Just call me Cinderella! I spend my days with a broom in my hand, just like that chick in the fairy tale. Sweeping, sweeping, that’s me! Mostly hair-cuttings and braid-ends and curler papers.

Also like that Cinderella chick, I am really pretty. I’m not being vain, I promise. It’s the truth. I can see it every time I look in a mirror. And here at Top-Knot Hair Salon, there are mirrors everywhere.

I have wonderful curves in all the right places, high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes. Plus a supermodel smile that dents the sides of my mouth with the cutest dimples. What can I say? Gorgeous!

Well, Cinderella in the fairy tale grabbed her Prince Charming. That’s my plan too. I’m on a mission to catch my very own Prince Charming – someone young and handsome and rich. Especially rich!

My Auntie Sizi always told me, “Zonke my girl, you must marry for money. Forget about love! Love doesn’t last, but money does. Love can hurt you, but money never will. Are you hearing me, my angel girl? You must make that beautiful face of yours work for you.”

That’s why I took this job at Top-Knot. We have plenty of rich clients, from Bishopscourt, from Constantia, from Hout Bay. They pitch here in their designer clothes with their Mercs and Audis and big fat SUVs parked outside. Some of them even have chauffeurs that sit outside and wait for them! Imagine!

It’s just a pity that most of our clients are women. Demanding women! “Zonke, dahling, get me a cappuccino, will you? Fresh milk foam, mind!”

So I have to leave my broom and hair-clippings and head for the kitchen. But Madame Le Champs, the French boss-lady, says, “Zonke, whatever zey want, zey must get. Only zee best for zee clients. Oui?”

Oui is French for ‘yes’ but you pronounce it ‘wee’ like you need the toilet. Not very posh! But she is very French, my boss-lady. I love the way she speaks.

We have some male clients, like the bank manager. But he is old and keeps showing pictures of his grandchildren. There’s a dance instructor too. But he doesn’t seem to like women. Still, I have high hopes that my Prince Charming will appear some day.

On Thursday, Mrs Magaba from Constantia kept staring at me in the mirror while I swept. Then she said, “Zonke, you are really beautiful. I must bring my son Sipho to meet you. He is very shy, but very sweet. Yes, I am sure you two will like each other.” Mrs Magaba has lots of money. She is a University of Cape Town lecturer. Her husband is a famous brain surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital.

And then on Friday morning, the best thing happened. Mrs Windsor came in for her ten o’clock tint. And she gave me a ticket to some exclusive art exhibition. “You go along, Zonke. It’s for some hot local artist. Very upmarket. By invitation only. All the rich and famous will be there.”

So! Friday evening I’m heading for this art gallery. Who knows? Maybe my Prince Charming will be there, waiting to carry me off to his castle? Zen, in the words of my French boss-lady, zen it will be only zee best for me. Oui?


What do you think? Is Auntie Sizi right? Is it better to marry for money or for love?