“Mama usucabange wafikaphi? Nakhu phela icebo lakho alisebenzanga,” kubuza uThembelihle ezulazula eduzane kukanina.

“Mina angisazi nje. Uyazi lomfana wakwaNdaba bengimthembe kanjani? Benginesiqiniseko sokuthi uzoyinqoba inkunzi kababa wakho,” kuphendula uMaNdlela ngezwi elingenalo nelincane ithemba.

“Mama, mina ngiyamthanda uBhekani futhi ngifuna ukumshada. Ngicela ungisize ngisifeze isifiso sami sokushada naye.”

“Mntanami sekuvele kwahlwa emini. Ayikho lenkukhu asiwachithe lamanzi. Khohlwa indaba yokushada noBhekani.”

“Awukwazi ukungiyekelela kanje! Kuzomele silwe size sikuthole esikufunayo!”

Babukana emehlweni, badidekile. Kuthi kusenjalo kungene undlunkulu uMaNgema.

“Ninjani bo, MaNdlela? Bengithi angizonibheka ukuthi ingabe konke kuhamba kahle yini emndenini,” kubeka umaNgema ngesizotha.

“Yini ntombi ubuzweni?” Kuphendula uMaNdlela sakubhuqa.

“Ngabona isigijimi senkosi sihudula ingane uThembelihle. Ngibuke ngangathanda isenzo senkosi sokuhudula umafungwase wesigodlo.”

“Awu cha waze wanomusa bo!” kusho uMaNdlela.

“Ngiqinisile mina angiyithandanga neze into ubaba ayenza enganeni.”

“Ngicela uphume ezindabeni zami. Ubheke lengane yakho ebulalisa abafana. Buka nje ifile indlalifa yakwaNdaba ngenxa kaThobile,” kusho uMaNdlela ngolaka.

“Kodwa umubhecelani umntanami ngenyama engayidlanga? Yini ayenzile uThobile ngempela?” Kubuza uMaNgema.

“Akenzanga lutho? Igazi likaFalakhe liyobuzwa kuyena umntanakho,” kusho uMaNdlela.

“Ngicela ungalinge ukhulume ngengane yami kanjalo!” kusho uMaNgema ngezwi eligcwele ukucasuka.

“Izinto ziyagejana nje lapha esigodlweni yingoba wena nengane yakho niyathakatha. Ubaba wagcina nini ukuzolala kimi? Akasangibheki nokungibheka. Bese zonke izinsizwa zifuna lengane yakho enomzimba oxegayo engathi ilala nezwe lonke.”

“Waze wangithuka! Uyakhohlwa ukuthi ukhuluma nobani?”

“Yini? Uzokwenzani? Uzotshela inkosi ngoba uyazi ukuthi izokuvuna ngoba uyidlisile?” kusho uMaNdlela embheke ngqo ezinhlamvini zamehlo undlunkulu.

“Lalela la! Bengithi ngiba nesihe kuwe kodwa ngiyabona ukuthi ukudelela lokhu wazalwa nakho.”

“Kungcono mina ngiyadelela kunawe, mthakathi ndini!”

“Ngiyakukhuza njalo, MaNdlela!” kuphendula uMaNgema.

“Uzokwenzani?”

“Ufuna ukubona ukuthi ngizokwenzani?”

Babhekene kuhle kwezikhukhukazi. Kushunqa uthuli bethathana. UThembelihle uma kancane abukele ngoba unina nguye ongaphezulu. Kuthi ngesikade, esebona ukuthi uMaNgema sekunguye ongaphezulu, agijime abize izigijimi ukuba zizolamula. Bobabili uMaNgema noMaNdlela bamidwayidwa bahuzukile futhi bayahefuzela.

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Sitshele Umbono Wakho: Ugxeka bani kakhulu ngalempi?