A day had passed since Thandi’s latest break-up and a day had also passed since Malawi came up with the answer to all her problems.

“Thandi!” he could hardly wait to tell her.

The night before she’d come back too late from rehearsal and he’d had too many beers to stay awake.

Now he was cooking pancakes for breakfast. He made a flurry and jerked the pan. In his mind the pancake did a graceful turn and landed back in the pan. In reality it fell to the floor. But even this couldn’t spoil things. Tambo poured more batter into the pan and fished out a spatula.

“Thandi, man!”

“I’m coming, Baba!”

She emerged from the passageway still in her pyjamas. Her face softer than the last time he’d seen her.

“Sit. Eat.”

She looked suspicious, but obliged. “Why pancakes? You never make pancakes.”

“Ag!” He shoved the golden syrup and a saucer with two lemon halves closer to her.


They ate in silence. Tambo was keen for her to receive the news on a full stomach.

“Okay,” he said when he thought the moment had come. “I had a, what do you young people call it again? A brainwave.”

“Brainwave? What?” She gulped down some orange juice.




“Baba, I have no idea what you are talking about.”

Tambo smiled and explained. He had taken time to examine it and now the problem was clear to him. It was twofold, he said, wagging two fingers for emphasis: The first problem was Thandi herself. This was met with an unpleasant expression on his daughter’s face, which he bravely ignored.

Yes, the problem was her – she didn’t know how to pick. From now on he would pick for her. The unpleasant face instantly became one of utter, speechless shock. Tambo was happy she had nothing to say, it meant he could move on to the second part of her problem.

The places she went looking for men were in fact no place to find decent human beings. The fact that she herself frequented such places was something Tambo found reprehensible but had been willing to overlook on account of her being an adult and all. So henceforth prospective boyfriends (husbands) will be sought in the only place Tambo knew to find apparently decent men – church.

His speech finished, he dressed his last pancake with golden syrup, squirted lemon, and savoured the nostalgic taste of his wife’s pancake recipe.

“Church, Baba?”


She really was at a loss for words. All the better, Tambo thought. He was even more pleased when, without any further ado, the child rose from the table, cleared the breakfast things, stacked the dishwasher (something she had insisted on buying in her second month back home – these kids today) and retreated to her bedroom.

Wonderful. Tambo reached for his cellphone. The hard part of this thing would be finding the right church. But, luckily, there were many people who could advise him. Tambo got comfortable at the table, pen and paper at the ready, and he made the easy decision to start with A.


Tell us what you think: Do you think Tambo is right to think that Thandi is looking for love in all the wrong places? Why? Do you think church is a good place to find a man for Thandi?