Even from his young days Lwazi enjoyed cooking. He would make delicious scrambled eggs with tomatoes or spinach for his siblings.

“You will make a great chef one day, my boy,” his mother, Namhla, would say, patting him on the back.

When he finished matric Lwazi did not think twice about what course to follow. He enrolled at a cooking school where he started his training to become a chef.

Lwazi stayed with his family in Khayelitsha and rode his bike to the station and took a train into the cooking school every day. He was passionate about becoming a famous chef. “One day I will surely host my own cooking show just like Siba Mtongana or Gordon Ramsay, but my focus will be on our African foods,” he would tell his mom and his sister, Nandipha  –  whom they affectionately called Pumpkin – and his little brother, Siviwe.

He wanted his father to see him succeed but his parents had divorced. His father had moved to the Eastern Cape where he farmed and also owned a taxi fleet. One day Lwazi watched as his father spoke on the news. He talked about how sad it was – the loss of lives in the taxi violence and how it affected people’s lives.

“How dare he? He pretends to be a good person out there but he does not give a damn about his own children! He doesn’t care whether we eat or not. Mpfm! Hypocrite!” he had said, fuming.

His little brother Siviwe interjected, “When was the last time he called you? Did he call you on your birthday?”

“Nope. He never called me, not once. I hate him.”

Lwazi quickly switched the television off. He could not bear listening to his father’s fakeness.

“My father is a snake.”

“No, Lwazi, I never raised you like that. People will think I taught you that,” Namhla would protest because she could see the anger in her son’s eyes. The anger caused by losing a father while he was still alive. She still loved her husband, regardless of what had happened.

“It is the truth, Mma. He is a snake! A dammed king cobra. The one that would even eat up its mate when it’s done with her.”

Lwazi walked out of the room.

His mother was left shocked; she murmured to herself, “A king cobra? So a cobra does that? I was not even aware.”

One thing for sure, Lwazi carried the pain his mother felt when the marriage was dissolved. He carried the pain that his mother felt in her heart: but he was not sure how to release it or get rid of it.


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