You uttered the words “Ngiyavuma” at exactly 23 minutes past one on the 22nd of December 2006. I know this very well, of course: I was there. It was our umembeso ceremony in our journey towards being married. The lobola had been paid and our families had gathered – yours had showered me with gifts.
I winked at you, don’t you recall. Later, when the eating and drinking began, I sipped on my drink of choice, Brutal Fruit, in honour of the ones we love. I know it drizzled that morning, a sure sign that the whole shindig was blessed by the ancestors.
I remember you in your full Zulu regalia: umblaselo, faded khaki and laced with red and blue. You looked splendid, my love.
I still remember the song by DJ Call Me, about a lover who comes back to marry their soul mate. The lyrics went something like this:
Marry me, marry me, my love,
If you marry me,
I’m gonna marry you, my love.
In the video of the song, scantily dressed young women dance to their heart’s desire, swaying their hips. But, I’m digressing…
Now that day feels like a century ago. I am feeling the impending doom and gloom of old age. I will soon be turning 60. It is true for me that ‘aku sibonda saguga namagxolo aso’ – there is no fencing stake that grew old with its bark still intact. I am beyond menopause, and my breasts are beginning to sag. Yet, if I were a man, I would probably still be considered in my prime, going out to lure ‘Slay Queens’ into forbidden bedrooms.
Ever since that first time I met you on that eventful Sunday, so many years ago, I knew you were the one. The greatest love of my life. I don’t know anymore. In that instant, you changed the substance of my life forever.
Memories fade and people change and move on, so they say. Just not me.
I remember the day as though it was yesterday. Don’t get me started on the ‘don’t live in the past’ narrative. My people believe that ‘Regrets are much like grandchildren; they come much later.’ So it is with me. I have regrets. It just means I have lived. Leave me alone. Tsek!
Our first meeting was, of course, accidental. But maybe not? Perhaps it was meant to be, a case of ‘the foot and the earth cannot help meeting’. I remember our ‘accidental’ meeting as my actual date with destiny.
Tell us: Are you able to get over past events easily? Do you have any major regrets yet?