Thobani bursts through the doors of his parent’s mansion in Durban North. He finds his mother making tea in the kitchen.

Mrs Khumalo acts surprised when she sees the anger in Thobani’s eyes. “What’s wrong, Thobani? What did that girl do to you?”

“What kind of evil person are you, Ma? What kind of mother are you? Don’t you want to see me happy?”

“I wish nothing but the best for you.”

“My happiness lies in that woman who lives in my house! Tertiary educated or not, you better get it through to your evil head that I will marry Zelwande.”

Mrs Khumalo shakes her head. “Noxolo is the right woman for you, not Zelwande.”

“How many times must I tell you that I don’t love Noxolo?”

“What will our friends, and your friends, say if you get married to an uneducated woman?”

“Unlike you, Ma, I don’t care what people say. This is my life and I will live it the way I like!”

“But, Thob–”

“There is no but in what I’m telling you! Another thing: tell your little witch Snothile to stay out of my business! I don’t want either of you near Zelwande again!”

Thobani doesn’t wait for his mother to reply. The tyres of his SUV screech as he leaves.

Mrs Khumalo is hyperventilating at the kitchen table. She has never seen Thobani this angry and rude. It is clear that he will marry Zelwande whether she likes it or not.

“What is wrong?” Snothile inquires.

Mrs Khumalo continues muttering under her breath. She doesn’t realise Snothile is standing next to her.

Snothile taps her on the shoulder. “What’s wrong, Mama?”

“I’ve never been insulted like this in my life. Thobani called me all sorts of names. This girl is a bad influence on my boy. We have to make a plan to sort her out.”

“Thobani is still choosing that peasant over us, his family?”

“Yes, my baby.”

“Over my dead body! I’ll never let them get married, Ma.”

“I’ve run out of ideas, my baby.”

“I have a plan, Ma.”

“I’m listening.”

Pure evil sparkles in their eyes as they hash out the plan in hushed tones.

* * * * *

Zelwande is shocked when she sees Snothile buzzing on the intercom in Hilary. Snothile wears a sincere smile as she looks into the intercom camera. Zelwande lets her in.

Senzo hurries to the passageway, to eavesdrop on the conversation.

“Zelwande, I come in peace. Can we sit down and talk, please?” says Snothile at the door.

“Have you come to insult me again? What have I ever done to you, Snothile?”

“I want to apologize for my conduct, Zelwande. We have spoken as a family and we are deeply sorry for how we treated you. Mom is so ashamed she can’t even face you, my sister,” says Snothile sheepishly.

“I don’t believe you,” says Zelwande.

“Please believe me, my sister. I’ve come to ask that you find it in your heart to forgive me and Ma,” Snothile pleads.

Zelwande looks into Snothile’s eyes. She is looking for hints of deception but her good heart finds none.

“We are human. We all have faults. I forgive you, Snothile,” says Zelwande, a smile creeping to the edges of her mouth.


Tell us: Is Zelwande too trusting, or is it a strength to always see the best in people?