Nkuli walks into the boardroom area, singing. Sits at her desk.

NKULI: I am so tired. I should have stayed in bed. This office is always boring on Mondays.

As Nkuli starts work Lerato walks in.

LERATO: Nkuli, is Kgosi coming in today?

NKULI: He has back-to-back meetings out of the office today. He might not come in at all.

LERATO: Okay. I am going to use the boardroom today, I need the space. (Handing her a piece of paper.) Here – I need six copies of this document and please fax it to the number at the bottom. (Walks into the boardroom.)

NKULI: Make copies? Haibo who does she think she is? I mean, the copy machine is so far away. Oh Kgosi why did you have skip work; I need my bulldog. Eish (Exits)

Lucille walks in after Nkuli leaves. She walks into the boardroom and sits next to Lerato.

LUCILLE: Hello Lerato.

LERATO: Lucille? Uhm hey … I didn’t know you were coming in to work today. Are you well enough to be here?

LUCILLE: Cancer hasn’t killed me yet. I figured I would get some work done before I kick the bucket. I can’t stand being inactive, as you know. Do you have the quarterly report I asked for?

LERATO: Yes I do. There are still large amounts of money disappearing and Kgosi is definitely behind it.

LUCILLE: That man never ceases to amaze me. Now he is stealing from my company. Did he explain why he has an off-shore account?

Nkuli walks in with the papers. When she sees Lucille and Lerato talking she quietly sits at her desk and listens in to the conversation.

LERATO: No he didn’t… (Pause. She becomes emotional) How long are we going to sit here talking business and acting like we’re not in love?

LUCILLE: Lerato, as always, this is not the time or place. We are at work. I expect you to be professional and leave our personal lives out of the office.

LERATO: (Taking Lucille’s hand) Lucille I love you, and I am sick of hiding my feelings. You are dying, and not being able to support and help the woman I love is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do!

LUCILLE: I know that you support me, and you being in my life is help enough. You know I love you too. (They embrace, then kiss passionately.)

As they continue to hug in the front office Sophie startles Nkuli while she’s eavesdropping on Lucille and Lerato’s conversation. 

SOPHIE: Young lady, you know it is very rude to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations.

NKULI: Yooh hello ma’am. I was just going to give …uhm I was just sitting … eish how can I help you?

SOPHIE: I’m here to see my daughter. I see her in the boardroom I’ll just go through. Excuse me.

NKULI: No! Let them finish loving … yooh I mean hugging … no talking. (Shaking her head then taking a deep breath) I have to give Lerato these papers. I’ll walk you in; follow me.

They walk into the boardroom. Lucille and Lerato are so consumed in their passion that they only jump apart when Nkuli clears her throat.

NKULI: Here are your copies. And your mother is here to see you. Hello Mrs Davidson slash Mojanaga. (She leaves and sits at her desk and continues listening to the conversation.)

LERATO: (Jumping out of her seat.) Mom! What are you doing here?

SOPHIE: Interrupting something, so it seems. Lucille, I see that you are still determined to lead my daughter down this dark path of sin. How deep are you planning to sink your claws into her?

LERATO: Mom, please don’t do this. Not here.

SOPHIE: No Lerato. Let her tell me why she corrupted my daughter? Why she turned you against the Lord? Lucille, tell me why you had to choose my daughter? Why?

LUCILLE: Listen Sophie, I am sorry that you feel the way you do. However, I didn’t corrupt your daughter. She is a grown woman and she makes her own choices.

LERATO: That’s enough Lucille. Don’t speak to my mother that way. Mom, please let this go.

SOPHIE: Lerato mntanam I love you. I just don’t understand why you had to become … this. (Gesturing at her with her hand, a disgusted look on her face) You need to give your life to Christ, repent and come back to the church.

LERATO: No Mom. You need to accept that I am in love with Lucille. I wish you would accept and love me for who I am, and stop trying to change me. This is who I am.

LUCILLE: Yes Sophie, you need to learn to love Lerato for who she– (Sophie interrupts her by slapping her across the face.)

SOPHIE: Don’t say another word. You are an evil woman wena Lucille! God have mercy on your soul.

LUCILLE: You are a self-righteous hypocrite. You would feed your child to the wolves rather than go against your precious church or whatever nonsense that drives you. I pity you. Lerato and I are in love and it’s time you made peace with that. Now if you will excuse me. (Storms out of the room.)

Nkuli quickly focuses on her computer screen when Lucille walks past, then turns her attention back to the boardroom once she leaves.

SOPHIE: I came back early from my business trip to spend some time with my daughter. And I come back to this. Lerato I love you, but I can’t accept this. You have broken my heart. For the last time Lerato, I am through with you and this lesbian nonsense. I will continue to pray for God to find a way into your heart. I will wait until the day you give your life to Christ and change your ways. (Hugging her, then holds her at arm’s length) Until that day I want nothing to do with you. (Leaves)

LERATO: This is just great. My life is such a mess. (She packs up her papers and files. As she walks out of the boardroom Nkuli quickly sits up straight and moves papers around.) Nkuli you could at least pretend to mind your own business. (Exits)

NKULI: (Getting up) Thixo! The people in this office have so many secrets. So Lucille is a lesbian. Kodwa she has a husband and children. I wonder if Kgosi knows. Hayi I am unable to can this situation. I have to tell someone.

Dials a number, walks out talking on the phone.


Tell us: It is decades since gay love and marriage was legally accepted in South Africa. However, society often lags behind the law. What percentage of South Africans do you reckon still think like Sophie?