At the office everyone is running around trying to sort out a crisis. The phones are ringing, papers flying, the office buzzing. Nkuli is running in and out of the boardroom. Lerato and Lungelo are shouting over each other, talking on their cell phones. The phone at the PA desk rings and Nkuli runs to answer it.
NKULI: Davidson Media hello … I don’t know sir … I really don’t know if the article is true. Look sir, how about you call back next week? In fact next month. We are very busy.
She hangs up and the phone rings again.
NKULI: Davidson Media hello? Hayi no comment … I said ‘no comment’ man!
She hangs up and the phone rings.
NKULI: I am going to throw this phone out of the window. Davidson Media hello? Mr Mojanaga is busy. What do you want and who are you? Oh Mrs Mojanaga … I will put you through.
KGOSI: (The boardroom phone rings.) Mojanaga hello … Mama? What do you mean you’re coming here? What? Uhm … listen Ma I am busy right now. Let me call you back. (Hangs up and shouts.) Nkuli! Keep this line dedicated to investors and clients, okay? Stop putting my mother through.
NKULI: (Speaking more to herself.) So disrespectful!
KGOSI: We need to clear up this mess. The board members will be here at any moment.
They begin to gather papers and straighten chairs. Ella, Clayton, and Lucille walk in. Kgosi has seated himself at the head of the table, but when Lucille enters she walks over to him and makes him give her the seat.
LUCILLE: (Clears throat.) Firstly I would like to thank you all for coming at such short notice. A number of our potential investors have pulled out in the last 12 hours due to the recent scandal connected to my husband. Obviously this is impacting the company negatively. Are there any leads as to where the tweet came from?
LUNGELO: I checked in with the IT department. The origin of the tweet is still unknown as the account was deactivated. We are working around the clock to find a link between the tweet and the source.
KGOSI: We must find the perpetrator and deal with them, instead of wasting time talking. We need to deal with this now – before we lose more investors and money. Lungelo, find me a culprit; I’m itching to slap a lawsuit in somebody’s face!
LUNGELO: Sir, at this point from a legal standpoint there’s absolutely nothing we can do. I do however know someone who could track the tweet down through ‘dark cyber space’.
LERATO: We need to look at this from another perspective. Instead of wasting time finding out who did this, we need to distract the media from adding fuel to the fire.
ELLA: Finally, someone who talks sense! We need to put a positive spin on this. Lerato is right. We need to contact the PR department and make plans to release a statement. I’m all for finding the culprit, but we need to focus on our brand.
LUCILLE: (Takes a breath.) I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but Ella is right. Davidson Media’s brand comes first; let’s not lose sight of what we’re trying to build here. The company comes first.
CLAYTON: Is there anything I can do to help? I want to lend a hand in any way I can.
KGOSI: (Laughing.) What could you possibly do to help? Sing and dance for us? No. We have this handled.
ELLA: Kgosi darling, how about we all keep our claws in for a little while longer; there is no need to be unpleasant. You there with the fabulous figure hugging dress – how about you recap the minutes for us.
NKULI: Okay. So … no culprit found … not finding the culprit … press release. (Looks in the direction of the door and sees Ayanda at the threshold.) Eh … and Truella De Ville ayeye she’s standing at the door. Thiza ya qhala inkathazo bethuna. And the drama begins! (Everyone focuses their attention on the door.)
AYANDA: Well, well, well. What do we have here? Kgosi, I think you should seriously consider finding a more (Thinking, snaps fingers) educated PA. (Taking a seat.) Now, back to business … why wasn’t I informed about this meeting? After all, I am my son’s proxy, and Abongile owns 10 percent of this company.
LUCILLE: Excuse me, this is a closed-status meeting and trust me, if you didn’t receive an invite, clearly you’re not wanted here!
CLAYTON: Mom, please. Can we not do this? Ayanda is here now, so let’s just continue with the meeting.
AYANDA: Clayton? You’re back from rehab and you never came to see your son? That’s convenient. You said things would be different – that you would be a better father to your son. But I see you’re still hiding behind your mother’s skirt.
