“What do you need two thousand rand for?” K8 asked.
“They said I need to pay some lawyers’ fees or I can’t get the money,” said Airtime. “Please, please help!”
“That can’t be right,” she said.
Sbu and Airtime followed K8 as she strode through the doors and towards the quiz organisers. Sbu had seen her like this before. She could get very angry when she thought people were taking advantage of her friends.
The quiz organisers were standing and packing away their papers when she reached their table.
She confronted Bhose. “What’s this about lawyers’ fees?”
“It’s an international competition,” he said. “It’s not up to us. The winnings come from the branch in Europe, and the company donating the money needs legal fees in advance in order to process the transfer.”
“What kind of a quiz is this? Airti – I mean, Mfundo – won! He shouldn’t be giving you money! You should be giving him money!” said K8.
“I’m sorry, it’s not up to us. We’re just the middle-men,” said Bhose. “He’ll get his money, but someone needs to pay those fees first. If he transfers the money into this bank account, then within an hour, he’ll be fifty thousand rands richer!”
Bhose gave Airtime a slip of paper with some bank account details on it, and the three quiz organisers said their goodbyes and left.
“What are we going to do?” asked Airtime. All his excitement from earlier was turning to panic. “You’ve got money, don’t you, K8? I’ll pay you back! I’ll pay you back double!”
“I’m sorry,” said K8. “I haven’t been saving. And since I painted my car, my parents won’t lend me anything.”
“But where do you get money for petrol?” asked Airtime. Sbu put a hand on Airtime’s shoulder to calm him down.
“I work for it,” said K8. “I’ve got a lot of canvasses in my garage, and I’ve been selling paintings.”
“Could you sell enough to make two thousand rand?” asked Airtime in desperation.
K8 thought about it.
“I don’t think so,” she said.
“At least, not all by myself.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? If you had to get R2000 quickly, what would you do?