After school Mondli parks the Jub-Jub a block away from a house with a technicolour roof and hands me a fist full of tigers. ‘Get a dozen,’ he says. I look at him blankly. A dozen zols, Silas growls. Ask the Rasta at the Jah House for twelve Swazi.

I leave my stomach on the floor of the Jub-Jub and wander as casually as I can towards the Jah House. Its multicoloured roof burns my eyes and I look down at my dragging feet.

Ten metres from the Jah House a voice asks me if I want to buy some weed. It comes from a snot-faced kid the size of my youngest sister. I feel like I’ve been given a reprieve.

I hold out twelve tens and he hands over a dozen joints. He says it was nice doing business and runs like the blazes. I stuff the product into my blazer and swagger back to the Jub-Jub. Silas asks if I got the stuff from the Rasta. I nod. ‘Now we’re smoking!’ he and Mondli say.

I lied so that they’d tell me I was cool. But I should have told the truth. If I had, things would have turned out different.

Image: Steve Vosloo