Andile became a very successful salesman; the business flourished and he had gotten a wage increment twice already and he “had not had to protest or dodge bullets to get an increase,” that’s what he proudly told people, showing of his new clothes.

“Haha! You see, you don’t have to be an educated teacher or to be a hard-working miner earning peanuts and paying tax that helps fatten the fat cats to live,” he told anyone who cared to listen to his story of instant success.

“Where do you get the money to buy all these?” Thabang asked. “Nice cloth man! Nice quality,”

Andile just laughed uproariously like a proud lion, and didn’t answer his roommate.

Thabang knew that Andile had changed, he was too proud. Too proud, indeed! There were things he was not telling him and Thabang felt a bit betrayed.

The only person Andile had told about his dealings was Lumkile, but Lumkile didn’t approve of it.

“Jesus Christ man! Why are you doing this? Why are you being so irresponsible?” Lumkile had asked his friend.

“Man must live, live abundantly. But man, above all, must love,” he told Lumkile cheerfully, quoting Es`kia Mphahlele in , feeling like a character in a book. The sad thing was that he couldn’t remember which book he was quoting.

“Is she worth it, worth the trouble and all the risks?” Lumkile asked.

“Love is worth everything. Love is worth life, love is a beautiful thing man, more like art or dance,” he said poetically. Lumkile looked at him and shook his head.

“You shake your head as if to say I am deranged and crazy Slujah! You should open your heart, forget about past cuttings. A wise man once said ‘hurt breaks will cut as deep as we allow them to’,” he said oozing with confidence.

“Listen to yourself Andile; you think you know better than me now, huh?”

Lumkile was irritated at the manner in which Andile was behaving, he disliked it! “Cut it with your poetic crap and come back to reality. Life is not art, it can’t be created and recreated, it’s not a poem you can write or rewrite as you want. You make one mistake and ‘phoof’ you gone. Haven’t you got any senses in here,” he was knocking Andile’s head with his fingers.

“Jealousy doesn’t suit you man. It’s not for you, leave it to the ladies!” Andile said, brushing Lumkile’s hand way.

“Jealousy!” Lumkile was surprised at what his friend had just said. “That’s it. I quit, uzoz’bona ke mfo kabawo, you are on your own. Love should be a mutual feeling, and I wonder how mutual is it between you two,” he had said leaving his friends pondering over his words.

“Uhg! It’s true, Mandoza might not be the smartest musician in South Africa but he was right when he said: ‘umntu omnyama akafun` ubona umntu omnyama phezulu,” he said justifying himself, taking out a zol. He lit it and dragged a smoke.

Ja! This feels good; I am in control of my destiny. I have the woman I love; he thought to himself and smiled in satisfaction, blowing the smoke. Ja! he had the girl but she was asking too many questions now.

“Andy, tell me, how do you make your money?” she had asked him one night, whilst chilling cosily in his room.

“My uncle, the one with one eye… did I ever tell you about… about him?” he had stuttered.

“No! You never did,”

“Oh! Yes him, he won the lotto and is giving me money,” he had lied. She had looked at him with sceptical eyes. “OK! Does it even matter, though? You are happy, right?” she had nodded, looking at him with those beautiful chocolate-brown eyes; smiling at him innocently.

“That’s what matters – your happiness,” he said to her, as he hugged her passionately and kissing her neck.

“Yes, my love, I’m doing all this for you,” now, he said, laying on his back, blowing out smoke rings like a pro.


Let’s chat: What do you think about the way Andile is behaving? What do you think will happen to his relationship with Koketso if she found out?