Zothani’s fraternal twin, Thulani, sits on a wooden toolbox in the back of a white Toyota bakkie. Thulani and the three men in the back of the bakkie do chicken house maintenance for National Chicks, one of the biggest chicken farming companies in the country. The company has several sites around Camperdown, near Cato ridge, and Thulani writes poems on his phone when he’s travelling from one site to another.
“Ey bro, you have sick skills man,” Sphiwe, Thulani’s friend, says. “I sent my girl a love poem you posted the other day on Facebook and she was in tears when she called me back, talking about she wants to be with me asap, you know what that means right?”
Thulani smiles and stretches a hand for Sphiwe to take five. “Told you girls love poems bra, it’s crazy,” Thulani says as their hands clap and snap.
“How are things with the suburban girl?” Bab’ Zulu taps Thulani on the shoulder with the back of his hand.
Thulani smiles and shrugs. “Things are not bad at all.”
Sphiwe looks at Bab’ Zulu with a huge grin on his face and wildly wide eyes.
“What?” Bab’ Zulu says to Sphiwe. “I hear you boys talking.”
Thulani, 26, is the youngest of the men. Bab’ Zulu, at 54, is the oldest. The younger men have gotten used to Bab’ Zulu not entertaining their daily chit chat about girls, so it’s a surprise to see him joining in.
“Are you writing her a poem?” Bab’ Zulu asks.
“No, I’m writing a poem for a competition,” Thulani lies to cut the conversation short. He’s actually a few lines from finishing the poem that he thinks will drive Lindiwe a little more crazier about him.
Thulani met Lindiwe on Facebook five years ago. She was a super fan of his poetry before he took advantage of her adulation and made her his. Now, three-and-a-half years into their relationship, Thulani still writes Lindiwe poems because… well… she loves his poetry.
“It’s not that I’m jealous,” Tshepo suddenly says. “But you’re really wasting your time loving that girl like you do.”
Tshepo is a light-skinned guy with a ‘fade’ haircut and silver fillings for his middle upper teeth. When not in the grey overalls the four of them are wearing right now, Tshepo is always the best dressed and thus gets the most attention from women. Knowing that Thulani is dating a girl that’s more beautiful and more successful than any girl he’s ever dated doesn’t sit well with Tshepo.
“Seriously,” Tshepo continues when no one replies to his statement. “Lindiwe is a qualified doctor now and probably earns ten times what we earn here. Yet here you are dreaming about marrying her when you can’t even afford-”
“Did you watch the game last night?” Sphiwe says to Thulani while Tshepo is talking. “I told you Arsenal were going to bury Barcelona!”
Bab’ Zulu laughs. Tshepo elbows Sphiwe playfully and says, “I’m telling the truth here, bra. I’m trying to help Thulani.”
“Charmer boy is jealous,” Bab’ Zulu continues laughing.
Thulani can’t help but break the straight face he’s been holding together and laughs.
Tshepo – with his light skin, fade haircut, flashy clothes and silver teeth – bears a strong resemblance to Thulani’s twin brother, Zothani. This resemblance made Thulani dislike Tshepo from the first time he saw him. Zothani has always mocked Thulani for being dark and fat. He has always underestimated Thulani when it comes to getting girls. Thulani senses the same energy from Tshepo.
While laughing at what Bab’Zulu said, Thulani considers surprising Tshepo with a strong punch that’ll make him swallow his silver teeth. But unlike his brother Zothani, Thulani considers the consequences before he acts.
Tell us: are poems the way to your heart..?!