Abahambi ibanga elide, umsakazo wokuxhumana ngaphakathi elolini uhlohloze kakhulu futhi bonke omakhalekhukwini babantu abaselolini bakhale kanye kanye. UNolwandle ubuka umakhalekhukwini wakhe. Kuyacaca ukuthi kumthusile lokhu akubona kumakhalekhukhwini ngoba usithatha ngokushesha isiqephu sokukhuluma somsakazo.

“Hhayi bo! Uqinisile ngalento oyishoyo?” kubuza uNolwandle.

“Ngiqinisile,” kuphendula izwi eliqhamuka emsakazweni.

“Ngiyezwa!” kusho uNolwandle.

Bonke abantu abaselolini banyakaza ngokushesha. Bonke bagqoka izingubo zokusebenza. UNolwandle uza emuva, ahlale eceleni no-Amahle.

“Nawe kufanele ungene ezingubeni zokusebenza, Amahle,” kusho uNolwandle.

UNolwandle usiza u-Amahle amgqokise i-waterproof overall, i-life jacket, amabhuzu kanye nomakalabha. Izwi eliqhamuka emsakazweni lithusa wonke umuntu.

“Isivunguvungu sesifikile! Isivunguvungu sesifikile!” lisho liphindelela.

UNolwandle useshintshile ebusweni. Imilayezo ingena iphindelela kumakhalekhukhwini wakhe.  Kuqondana amehlo ngesikhathi efasa amabhande amakalabha isilevini sika-Amahle. Ukwesaba okubhalwe emehlweni kaNolwandle kuyamthusa u-Amahle.

“Kwenzenjani, Nolwandle?” kubuza u-Amahle.

“Kuthiwa kuzonetha imvula engu-165 mm emahoreni angu-24 kusukela manje!”

U-Amahle udidekile kodwa ukudideka kushesha kusuke, indawo yakho ithathwe ukwesaba ngoba u-165 mm ubude besiqu sakhe ncamashi. Ubheke phansi, eqinisekisa ukuthi amabhande e-life jacket abopheke kahle ngesikhathi kunkeneneza ukuhayiza ngaphakathi elolini.

“Nkosi Msindisi!” kumemeza umshayeli weloli.

Kushaqeka wonke umuntu elolini. Ifu elikhulu elimnyama elihelezayo liqonde ngqo kubona. Bonke bayabambelela njengoba bengena kulona lelifu. Ukukhala komsakazo akuzwakali – kugwinywa umsindo oqhamuka ngaphandle njengoba bengena kulona ifu. Uma u-Amahle ebuka ngaphandle ubona kumnyama sengathi isezinzulwini zobusuku. Amaconsi emvula azwakala sengathi imali yesiliva ishaya umzimba weloli. Umoya ohambisana nemvula unyakazisa iloli. U-Amahle akaboni lutho uma ebuka ngaphandle ngoba kuhlwile emini, imvula iyanetha. Uyazibuza ukuthi umshayeli weloli uwubona kanjani umgwaqo ebumnyameni ngoba uyezwa ukuthi basahamba. UNolwandle uqhweba u-Amahle ehlombe, amdonsele eduzane naye. Bahlezi ngokuncikana kodwa abezwani uma bekhuluma ngenxa yomsindo wesivunguvungu esinyakazisa iloli.

“Manje sizohamba siyosusa abantu abahlala eduzane nemifula!” kumemeza uNolwandle endlebeni ka-Amahle.

Abahambi ibanga elide ngaphambi kokuba ludingeke usizo lwabo. Amalambu eloli akhanyisa izimoto eziningi ezivimbene ekuhlanganeni kwemigwaqo. Abantu sebezishiyile izimoto ngenxa yamanzi anyuka ngesivinini. Bamile ngaphandle, banethwa imvula nokudideka njengoba izimoto zabo zigcwala amanzi. Umshayeli weloli unyathela amabhuleki, abasebenzi baphume ngokushesha elolini.

U-Amahle umbhoze ikhamera yakhe ngopulasitiki – indawo eyingilazi kuphela yelensi evelile. Umoya wesivunguvungu ududula u-Amahle umbuyisele elolini njengoba ezama ukuphuma kuyo.

“Cha! Hlala lapho elolini!” kumemeza uNolwandle. “Akuphephile ukuphuma! Thatha izithombe ukhona lapho phakathi.”

Iyona lendawo ephakeme, phezulu elolini, lapho u-Amahle ebukela abasebenzi benza umsebenzi wabo. Kuba sengathi bawumshini thizeni osebenza kahle, ngokushesha. Abakhulumi, basebenzisa izandla. Babuka isimo, basheshise badonse izimoto ezimbhozwe amanzi nge-winch yeloli. Izimoto bazidonsela endaweni ephakeme. Babuyela elolini, bavule emashalofini ensimbi ngaphansi kwebhentshi, bathathe izinsimbi ezinde ezigobile ekugcineni. Badlokodla ama-drain aseceleni komgwaqo ngalezinsimbi. U-Amahle uqhubeka athathe izithombe.

Abasebenzi badlokodla ama-drain besusa ukungcola okuwavalile. Kuba ukwehla kwamanzi emgwaqeni, babuyele elolini ngokushesha. Ukuphola okukade kusemehlweni awo wonke umuntu ngesikhathi u-Amahle eqala ukubabona emzuzwini embalwa edlule akusekho – esikhundleni sakho kukhona ukumangala nokwesaba.

“EThekwini asisilindele neze isivunguvungu esinjena,” kusho umlisa ohlezi eduzane no-Amahle, ezisula ubuso ngethawula.

“Kufanele sithumele isexwayiso njemgamanje! Abantu bangaphumi ezindlini! Abahlala eduzane nemifula abakhosele ezindaweni eziphezulu! Thumelani lo mlayezo kuyo yonke imisakazo! Kuzo zonke iziteshi zakumabonakude! Kuwo wonke ama-social media! Abe-sea rescue abame ngomumo! Amasosha awame ngomumo!” kumemeza uNolwandle emsakazweni.

“Kanti isimo sibucayi kangaka, Nolwandle?” kubuza u-Amahle.

U-Nolwandle uphendukela ku-Amahle. “Futhi kusazoba bucayi kakhulu. U-165 mm wemvula ngamahora angu-24 irekhodi. Asikaze sihlangabezane nesimo esinjena eThekwini.”

U-Amahle ubambelela aqinise ezinsimbini zokubambelela eceleni kwebhentshi. Ubuso bakhe bugcwele ukumangala nokwesaba njengawo wonke umuntu oselolini njengoba bengena kusona isivunguvungu.

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Sitshele: Wake wazithola uphakathi kwesivunguvungu? Wazizwa kanjani?