CLAYTON: Honestly, I don’t think this is the time or place to be discussing this. So please, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Do I have to be here much longer? Because I wanted to find Tebogo and try talking to him. This is more about him than anything else. But some of you – Dad – have forgotten that.
AYANDA: So how about someone fills me in on what has been discussed so far?
NKULI: Well this meeting is about–
AYANDA: (Interrupts her) No dear. I would prefer someone with a lot more sense than you to explain what this meeting is about. That way we don’t have to stop and have someone translate your messed-up thought process. (Flirting.) Kgosi, why don’t you fill me in?
KGOSI: (Clears throat and shifts uncomfortably in his seat.) The purpose is damage control. Now that the whole country knows about my son being conceived outside of wedlock we need to find ways to steer the media in a different direction while we find the culprit. Someone is intent on damaging the company.
AYANDA: What about the investors and clients? Have you thought about what you are going to tell them, because I am sure they want answers for the drop in the stock market value?
LERATO: That is the first thing on the list. We will ensure they are informed of what is happening, and how we plan on handling the matter.
AYANDA: So what is the plan of a–
LUCILLE: (Cutting Ayanda off) Look, Nkuli can send you the minutes. We don’t have time to backtrack. I suggest we all get a move on and sort this out before we lose investors.
AYANDA: Excuse me. I don’t appreciate your tone Lucille.
LUNGELO: Uhm Ayanda … how about we don’t make this personal and focus on the matter at hand. I think we’ve covered everything Mrs Davidson. I’ll speak to the IT department again to get an update.
LERATO: Lucille, I’ll get PR to email you the written statement for approval before midday.
ELLA: (Gets up) Well, if that is all that needs to be discussed, I have other things to do, plus this meeting quickly turned into an episode from The Bold and the Beautiful. Ciao. (Exits)
LUCILLE: Okay, that will be all. Get back to work and let’s make this day count!
KGOSI: Yes, agreed.
AYANDA: Well, this was a waste of time.
Kgosi, Lerato and Lucille exit, rushing to get work done. As Ayanda and Clayton leave he pulls her aside, and they stand in front of Nkuli’s desk. Nkuli and Lungelo remain in the boardroom, going over the minutes.
CLAYTON: Ayanda, wait. (Pulling her arm) How is Abo doing?
AYANDA: No Clayton – you don’t get to ask me that! Fatherhood isn’t a switch you can flip on and off. Plus you lost the right to ask me that when you decided to become a junky.
CLAYTON: I decided to become a junky? You introduced me to that stuff. Look, I don’t want to fight with you. Can I please see my son?
AYANDA: Boo-hoo, cry me a river, and sing me a sad song! Be a man for once and take responsibility. I didn’t hold a gun to your head now did I? You can see your son the day you grow a spine. Besides, you owe your son way more than a visit.
CLAYTON: What are you talking about?
AYANDA: I want 5% more shares for Abo. Then maybe we can talk visiting rights. Your son deserves this and you know it, so make it happen. Or I will make sure you see the inside of a psych ward before you see him again. (Walks off)
CLAYTON: How am I going to convince my dad to give her more shares? I’m so screwed. (Exits)
Back in the boardroom, Nkuli and Lungelo have a conversation.
NKULI: Mr L, could you please look at this report you sent me. Are you sure you passed well in high school, coz there is a spelling error. What is ‘asap’?
LUNGELO: Okay, let me take a look at that. No man, Nkuli that is A.S.A.P. which mean ‘as soon as possible’. I think you are the one I should be questioning about their education. Now I really must go. Don’t forget to pencil me in for a meeting with Kgosi later today.
NKULI: (Looks around the room to see if anyone is listening) Yazi, Mr L, yesterday I was sitting right over there at my desk, minding my own business, when I heard Lerato talking to herself. She said, “Hashtag, you can only hide from the truth for so long,” and she was typing on her phone. Hee, Mr L. Isn’t that what was in the newspapers; the tweet they were talking about this morning?
LUNGELO: Lerato you say? And you’re 100% sure about this? Nkuli, this is good. Listen, I have to go. Please, keep this to yourself, and thank you again. (Lungelo exits and Nkuli follows.)
Tell us: Do you think money really does corrupt people, like Ayanda wanting more and more?