“How is business going?” Bab’ Mahlangu asked in his deep voice.

Baska smiled. “The money is coming in, even though some of my passengers think they know me and my life better than I do. Other than that, I would say things are running as smooth as a baby’s behind.”

Bab’ Mahlangu nodded and rubbed his round belly, while he looked at where Baska’s taxi was standing. “I can see there’s quite a line before your next load to Welasi, so I was thinking that in the meantime you should fall in line with the taxis headed for Extension Twenty-two and Extension Twenty-three. Since the money won’t be that much, I was thinking you could pocket it and keep it for yourself as your lunch money. But that’s just my thought, if you wish to wait in line for the Welasi route then it’s still fine with me.”

Baska grinned. “I most definitely will take the Extension Twenty-two and Extension Twenty-three route for now, thanks boss.”

Baska fell in line for the route, while waiting his turn for the Welasi route. Within fifteen minutes he was loading passengers in. He drove out of the taxi rank with a big smile on his face; he was thinking of the money he had just received from the passengers, which would go straight into his pocket.

As the taxi was heading down Standerton Road, Baska had a bright idea. He was going to buy Zanele a box of chocolates and then take her out on a date at Spur with this money. Once more a smile filled his face. A passenger sitting two rows behind him noticed it. The passenger was Father Mkhwanazi, a priest.

“Young man, you make me so proud!” Father Mkhwanazi said to Baska in his loud preacher’s voice. “I used to witness you in action as a taxi marshal and now you’re behind the wheel. It warms my heart to see a young man from Mrova get his life together like you’ve done.”

Baska smiled gratefully. “Thank you, Father, I do my best. Even right now, I am thinking of spoiling Zanele, my potential baby mama, rotten and that’s what I’m smiling about. I’m picturing the joy and appreciation she will give me in return and that makes everything worth it. I love her so much and I would go to the ends of the world just to see her smile. She means that much to me.”

A lady sitting next to Father Mkhwanazi turned to the priest. “Father, Baska doesn’t need to work like a slave to please his queen, Zanele. I know her and she comes from a wealthy family, so she has everything she could ever desire, her parents make certain of that.”

“Young man is that true?” asked Father Mkhwanazi.

“Yes Father, it is true. But the way I see it, her parents worked hard so they can provide a decent life for their daughter. I want to pick up where they left off by taking good care of Zanele and our unborn child. I don’t want to rely on her parents to pay for the upbringing of my baby. I want to be the man of the house and primary care giver to both Zanele and the baby. That way, I’ll prove to her family but also to myself that I am not with her for her family’s fortune. I wish to acquire my own wealth, so my child can have a life that far exceeds mine or his or her mother’s. Besides, once Zanele is done with her studies, I am more than confident that she will be there by my side with our baby.”

“I am proud of you, young man, you seem to be of a different calibre than these boys that fill the streets of Mrova. They would take advantage of the situation if they were in your shoes. May God bless you and Zanele along with your unborn child. Keep using the brave, sharp head resting on your shoulders and all your dreams will come true.”

Baska thanked Father Mkhwanazi and dropped him off at Extension Twenty-two. There was silence in the taxi afterwards, right up until Baska dropped off the last passenger at Extension Twenty-three.


Tell us: What advice would you give Baska?