On his way home after soccer practice Joseph spots Nozi and runs up to her.


Nozi doesn’t respond.

JOSEPH: I meant it when I said Lerato shouldn’t treat you like that. I used to be friends with her. I mean, she’s popular and she’s … Anyway, why d’you always carry so many books?

NOZI: What do you mean always? Have you been watching me?

JOSEPH: (blushing) No, not watching. I just see you sometimes around school. And we’ve got Maths together.

NOZI: Yeah, we do. I’m surprised you even know that.

JOSEPH: Why wouldn’t I know that? I see you in class.

NOZI: Oh really? Yet this is the first time you’ve ever talked to me?

JOSEPH: I’m sorry about that. But you’re just …

NOZI: Just what? Weird? You can say it. I know everyone else does.

JOSEPH: I’m not like everyone else.

NOZI: Of course not. You’re one of the weirdos too.

There is a moment’s silence before Nozi continues.

NOZI: It’s simple. I like to read.

JOSEPH: That looks like a sketchbook?

Joseph points to a book on the top of the pile. Nozi hands half the books she is carrying to Joseph. He pages through the sketchbook.

NOZI: I sketch too.

JOSEPH: (paging through the sketchbook) Multi-talented. These are really good.

NOZI: Yeah, but they’re not done yet.

There is another awkward silence. Joseph shuffles his feet.

NOZI: Those sketches are not for my dress. I design the dresses and my older sister makes them and sells them to girls for their matric dance.

JOSEPH: In that case, yours must be stunning.

NOZI: I’m not going.

JOSEPH: Me neither. I think it’s just stupid.

NOZI: That’s a shame. A lot of girls will be sad not to see you there.

JOSEPH: Oh, please! Girls don’t talk to me. They avoid me like I’ve got scabies.

NOZI: That’s because you walk around with no confidence.

JOSEPH: I’m not taking confidence advice from …

NOZI: The weirdo, I know.

JOSEPH: That’s not fair. I was going to say “you” not “weirdo”.

NOZI: (pointing to a street on their left) I’m going this way. Thanks for your help.

JOSEPH: Where do you stay? I can walk you the rest of the way.

NOZI: No thanks, I’m good.

JOSEPH: OK then, see you at school.

Tell us: do you think Nozi is right and that Joseph’s problem is a lack of confidence?