In the morning, Ntombi wakes up before anyone else. She prepares school lunches for all the children in the house. She cooks them breakfast. Asemahle and Sambulo are surprised by this rare gesture but take it wholeheartedly, forgetting all they have endured under her. 

She even drives all the children to school, unlike most times when she drives only the twins. She cleans the kitchen after they are gone, and cooks porridge so that Sbusiso can eat before taking his medication.

In the quiet of the house, Ntombi smiles. She is thinking that Sbusiso moving to stay with his mom could work out just fine for her. With Sbusiso away she would get the time to do as she pleases.

She is smiling as she enters the room with a bowl of hot porridge.

“You know, Sbu, it not such a bad idea for us to visit your mom for a while.”

“Didn’t you says Ma uses muti? And it’s that muti that may be making me sick?”

“I’m sorry if I said that. Please forgive me, it was the alcohol talking. It’s a very good idea for us to visit your mom, I’m sure she’d love to play a role in your recuperation. I know how much she loves you.”

“I’m so happy you feel this way. We will go next week when schools close for the holidays.”

Ntombi smiles as she washes dishes in the kitchen. 


The whole family moves to Jozini for the June holidays. Sbusiso’s mom and brothers are happy that he has brought his whole family home. Asemahle and Sambulo get a chance to speak to their grandmother and tell her about the hardships they face living with Ntombi. She, in turn, convinces Sbusiso that they should move to Jozini, and Sbusiso agrees. 

It is around 1pm as Ntombi approaches Sbusiso with lunch in a tray.

“Sbu, I was thinking about our situation and I have a suggestion. What if I start working now because you are not well? I also need to play my part because we need extra money,” says Ntombi.

“That is a good idea, Ntombi,” says Sbusiso.

“I have been searching for jobs online and I see that I need to be closer to home in case something comes up and I need to go for interviews. I was thinking of leaving in a few days,” says Ntombi.

“OK, my love. Please focus on finding a job, less partying with friends, because I won’t be around to look after the twins,” says Sbusiso.

“I’ll do that, my love.”

“And another thing. Asemahle and Sambulo are not going back with you. They are starting school this side when schools open. We have sorted everything out.”

“But won’t changing schools so many times in such a short time be bad for them?” Ntombi acts concerned but deep down she is joyful that Asemahle and Sambulo will stay behind.

“Mama needs to be with them here. She has insisted since she has never lived with them,” says Sbusiso.

“Fine then, my love. If that is her wish.” 

On Friday, Ntombi straps the twins in their car seats and heads to Joburg. She is bubbling with excitement as she drives, and calls friend after friend.

“Sbu and I are done is all I’m saying! Finally!” says Ntombi.

“I must say, you have perseverance, my friend, for staying this long with a sick man you don’t even love! I’d have left him a long time ago,” says Lebo.

Ntombi bursts out laughing. “It’s as if you are reading my mind, Lebo. I’m just waiting for him to die so I can get all his money and start a new life with Sipho.”

“You and Sipho! I just know you will start at his place before coming to see me.”

“Jealous much, Lebo? I’ve got an incoming call. Speak of the devil, it’s Sipho. Bye, we will talk later.”

“Where are you, my love?” says Sipho.

“I just passed Springs, my love.”

“That’s great. I’ve missed you.”

Sbusiso keeps calling Ntombi but she ignores his calls.

Tell us: Do you think Sbusiso will get better?