Nkuli is listening to the radio.
REPORTER: In breaking news, the Davidson-Mojanaga family have suffered a great loss. Just last night Lucille Davidson, CEO of Davidson Media, was stabbed to death in her own home. This innovative businesswoman took the media and entertainment business in South Africa to new heights. This however, is not the only tragedy to hit the family. Just this morning it was reported that the body found in the Ellen Park River was Ms Ayanda Khumalo. Ms Khumalo was the mother of Mrs Davidson’s grandson. In the midst of all this tragedy two questions remain. Who will take the lead at Davidson Media empire? And, most importantly, who is responsible for these tragic murders?
Nkuli is in the boardroom arranging papers and furniture, sobbing. Lerato walks in, dressed in black.
NKULI: Oh uMadam D is gone! Haibo Jesus, how can you do such? (Sobbing)
LERATO: Nkuli, pull yourself together. The rest of the board members will be here soon. (Sniffs) We must be professional. Lucille would expect it!
NKULI: It is just so sad … I am unable to can this situation Lerato. I mean … you must be worse. She was your bae– I mean, boss, and you were close. Come here, let me hold you, you poor thing.
LERATO: (Swatting Nkuli’s open arms away.) No I am fine. Just get back to work.
Ella, Tebogo, Lungelo and Kgosi walk in moments later.
KGOSI: (Settling in his seat.) Good morning all. This is truly a sad day. This family and this company has suffered a great loss. But what we must do at this moment is remain strong! Any sign of weakness will leave us open to predators. With that said, I, naturally, will take Lucille’s place as CEO. It will be business as usual, showing everyone that we are united, and stronger than ever.
LERATO: That is not your decision to make Kgosi. You know very well that Lucille left a will that states who will be her successor. So don’t get too comfortable at the head of this table! That isn’t your seat to fill.
ELLA: You took the words right out of my mouth. Lungelo, do you have the will?
LUNGELO: I received the will this morning and Lucille’s lawyer instructed me to read it only in the presence of all her dependants. Is Clayton attending this meeting? Should we wait for him before I proceed?
LERATO: We should definitely wait for him. He is the first born son, after all.
TEBOGO: I think waiting for him would be the right thing to do. Although I haven’t heard from him since last night, so we might be here waiting all day.
KGOSI: We must proceed. If my son wanted to be here he would be. We can’t wait for him. There is too much at stake for the company. Read the damn will!
NKULI: (Whispering) I wonder what you’ll do if you’re not mentioned in that will. That time you’re so sure of yourself Mr Boss.
KGOSI: What was that Nkuli?
NKULI: Nothing sir, I was just making sure the minutes are up to date.
ELLA: Lungelo, read the will. Clayton will just have to be informed of the decision later. There are enough witnesses here.
LUNGELO: Very well. ‘Herein is the last will and testament of Lucille Alice Davidson. I leave all my designer suits, shoes and handbags to Nonkululeko Mthembu. You always said you loved my style. If they fit they’re yours.’
NKULI: (Jumps up with joy) Oh yes! New clothes! I guess I don’t need a sugar daddy any more. Oh dankie Jehovah!
LUNGELO: (Clears his throat to silence her.) ‘Tebogo my boy, I love you more than words can say. You are my son, and will always be my son. I leave you all the cars under my name, which includes all those your father drives, and my property in New York and London. Go see the world – I know your trust fund will cover it. Clayton my dear son, for you and Abongile I leave our home in Sandton, all my rental properties and all the money in my offshore account. Lerato, you are the love of my life. I leave you my holiday home in Paris as that is where we made most of our memories.’
LERATO: Excuse … I have to … I have to go. (Exits crying)
LUNGELO: Uhm, as I was saying … ‘Ella my dear sister, in the time I have known you, you have been the worst kind of person. I leave you the keys to Dad’s old paper mill. Now you have your rightful inheritance – a building that was bulldozed 29 years ago. Do enjoy that. Oh – don’t worry about Dad. The retirement home apartment and fees are all paid up.’
NKULI: Hayini uLucille. Damn Ella, you get zero. I mean … even I got something and I am not even her PA.
ELLA: (Stuttering) Keys? She … that … but … what?
KGOSI: Oh Ella she hated you! What did you expect – a holiday home? (Laughs)
TEBOGO: Dad that isn’t necessary, honestly. Lungelo please continue. I am sure there is still more to cover.
LUNGELO: Ella are you alright?
ELLA: Yes … I’m just fine … continue.
LUNGELO: ‘Lungelo, I leave you with Kgosi. Let’s hope he can spare you a cent. I hope being his right hand gangster-in-a-suit pays well. Oh and you are fired.’ What the hell – she’s firing me?!
NKULI: Oh Jesus, I can’t deal with this. Uma Lucy is on flames man. (Laughing)
KGOSI: Don’t be dramatic. Lungelo, keep reading.
