Analo had been playing soccer after school for two months. She had completely stopped attending the after-school tutoring classes, even though Linam had tried to persuade her to go back.

“Have you told your parents yet? If you don’t pass your parents will find out you are playing soccer instead of studying, and they won’t let you play at all,” he stressed, every time he saw her.

But Analo couldn’t go back to the after-school tutoring. She couldn’t face Thulani’s questions about why she dropped out without even really trying. She started to avoid people in her tutoring group, including Linam and Lilitha.

Her parents thought she was attending the tutorial sessions when she came home late.

But really, she had put all her energy into the after-school soccer programme and she was shining. She felt important there. And no-one put unreasonable pressure on her to perform.

“Analo, when are you getting your mid-term school results?” Thobela asked one night, towards the end of term. Analo was sitting in front of the TV watching Skeem Saam with her mother.

“I don’t know, Tata. Maybe next term,” Analo replied.

“But we were told in the parent’s meeting last Saturday that you were going to receive the reports today,” Nomalizo said.

“But they didn’t give them to us.”

“These teachers are lazy. What’s taking them this long to sort out learners’ reports!?” Thobela said with annoyance in his voice. “I have a mind to complain.”

“No, Tata. I’m sure they will come soon,” Analo said quickly. The truth was that earlier that morning Analo had received her mid-term results. She had hidden the report under the mattress of her bed when she found out that she had failed Natural Science. She told herself that she was going to make up a good story, and lie to her parents when they asked about her school report.

“Had I not hung around with friends and smoked dagga in the school toilets, I would have been the school teacher that my mother wanted me to become. School is very important my child.”

Her father talked like this at times in the evening, during supper. But she wasn’t like her father. She was not smoking dagga or hanging around with friends. She played soccer – and she was the next Portia Modise!

She didn’t want the conversation about the school results to carry on.

How was she going to tell her parents that she had stopped attending the extra classes? Linam was right – they would stop her playing forever.

Analo switched her mind off her bad test results and thought about the big match she was going to have the following day.

She went to her room and took her soccer boots from her school bag. She closed her nose with her fingers as she examined the Umbro boots that had been given to her by her coach. They had changed from white to cream and they needed washing. She couldn’t wash them at home because her parents would know that she was playing soccer, despite their disapproval. She wiped her soccer boots with a wet towel.


Tell us what you think: How is Analo’s disobedience going to be found out? Or will she get away with it?