My phone beeps.

Get here ntwana, deep trouble.
I have is’dudla seklatch

It’s from Siphelo.

What has he done now? I think to myself. I can’t leave Zimkhitha alone. I had to work very hard to get her to my room again.

My phone rings. “It is Siphelo. I think he is in trouble,” I tell Zimkhitha. “Yo, what’s up?”

“I need you. Don’t be long, ndoda. Shit is going down now.”

“What is it?”

“Please get here soon my friend.”

Zimkhitha allows me to go.

“Don’t be long,” she tells me as I put my clothes on.

As I start running a Toyota Corolla screeches to a halt in front of me. The guy sitting in the front passenger seat rolls down the window.

Kwedin, where is Bertha?” the guy demands.

Hayi, who is that?”

“I am going to check in your shack!” He is shouting now.

“You can go check. I am with my girlfriend Zimkhitha.”

“Oh, baninzi neh, you have many.”

Then a man in the back of the car gets out, walks straight up to me, and stabs me. I collapse.

Women selling meat across the road scream: “Umhlabile!”|

Soon my stomach feels warm. I lift my head to look down. The blood from my chest is dripping onto the tar. I start feeling a terrible pain.

I hear the screech of tyres as the car skids off. I feel like I am going to faint. I point to one of the women and then to my shack. One comes back with Zimkhitha.

Somehow, even though I am bleeding and in pain, I still think about S’phe.



My phone rings. Bulela’s name comes up on my cell screen, but all I can hear is the sound of a cop car. And then a guy speaking into a walkie–talkie. I hear: “Male. One stab wound to the chest.”

There are sounds of people shouting. Then Zimkhitha’s voice: “Siphelo, Bulela has been stabbed.” She is crying.

I look at the girls.

Nokubonga is shouting at Yonela.

I grab Nqabisa by the hand. We are out the door. She runs next to me with her bag and shoes in one hand. When I let go of her hand she hits me on the shoulder with her stilettos. I keep running.

When we get to my friend Lungsta’s house he agrees to take us to False Bay Hospital. He tells me for an extra R50 he can drop Nqabi in Simon’s Town afterwards.

“What a disappointment Siphelo. And to think I was beginning to fall for you.” She is furious.

“You make it sound like you don’t love me anymore. Can we talk about this another time?” I plead softly.

“You almost got me killed. I don’t want you anymore.” She turns to go.

“Please stop this. My best friend is fighting for his life in hospital,” I tell her. She agrees to come with me, but only as far as the hospital. Then she will take a taxi on to Simon’s Town.

After waiting about thirty minutes at the hospital we are allowed to go speak to Bulela in Casualty.

“What happened ntwana?”

Mfethu, they were trying to mug me. I think they wanted my phone,” he tells me. But I know there is something more to this story, because he flashes a look at Zimkhitha. She asks me to give him time to rest.

“The doctor said she put him on strong pain killers,” Zimkhitha says.

I leave to take Nqabisa home.



I am beside myself with anger. He still has the nerve to want to kiss me in the car.

“Look Siphelo, its best we quickly forget we ever knew each other.”

The driver looks up at me in the mirror when I say this.

Hayi sisi, akwenziwa njalo. That is not how things are supposed to work,” he tells me. He should know better. He looks much older than Siphelo too.

When the car stops outside the flat I get out and bang the door closed. It almost catches Siphelo’s hand. I wish it had, I think to myself. I start walking and tell him to leave me alone. He follows me up the stairs.

When I realise that I am actually dumping him, I feel tearful and lean against his shoulder. He catches me.

I cry and cry.

He lifts my head up and kisses me on the mouth. I pull back, and land a hard klap on his face. “Leave, leave now!” I tell him.

“U… uxolo Nqabisa. I am sorry.”

“Just go!” I scream at him.

He runs down the stairs and almost trips.

Idiot. I wish he had fallen on his face.



When I get home my rasta friend, S’movana is waiting for me outside my shack. He bursts out laughing when he sees me.

Yho! Those girls almost killed each other. Omnye ukrwitshelwe phantsi. One got the other by the neck on the floor. The one on the floor said, ‘Sorry sisi’, and the other one let her go. Tjo, hayi usis’khokho, bahle bodwa. You are good with girls; they are both beautiful.”

I just look at S’movana and say nothing.

“Celelwa made a video from the window,” he tells me. “He got it all on film.”

“Where is he?” I am furious.

“I don’t know,” he casually tells me. “Look S’phe, I need to smoke istwiga, dagga, and then I can tell you all that happened.”

“No, I don’t have money.”

“Now you see S’phe, you are living in them dark days. Girls be wanting to kill each other in your pozi. They will come back for you. They will be murdering you. You need impepho to chase them evil spirits away. You also need to be good to I and I for that Jah love to be strong your way. Otherwise you die brother, not much more I can do.”

I chase S’movana away: “Get out of here, sdenge!”


When I get into my room I see that the posters on my wall are torn to pieces. I am so tired. I need to sleep. I will talk to these girls tomorrow, I think. Things will be better in the morning. I am cold and look under my bed for my suitcase where I keep my jackets. It’s gone!

“S’movana!” I scream. I run outside.

There is a small fire fading away on the sand behind my shack. I see my suitcase handle and some of the remains of my clothes in the ashes.

I check my phone. Two new messages.

Nokubonga says:

You r a DOG
I don’t eva wnt 2 c u
again. You wont even
see our child that I am

Yonela says:

Tht gl Nokubonga almost
killed me bcos of u. u
don’t deserve good girls.
I hpe u r lonely for the
rest of your life…

I will get them back, I promise myself as I walk to the tavern near my shack. How dare they do this to me?

Playing all those girls has left me with nothing! No, it’s over. No more Siphelo the playa…

Then the most beautiful girl I have ever seen walks through the door.

What can I do? You know what they say. A leopard can’t change its spots.

And really, why would it want to? They’re so beautiful!


Tell us what you think: What advice would you give to the girl who has just caught Siphelo’s eye?