Mrs Khumalo lights up when she sees her son, Thobani, driving into the yard of her mansion in Durban North. Joy fills her heart and her elegant, expensive make-up makes her face seem to literally glow. She has been complaining for several months that Thobani hardly visits these days.

“My handsome son! How are you, my beautiful boy?” says Mrs Khumalo.

“I’m well, Ma. It’s just that work has me all the time. I thought I’d have time now that I’m in management, but I’m the busiest I’ve ever been.”

“You have to pace yourself, my boy. A busy body and a busy mind need rest.”

“I know that now. I’m pacing myself and managing my time a bit better. Is Dad around? I’d like to discuss something with both of you.”

“Is everything okay? Have you and Noxolo split up? Please don’t tell me you have broken that poor girl’s heart,” says Mrs Khumalo.

“Come on, Ma. I told you that I don’t see Noxolo in that way. Everything is okay. In fact, I have very good news to share with you and Dad.”

“Great. I can’t wait to hear that good news. Let me get your father.”

Mrs Khumalo disappears down the long hallway. The helper sets the table for lunch. Minutes later, Mr Khumalo appears in the dining room. He breaks into a hearty laugh when he sees Thobani. They chat while eating lunch.

“Mom and Dad, like I said earlier, there is something I’d like to tell you. I have very good news. I’m getting married!”

“Great news, my boy!” Mr Khumalo stands up and holds his son in a bear hug.

“What is the bride’s surname?”

“Her surname is Mhlongo, Dad.”

Mrs Khumalo shows no emotion for a while, then bursts out: “Thobani, why are you getting married at such a young age? You are not even 30 yet!”

“I’m getting married because I love Zelwande, Mom!”

“Thobani how could you do this when you know that Noxolo loves you? Did you take Noxolo’s feelings into consideration before coming to your decision?”

“Noxolo and I are just friends, Ma. I don’t have romantic feelings for her. I have never even thought of her in that way. Please just be happy for me.”

“There you go again! Can’t you just be happy for our son and stop criticising all the time? Just be happy!” says Mr Khumalo.

“We’d like to see this girl who’s driving you crazy,” says Mrs Khumalo begrudgingly.

“Great, I’ll bring her tomorrow.”

Thobani rushes to his bedroom as soon as he gets home to Hilary. He finds Zelwande reading a book on the bed. He jumps on the bed, excitement bubbling in his every word. “My love, my parents want to meet you. We are going to meet them tomorrow.”

“I’m nervous, Thobani. What if they don’t approve of me? What if they don’t like me?”

“Calm down, my love. They will love you. What is there not to love about you?”

They both laugh, play fighting and kissing on the bed. Zelwande hardly sleeps, thinking of what to wear, and how to act, when she finally meets her future in-laws tomorrow.


Tell us what you think: What is Mrs Khumalo going to think of Zelwande, and why?