As usual, it is blazing hot in Nhlangwini as Nokubonga makes her way home. She hugs MaDladla and tells her that she has found a job.
“Jehovah is indeed great! This means you’ll help me out now!” says MaDladla.
“Of course, Ma. Listen, Ma. I have broken things off with Zipho. I found out he is married and has another family in Jozi.”
“Yes, Ma. And on top of that he treated me badly when I was there. He has changed. He is not the Zipho you know.”
“But you must fight, my child. You must fight for your relationship.”
“Those days are over, Ma. I will not stay with someone who disrespects me like Zipho did. It’s over between me and him, Ma.”
MaDladla holds on to Nokubonga’s hand. “I hear you, my child. It means it wasn’t meant to be. But don’t throw in the towel on love. Do you hear me?”
“I haven’t thrown in the towel. In fact I came here to tell you that I have met someone who has a good heart and really cares for me.”
“Yes, Ma. Have you forgotten what you told me about love? What you said you felt when you met Dad?”
“Yes, love is instant when it is real.”
“Yes, Ma. I have met someone. Her name is Sphindile. I love her.”
“But Sphindile is a girl’s name.”
“Yes, she is a woman, Ma. I love her like I have never loved.”
MaDladla looks at her daughter with eyes full of fear, love and tears.
“Don’t cry, Ma. Say something.”
“Nokubonga, I am not crying because I am mad at what you have just told me. You are my child, I know you. I can see in your eyes that you are in love and truly happy. I have never seen you this happy. I’m just worried about how society treats same-sex couples. I’m worried about your safety.”
“It’s better in the cities, Ma. People are more open to same-sex relationships.”
“Okay, my child. As long as you are happy.”
Nokubonga feels light when she stands up. A weight has been lifted off her shoulders.
The mood is tense inside the lounge of a big house in Ntuzuma Township. Sphindile has just dropped the bomb. She has just told her parents that she is lesbian.
Her father, a feared taxi owner, looks at Sphindile and then at his wife next to him on the sofa.
“Baba. Ma. Say something. Did you hear what I just told you?” says Sphindile.
Her father shakes his head. Her mother smiles.
“We knew all along, my child,” says her dad.
“We were just waiting for you to tell us,” says her mom.
“But do one thing for me, Sphindile. Make sure you are safe because people still have animosity against same-sex couples. If you ever feel like you are in danger, never hesitate to call me,” says her dad.
Tell us: Do you think Nokubonga’s parents’ reaction to her news is unusual for parents? Why/Why not?