As Baska drove back to town, he figured he would pick up a few people on his way there. The Welasi route paid a little bit more than the location route and the Extension Twenty-two and Extension Twenty-three routes. By the time he reached Extension Four in Welasi, the taxi was half-full of people headed for town. That made him happy because that was exactly what he’d been gunning for.

After Baska drove past the concrete bridge that links Extension Four in Welasi to the location, his excitement lessened a bit. He knew that the people he would pick up from that point onwards would pay the normal taxi fare – that was the law of the taxi business. Things were going pretty well, with passengers talking amongst themselves, until they drove past the police station and someone stopped the taxi at Ekuthuleni, the next neighbourhood.

The person who had stopped the taxi was no ordinary person – it was Madlingoz’. He was one of the most influential DJs in Mrova and he resided in Ekuthuleni. As soon as Madlingoz’ slipped into the front seat, he fiddled with the radio until he found iKwekwezi FM, the station he liked. It played deep house, his kind of music. Madlingoz’ had landed on one of his favourite tracks, ,It’s sad to think by Sculptured Music.
Baska didn’t mind Madlingoz’ fiddling with the radio, because at least he wasn’t lecturing or passing judgement on him. But boy did he count his chickens before they hatched.

When Baska was about to turn and make a right at the T-junction at Vukanini Primary School, Madlingoz’ started looking at Baska with ominous intent. Then he looked around to judge what type of people the other passengers were. When he was satisfied with the audience, he turned to Baska.

“Mfowethu, I hear you’ve hit the lottery by knocking up Zanele. You know, I tried my luck with her but she called me ‘a no good, money-hungry lowlife.’ Do you know why? Because I told her I wanted to be with her so she could help me advance my career as a DJ by buying me the equipment I was short on. I am sure you won’t have any problems getting her to give you a piece of the pie now that she is carrying your baby. I know if it were me, I would be milking that cow until the very end. I don’t understand why you’re busy driving this stupid taxi when your potential baby mama is floating in cash.”

Baska had stopped at Ninth Street at the old location to pick up a few more passengers headed for town. When the taxi started moving again, Madlingoz’ went back to talking.

“Look at me, I impregnated two lecturers from Vaal and they do whatever I want them to, even as we speak, I have R16 000 in my duffle bag, which I got from them to buy a mixer for my upcoming gig this Saturday in town …” Madlingoz’ stopped and looked around the taxi once more. “Do you think I need a new mixer? Boy! I have plenty of those lying around my house.”

He grinned, pleased with himself. “But because I knew they would give me the money if I asked, I thought what the hell! Let me get myself a new mixer, so I can impress more ladies who will be my potential cash cows. If they see that I am up to standard, they will definitely want a piece of me. So stop sleeping and get that money, boy. You too can be as wealthy as Zanele if you apply yourself to milking her family fortune. That’s my advice to you.”

Baska wasn’t surprised that no-one said anything about Madlingoz’ and the way he behaved. People were used to guys like Madlingoz’ and getting into an argument with him would be a waste of time.

“Thanks for the advice,” Baska said without much enthusiasm, as Madlingoz’ got off the taxi at the post office in town and banged the door behind him on his way out.

Baska dropped off the rest of the passengers. It was around eleven in the morning, so he figured he would go back for another load to Welasi. He headed straight for the taxi rank.


Tell us: What do you think about Madlingoz’ advice?