For weeks thereafter, people would visit Tsietsi’s place to advise him to take up the king’s daughter, Sefako, as his second wife, and give away more than half of his wealth and assets to the King.
But he remained stubborn and steadfast to his word, bolstered by those who sympathized with his position. As he movingly reminded them, he was already paying his due to the village by assisting everyone, and he was already overpaying to the Throne its required taxes. And yet these had abruptly begun to be hefty.
The King now acted on his anger. As the first step to exercise his power, he declared his daughter married off to Tsietsi by royal decree, and send his army to capture Tsietsi’s livestock and crop stores.
Secondly, he raised the rations each family was due to give him.
With so much pressure exerted on them, and given that the weather conditions were still unfavourable, unrest grew. To survive most families now married off their daughters at a tender age, and went as far as selling their sons to strangers outside the village for labour.
Inevitably, the love they all had for the King grew thin, and diminished.
After four years had passed, Sefako returned to her father, who was now old, frail and at the mercy of dementia.
All this while, while staying with Tsietsi, she had not given birth. Frustratingly, she had never slept with him, as he assured her he wasn’t interested. To her, it signified her inability to woo a man, a failure of her womanhood; indirectly an insult.
On learning all that had transpired, the King’s temper exploded like a fire cracker during a festival! He immediately sent out his emissary to announce to the village that there would be a meeting, a great spectacle, that afternoon, at the lekgotla.
The people had gathered, and were beginning to wonder what spectacle had they had been invited to witness, when Tsietsi and Tshenolo too entered the fray. They were excited to witness the spectacle themselves.
Kgosi Mathomo called the couple before him, and without uttering a single word, brought forth a sharp knife. He handed it to the hesitant grip of his so-called son-in-law.
“For years we’ve suffered and we’ve thought it would soon come to an abrupt end. I was mistaken all the time. Happily, the Gods have now showed themselves in a vision to me. Ah ha! Today we’ve come to witness a sacrifice – a human sacrifice that is! And who’s better suited as a sacrifice than the first wife of my son-in-law: Tshenolo. She whom the Gods loved so much that they opened doors to a sea of blessings and prosperity for her husband,” the King said, as he licked his lips, and an overwhelming bloodlust flooded his eyes.
Tell us: Do you think the people will allow Tshenolo to be sacrificed to try and end the drought?