‘But, I know you’, my inner voice whispered to me. Then I brought the reason to mind: Oh, yes … you remind me of Themba. Themba, an ex, who was as tall, black and handsome as hell, with a beautiful moustache and air of seriousness. Only when he smiled did one begin to be drawn into him. Always smartly dressed. He was a teacher, after all. When I met him, I thought our stars were aligned.

Nothing could have been further from the truth – he was a disappointment to me.

The new love interest in front of me was of medium height … eish! Short actually, to be accurate. No moustache. His head wasn’t clean-shaven either.

But, he evoked a yearning … a memory of a bygone lover. In this ebullient moment, I felt fully alive to love again. Sometimes, I, surprised myself.

My retreat into this safe, day-dreamy zone was rudely interrupted by uGonodo roaring like a lion:

“Makhosi! Makhosi! Siyavuma! Your ancestors are angry. You’re an illegitimate child. Your father is dead. Angry. Your mother never introduced you to him. I don’t see any marriage in your life until you have performed all rituals such as imbeleko and ukukhumelana umlotho.’

In unison, we shouted in response, “Siyavuma, Makhosi!”

“Kumele uyogeza ntombazane, unefu elimnyama. You must be cleansed of a dark cloud hovering over your life,” he said authoritatively.

We continued our chant: “Siyavuma, Makhosi! Siyavuma, Makhosi!”

To our surprise, after the consultation, we were invited to the visitors’ lounge, a non-descript rondavel with two second-hand sofas. A middle-aged woman brought us a bottle of cold Coke, and – you guessed it – Choice Assorted biscuits. We were relieved; the heat was killing us.

As we sipped the cold drink and nibbled on biscuits, the conversation flowed, easy-going. I established that Mr Charmer Boy was a corporal in the army, the SANDF.

Wow! The more I heard, the more I loved his deep voice and rich Zulu. He didn’t smile often; instead, he laughed out loud – a memorable laugh. I liked. I liked. His name was Nhlanhla. At least I was not the only one feeling lucky around there that day.

I caught his eye again; the people around us faded away. He leaned in, and in that velvety, melodic voice whispered to me.

“Nkosazana, isikhathi sinomona. Esami sesidliwe inja. Umthwalo ususobhokweni. Kodwa angeke ngiyishiye inhliziyo yakho, yiyo engiyolala nayo emazweni. My lady, the beautiful one. Time is envious. I am about to leave, but I won’t depart without your heart, as I need it to comfort me in faraway places.”

I concluded that, like Shakespeare, he had witchcraft on his lips.

I swallowed my saliva. I looked down, feeling hot and flustered. But I took a breath and regained my composure.

He was now standing, preparing to leave. Our brief romantic moment was about to vanish into thin air, without any resolution …

“Perhaps … I will call you later. When next in town, let’s talk,” I said coyly, drawing on all my courage in these matters.

Well, he gave me his number and disappeared. We too stood up and left the House of Magic. We hadn’t been fed lunch, but our souls were full, wholesome.

We arrived home before nightfall. Exhausted. Happy. Hopeful.


Tell us: Do you think her ancestors are indeed preventing her from finding true love and marriage, due to being ‘illegitimate’?