UMondli akakholwa ukuthi akadingeki ngempela kulolu hambo oluya olwandle. Bafika eZimbali angahambi. Uzama ukusho amahlaya kodwa ukucasuka obusebusweni kuyise kuyamkhombisa ukuthi akadingeki.

“Kusho ukuthi izobuye ibonane,” kusho uMondli ehlehla ngemoto, ephuma ngesango.

Umkhulu nomzukulu bayama isikhashana, bebuka isithabathaba somuzi kamkhulu walapha eZimbali. Lomuzi oseZimbali iwona omkhulu futhi omuhle kunayo yonke eminye imizi kamkhulu.

“Kufanele sihambe, Mkhulu,” kusho uScelo. “Ungathanda ukungena endlini ngesikhathi ngithatha izinto esizozidinga olwandle?”

Unikina ikhanda uMnumzane Msomi.

“Kukhona okudingayo, Mkhulu?”

“Cha, angidingi lutho, Scelo.”

UMnumzane Msomi ubuka isithabathaba somuzi wakhe njengoba uScelo esangenile ngaphakathi. Ucabanga zonke izinto ezinhle ezingaphakathi kulo muzi awakhela unkosikazi wakhe ongasekho emhlabeni. Ujeqeza izimoto zakhe zakudala ezisezingeni likanokusho ezigcwele igaraji lengilazi eceleni komuzi. Uzizwa efikelwa umunyu olethwa umcabango wokuthi sekuseduze phambili, impilo yakhe izophela maduze.

“Nginemali eningi kodwa ngiyahluleka ukuhlanganisa indodana nendodakazi yami. Ngiyahluleka ukuxazulula inzondo ephakathi kwabo. Angikwazi ukuhlala nabo bonke abazukulu bami kanye kanye ngoba uMondli noZinhle ababhekani,” ukhuluma yedwa sakuhleba uMnumzane Msomi.

Izinyembezi ziyagobhoza ebusweni bakhe obugugile obushwabene. Umoya wokuxazulula uyakhula enliziyweni yakhe. Wenza ukuxazulula ukuxabana kwezingane zakhe kube iyona into yokugcina ayenzayo ngesikhathi esincane asele naso emhlabeni. Usula izinyembezi ngesandla esiqhaqhazelayo.

Siyavuleka isicabha segaraji. UScelo uqubula u-sofa uwufaka ngemuva emotweni ewuhlobo lwe-Porsche SUV. Kukhona ingubo yokulala kuwona u-sofa. UMnumzane Msomi usondela kuScelo ngesihlalo sokuhamba sakhe esisebenza ngogesi.

“Asikho isidingo sakho konke lokhu okufakayo, Scelo. Silungile isihlalo sami,” usho ebhambhatha isihlalo sokuhamba.

“Udokotela usiluleke ukuthi sikuhlalise ezihlalweni ezintofontofo ukuze ungakuzweli ubuhlungu esiswini. Ingubo yona ngiyiphathele ukuthi uma izulu lishintsha ukwazi ukumbatha, Mkhulu,” kusho uScelo.

Ulwandle luseduze nasemzini kaMnumzane Msomi. UScelo umisa imoto ngaphadle kwesitolo esingakhona olwandle.

“Ngilambile futhi ngomiwe, Mkhulu. Akukho wena okudingayo?”

“Akuhlali lutho esiswini, konke kuyabuwa,” kusho uMnumzane Msomi. Ukumamatheka kwakhe kugcwele ukuganga. “Kodwa ngizokwazi ukudla u-ice cream. Wenze ube uhlobo lwe-vanilla, mfana wami.”

UScelo uhamba ehleka yedwa njengoba engena esitolo. Izikhathi seziphendukile manje – nguye owayecela umkhulu ukuba amthengele u-ice cream uma bephumile bevakashile, kodwa manje umkhulu wakhe nguye ocelayo. Kubalele kodwa akushisi kakhulu, alikho nelilodwa ifu esibhakabhakeni. Bazibukela amagagasi – uMkhulu udla u-ice cream ehleli ku-sofa, uScelo udla i-burger eceleni kwakhe esihlabathini.

“Usuke wakhuluma neqashana lami elinguNosipho namhlanje?” kubuza uMnumzane Msomi.

