This story is based on true life events that happened in the early 90s. The names of the characters involved have been changed to protect their identities.

“Eh, pop! Pop!” I grin, “Ibhari ngiy’hlukanisa ne mali yayo!” and spit. Mashamplane climbs over the board and grabs me by the collar. I stand my ground; he doesn’t scare me one bit.

Nkosi jumps in between us by aggressively pushing Mashamplane to the ground. A knife falls out of Mashamplane’s pocket. He picks it up and shoves it back into his jacket, “Let’s play!” he exclaims and goes back to his spot, crouching next to the board.

I’m excited. “Eh, bro. If you wanna lose more money to me, fine by me. I can do this all night long…”

Mashamplane sneers, “You better! Look at all these hungry men surrounding the board. They want a turn to win their money back.”

“Not my problem, mate. I won the money fair and square. I will leave here whenever I please. I dare anyone to stand in my way.” I stand up.

One short dark-skinned grootman wearing a leather jacket speaks up, “Seun, you heard what Mashamplane said. We worked hard for that money and for you to just invade our dice game and clean us out, that’s not how we conduct business around these parts. You best crouch back down on your spot and roll the dice or else you might not live to play another game.”

I puff up my chest and so does the grootman. He’s shorter than me and not in the best shape for a man in his fifties. He looks beat up, with a phuza face and a knife scar running down his left cheek.

I push up at the grootman, trying to scare him off, “Enlek, grootman, you wanna see magic? Grootman, I will break my foot off in your arse. And I can do it, don’t you dare test me.” I spit in his face, “Voetsek!”

The grootman laughs, looks me dead in the eye, “But Seun, there’s only two of you guys and there’s eight of us. You’re outnumbered!”

I rush him and pin him against the wall, “So you’re a tough guy now!” I headbutt him, and that’s when it happens.

I focus on the grootman whilst Nkosi watches my back. From what he told me, by the time I smacked around the grootman, Mashamplane already had the knife in his hand. He waited until I was victorious against the grootman and lowered my guard.

By that time, four men had restrained Nkosi.

After laying one final blow on the grootman, Mashamplane sneaks up behind me with a knife. “Seun, look out!” shouts Nkosi.

In a short span of time, I go from kicking ass to running for my life. I manage to escape, but I get stabbed in my stomach and back. Blood gushes from my wounds and mouth.

For a sweet, sweet second I think: Oh Lord! So this is how it all ends? I turn to Nkosi, he looks pretty beat. “Nkosi, what do you suggest we do?”

“The hospital. Straight to ewosi, boy. We live to fight another day.”

I crack a smile, “Ouch! Even smiling hurts. But the best part is, we got away with their money.”

Nkosi reaches for a fist bump, “Sho mfowethu, but we gotta stop. These dice games are getting more and more dangerous. Boy, bazosibulala.”

“Sho, Nkosi, you’re right. I think it’s time we moved to greener pastures. And I know what to do precisely. It’s the perfect plan, foolproof!” I say.

Tell us: What do you think of Seun and Nkosi?