect. I got the hang of everything as time went on and learned the language. I was able to defend myself because I now felt I was part of the school even though I was the only black person in that white school. But race wasn’t something I concerned myself with and overtime I enjoyed myself as a child.

In standard eight, life was really hard for me more than ever. Even though I was now wiser, I felt a black cloud following me. I thought I was imagining things; I used to be very frightened because of the things that were beginning to happen to me, and the bad feeling that I was being followed almost every day.

One day along the way home I saw a woman dressed in ragged clothes calling me. She just appeared out of nowhere and stood in my way. I started getting crazy and screamed in the road. When people asked why I was screaming I pointed at her but it was useless because they didn’t see her, so they thought I was pointing at the sky. People in the road began to move away from me when they passed because they thought I was crazy. All they so was this weird crazy teenager.

After a year in Durban we got a call from Eastern Cape. The caller was telling my mother that my father had died. I didn’t want to believe this until I really confirmed it from my family that it was all true. Unfortunately I never got a chance to go to his funeral because of the rain that flooded. And since we lived on a muddy steep place, my mother’s car couldn’t move because of the mud. So we cancelled going to his funeral. It was painful, the worst pain ever. After this had happened I then remembered that even though Ndlovu had told my mother that I was going to live, someone had to carry my burden. All this was believed to be witchcraft and what was to kill me had killed my father.


Tell us: Do you believe in witchcraft or black magic?