LUNGELO: (Clears throat) ‘My husband Kgosi: in the years we have been in this sham of a marriage we never loved each other. As we both knew, this marriage served as a business deal – one that got you into the media industry, and for me, ensured that a woman could rise to run a multibillion rand business, in a time when most women were maids and housewives. With that said, you gave me beautiful heirs and for that I am grateful. Now that I am gone, your ties to my company are severed. So kindly pack your things, because you get nothing. All my shares will be divided equally between Tebogo and Clayton. They will be co-CEOs until they decide on how the company will be managed. And that is all.’
KGOSI: That bitch! This is my company too! I built it with her. She can’t do this to me. How dare she?
NKULI: Sir, you’re just embarrassing yourself now. Nobody likes a sore loser. I mean–
KGOSI: (Interrupting her) Shut the hell up. This is my damn company! Even in death that woman finds ways to screw me over. This is my company.
TEBOGO: No – you shut up Dad! You’re sitting there all smug, thinking you can just get away with everything you have done. Well not this time. We know you murdered both Mom and Ayanda, and the police are waiting for you in the foyer. I take it you couldn’t wait for the pills you were feeding Mom to work – you had to stab her.
KGOSI: You have no proof of this. Tebogo son, if you haven’t learnt by now, I am untouchable. Have me arrested. Let’s see how far that gets you.
A commotion and gasps and screams as Clayton barges into the boardroom pointing a gun. He aims it at his father. People scream, scramble away, and some hide behind furniture.
CLAYTON: Then let’s see if you can dodge bullets!
TEBOGO: Clay? What are you doing!? Put that gun down.
CLAYTON: I want him dead. He deserves death, he has done so much evil. I can fix this. I am here to fix this. He killed my Mom, lied to me about my son, and killed Ayanda. For years he has tormented me and treated me like dirt. Dad has to die, because he will continue to do this to our family. It ends now!
KGOSI: (Laughs) Clayton, I must say this is the first time since your birth that I see you act like a man. Standing up to me might just be your first step to manhood. Do you feel more like a man now? But put the gun down now, before you hurt someone.
CLAYTON: No. Shut up, you murderer!
KGOSI: Why are you angry, son? Is it because I got your girlfriend pregnant? Well suck it up. If you had half a brain you would have seen Ayanda for the gold-digging piece of trash she really was. I did you a favour son. Getting her out of the way means you are free from her clutches.
TEBOGO: Dad, you killed a woman and you act like it was nothing! You literally drove my brother to insanity. Poisoned Mom, then stabbed her. And still you show no remorse for what you have done?
KGOSI: Quit your whining. What I did was in the best interests of this family. You boys are weak and have no clue what it takes to run this empire. I killed Ayanda because she was getting way too big for her six-inch heels. Poisoning Lucille was a necessary evil in order to make her weak, so I could steal the company from under her. I did not stab her, although I am not sorry she is dead. Clayton, are you going to hold that gun up until your arm cramps, or are you going to shoot? (Pause) Just as I thought – you don’t have the guts. Shoot me if you are man enough! Coward. Pull the– (Gun goes off, and Kgosi is hit. He falls, killed instantly.)
CLAYTON: I am man enough! He is gone, dead, shot in the head. I did it! He can’t hurt us anymore. No more evil. (Aims the gun at his own head.) Tebogo forgive me. I love you. (Gun goes off. Clayton drops dead.)
Ella and Nkuli scream hysterically. The police barge in and see the bodies.
TEBOGO: (Sobbing) Clay no, please, you can’t leave me! Please. Why did you do this?
ELLA: (Screaming loudly) Keys? Keys? (Laughs hysterically)
LUNGELO: Ella stop screaming. Please calm down.
ELLA: Calm down? All she left me are keys to a company that doesn’t exist anymore. I spent years trying to steal this company. I grovelled, pretending to be a good sister, and she screws me over. I deserve more than this. I stabbed her for nothing. Clayton killed Kgosi for what I did. I killed her! I killed that conniving bitch.
TEBOGO: Aunt Ella, you did what?! Hey – what are you policemen standing there for? Arrest her!
POLICEMAN: Miss Davidson you are under arrest for the murder of Mrs Lucille Davidson. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Come with us ma’am!
ELLA: (Struggling) I killed her for nothing. She is a witch. It is her fault. Lungi, don’t let them take me. I didn’t get the company … this isn’t fair. No!
The police drag her out.
REPORTER: Breaking news. In a shocking turn of events, an emergency board meeting today at Davidson Media, to establish a successor to CEO Lucille Davidson, turned into a blood bath. After the will was read her son Clayton Davidson shot and killed his father Kgosi Mojanaga, and then turned the gun on himself. He alleged that Mr Mojanaga killed Ayanda Khumalo, and poisoned Lucille Davidson, establishing his motive. However in an hysterical fit after the shooting, Ella Davidson admitted to stabbing her sister, Lucille. She has been arrested and charged with murder. Davidson Media’s spokesperson revealed that in the will Lucille Davidson had named Tebogo and Clayton Davidson as co-owners and CEOs. Since Clayton’s passing however, the company now belongs to Tebogo Davidson.
Tell us: Soapies like this compress time lines and have dramatic, complicated plots, to keep the reader/viewer hooked. How did you like this genre of Chattalogue?