“Cha, Mkhulu, phela usenkulisa emini lowo. Kodwa ngikhulumile nomama wakhe ekuseni, wangitshela ukuthi uNosipho uyaphila.”

“Bahlezi kahle kodwa? Banakekelekile?”

“Banakekelekile, Mkhulu. Kodwa kufanele ngibasondeze kumina manje, sihlale ndawonye,” kusho uScelo. “Selokhu azalwa uNosipho akusekho nzima kakhulu ukulwa nokulangazelela izidakamizwa. Ngiyazilangazelela vele kodwa manje angifoneli i-sponsor sami uma ngizwa sengathi kuyangihlula ukulangazelela. Ngivele ngicabange uNosipho kuphele konke ukulangazelela izidakamizwa.”

“Izingane ziyakwenza lokho. Ziyasipholisa, ululame umoya. Ukuba khona kwazo kusenza sikhule ngokomoya nomqondo,” kusho uMnumzane Msomi, ebuka kude phakathi olwandle.

UScelo ulandela amehlo kamkhulu wakhe, naye abuke olwandle.

“Ngifuna ukubonga kuwena, Mkhulu,” kusho uScelo.

“Ukubonga?” kubuza uMnumzane Msomi ngokumangala

“Ngokungalilahli ithemba ngami, Mkhulu. Wangithungatha ngesikhathi ngilahlekile ngidlala izidakamizwa. Wangithola, Mkhulu, ngalahleka futhi, waphinda wangithungatha wagcina ungitholile. Ngifuna ukukutshela usaphila ukuthi ngiyabonga kuwena ngokungalilahli ithemba ngami.”

UMnumzane Msomi ubeka isandla sakhe ehlombe kuScelo. UScelo uphendula ikhanda abuke eceleni, asule izinyembezi.

“Ungakhali, mfana wami,” uMnumzane Msomi uphendula ikhanda likaScelo, babukane. “Ngifuna ungithembise ukuthi lokhu engakwenzela khona, ukungalilahli ithemba ngawe, nawe uzobenzela abanye abantu. Ngiyakubona ukuthi ungumuntu onobubele. Ungalinge ukulahle lokho. Ngeke ngilale ngokuthula uma ulahla ububele bakho, Scelo.”

“Ngeke ngibulahle, Mkhulu.”

“Nazo-ke, mfana wami omuhle,” usho embambatha uScelo emhlane.

“Iyona lento engididayo ngoBaba no-Anti Zinhle. Ngabo bonke abantu abakholwayo empeleni. Ngiyacabanga ukuthi nabo abakwazi ukuzibamba ngoba bakholelwa kulokhu abakukholwayo. Kodwa angijwayele ukubabona benobubele. Ukuzitshela kanye nokuhlulela abanye abantu, yebo, kodwa ububele cha angijwayele ukububona.”

UMnumzane Msomi ubuka uScelo, amamatheke.

“Kwenzeka kanjani ukuthi babambe amagqubu isikhathi eside kangaka? Sekuphele iminyaka eminingi ngingababoni abazala bami ngoba abazali bethu bengazwani ngenxa yezinkolo zabo?”

UMnumzane Msomi ubuka kude. “Ngiyafisa babone ukuthi ukholo umuntu alukhethile akusho ukuthi wonke umuntu sekufanele ahambisane nalo. Abantu bahlukile emhlabeni, lokho kufanele kuhlonishwe.”

Kungena ucingo kuScelo. UZinhle okhulumayo. UScelo ufaka umakhalekhukhwini ku-loudspeaker.

“Ngihamba noMkhulu. Sisolwandle, Anti Zinhle.”

“Ukhona uMondli lapho?”

“Akekho uMondli,” kuphendula uMnumzane Msomi. “Woza, ntombazane yami. Sizosuka emuva kwesikhashana. Uzosithola endlini.”

“Kuhle kakhulu! Ngizofika noPastor Daniel!” kusho uZinhle.

 ***

Sitshele umbono wakho: Uthini ngombono kaScelo uma ethi abantu abakholwa kakhulu bayazitshela, bahlulela abanye abantu futhi abanalo uzwelo nobubele?