Bontle was gorgeous! She could have any guy she wanted – including handsome, popular Jabulani.

But instead, Bontle chose Chester. Her friends were dumbstruck.

“Girlfriend, are you out of your mind? Chester is so ugly with those thick glasses. And skinny. And he always has pimples! Why hook up with a computer nerd?”

But Bontle knew what she was doing. “Nerds are the future, girls. Just think: who are the billionaires? Bill Gates and his Microsoft; Mark Zuckerberg who started Facebook. Yeah?”

Still, Bontle was sensible. She waited until Chester got his degree in Information Technology before she married him. And then she waited for the good times to roll.

But they didn’t.

“Come on, Chester! You can get any job you want. With a five-figure salary!”

Chester looked at her through his glasses, with adoring, puppy-dog eyes. “My angel, I can’t waste time on a job. I need to work on my ‘great invention’.”

Bontle was sick of hearing about his ‘great invention’. Ten months and it still wasn’t working, whatever it was. Chester tried to get funding from private firms, from the Ministry of Safety and Security, from the FBI in America.

“Don’t you see, gentlemen? It will be more accurate than a polygraph. It will guarantee the truth.”

They all laughed at him. “Your invention will never work, friend,” a clerk from the Ministry said. “It’s impossible. Pure science fiction.”

But Chester refused to give up. So it was Bontle who had to put food on the table. She got a job waitressing at a Hamburger Joint for minimum wages.

And one day, Jabulani came into the Hamburger Joint. He was as handsome as ever.

“Bontle, why don’t you dump that nerdy husband? I’ll take care of you. I have a small house, a car.”

Bontle wanted to weep with despair and disappointment.

After work, she returned to the one-room apartment she and Chester rented. It was all they could afford. It was cluttered with PC monitors and hard drives and a second-hand printer. The floor was littered with pages of scribbled equations.

Chester met her at the door. “I had a promising day, my angel,” he said, looking at her as usual with those adoring, puppy-dog eyes.

Bontle pushed past him. “I don’t care. I’m going to bed.” She put on her second-hand nightie and switched off the light.

Lying there in the dark, she made up her mind. “Tomorrow! First thing tomorrow, I am leaving this ugly, skinny, pimply-faced, useless nerd. Jabulani, here I come!” she thought.

But in the morning, everything changed. There was a phone call for Chester.

“Yes, Minister! I got it working yesterday. Yes, three million rand is acceptable for the trial period. The FBI has promised five million. US dollars of course.”

Bontle hugged her brilliant, amazing husband. The good times were about to roll! “Show me how your ‘great invention’ works,” she said.

“I had it on last night, wanting to demonstrate. But you were in too much of a bad mood, my angel.”

Chester pressed a key. A piece of paper shot out of the printer.


Tell us what you think: What does Chester’s ‘great invention’ do?