Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Bongani brings home Sandy - Chapter 16
Tabang Bongani's son is doing well at school. He is now up to standard. The teachers like him a lot. He is very good at mathematics and science. He was recently entered into a competition and he won. The school has decided to give him a scholarship. His parents are so proud of him. His teacher has advised his parents to apply to a private school for a scholarship that caters for everything at a boarding school in Cape Town. Taata feels he can't leave home so young. The city could swallow him. Uncle Tabang and his dad are mentoring him to go to the mountain for circumcision.
"A boy cannot leave his people before he learns the Xhosa tradition. An opportunity far from home could ruin a good child," Said uncle Tabang. Sandy his mother suggested that they could apply to a private school in Pretoria and that would be easier on all of them. Bongani his dad said, "Private schools here are also good. Then he can get the traditional food every weekend. Then he can also be groomed into a real man." So Tabang is going to a private school next year if all goes well.
Uncle Pilile is getting used to his relatives. He still hasn't got his memory back but he has pieces of moments of his life flashing in his mind. His girlfriend was informed about Pilile's situation but she said she had moved on. Her parents were already preparing for introduction of Pilile to their relatives. They had already bought a cow for the celebration. Pilile has nightmares but still remembers almost nothing.
On Saturday at two in the morning, got a phone call from his friend's daughter. She was crying as she told the shocking news of gangs shooting her father and mother dead. She called the police but they got away. Her father had a will he had kept in the safe at his brother's house. The distribution of the money depended on Bongani. He also had another will as to how the money would be distributed when his friend died.
Bongani read the will again and understood what to do. The friend's daughter was only ten years old. Bongani knew he couldn't hand over all the money. Relatives could misuse the money so Bongani said he would look after the family. He took care of the funeral costs. He was advised by the attorney not to attend the funeral lest the gangs would come after him. The gangs came to the funeral but left before the police was called.
"Sandy, we have to look for our own house. The baby will be born in the new house. I don't want us to live in Pretoria. Johannesburg is where we will live, "Said Bongani. Sandy kissed and hugged Taata with excitement. "Don't speak about it and not even to yourself. People will want to know where we got the money. We are going to start selling our stuff and say we need money for the baby on the way." Bongani suggested in a soft voice. Sandy nodded with a smile.
Bongani started searching for a house in Rivonia. He had heard about Rivonia being a good place to live. It is ten minutes to Sandton so that would mean better jobs. Bongani also wanted to live far from Notemba and his brother.
Once again it was time for a good ride on the Gautrain. After viewing four houses, they found the one. It had two bedrooms upstairs, a study and one bedroom down. The garden very small but nice with roses. The house also had an indoor garden to watch the stars in the night. The agent immediately put the sign outside, SOLD.
Sandy wanted another look. She took measurements for curtains. Taata looked at her and said, "You need to choose our bedroom. Then we can go." "Thanks you Taata." Screamed Sandy. Memories of the shack were coming back and a few tears dropped. Both of them were now so upgraded. As they left, Bongani reminded his wife Sandy not to tell as yet. They both needed to resign first.
They have started selling their stuff to neighbours and friends. Their relatives are worried about them but at the same time, it's none of their business.
Uncle Tabang wants to have a meeting with Bongani but he keeps avoiding him. When he asks Sandy why they are selling their stuff, she tells him to ask Taata. Notemba has agreed to buy most of their stuff because this will keep reminding her of Bongani. She wanted to buy Bongani's shirts but he refused to sell.
Auntie Maggie has found a thirty year old Congolese man who wants to marry her. She asked him if she reminded him of his mother! He said he was looking for a mature lady who understood what love was about. Ngoyi is handsome and tall like his father. His mother tried to discourage him but he claims age is just a number. Aunt Maggie has received keys from her boyfriend and she is still wondering whether to move in with Ngoyi. Ngoyi has African wear shop in town. They met when she went to buy a dress to prepare for uncle Pilile's party in the village. He asked her out. Ngoyi is serious and in love. He want to marry aunt Maggie.
Aunt Maggie had started losing weight and she is learning how to use smart phone. Her nephew is teaching her how to use whatts App. She has called a family meeting to ask them for a blessing to move in. Uncle Tabang is surprised how the city transforms people but is happy for her. Ngoyi wants to give a job at the shop. They all thought she was joking but eventually realised aunt was in love.
"I was kidnapped at thirteen years of age and forced into marriage." Said aunt while she was crying. Now the family agreed she was in love for the first time. This process used to happen until the law stopped it. It was called 'okutwala'. The girls were kidnapped on their way to school, to the well or while looking for firewood. Sometimes a grown up relative was bribed to trick the young girl. Eventually the elders came to introduce themselves to the girls' parents and agreed to pay a fine and after pay the dowry!
Uncle Tabang suggested that before aunt Maggie moved in with Ngoyi, he had to visit and have dinner with the family on next weekend.
Uncle Tabang's wife has asked her husband to let her son that she had before she got married come and live with them. There would be room for him since aunt Maggie was leaving to move in with Ngoyi her boyfriend. Uncle Tabang liked the boy because he was good mannered. Angela's aunt who had pretended to be the boy's mum, found it hard to let him go.
Angela asked uncle Tabang her husband to let her go to Malawi. She said she wanted to fetch the boy but uncle Tabang said he would ask the relatives to send him instead.
The aunt wants money to compensate her for looking after the child. Angela agreed to pay her aunt R2500 every month until she finished the amount of R100000 that she had asked.
Aunt decided she also wanted to come but after Angela did not agree to her coming, she spilled the beans. Uncle Tabang was in shock to learn that his wife had a son she had never told him about! Everyone in the family was shocked.
Uncle Tabang and his wife were not talking. Aunt Angela went to live with her sister Ronah. Ronah asked to meet with uncle to apologise on behalf of her sister. Uncle Tabang said he needed time to get used to the idea.
Uncle Tabang was not making sense because his wife had never cheated on him. She had the child before they got married! After Angela had sent him a message claiming she would have to go back on the shelf! Uncle Tabang agreed to forgive his wife and asked her to bring her son. He also agreed to adopt him.
Bongani has learnt how to drive so uncle Tabang asked him to collect his wife. They are back together and the family is complete again. Besides Ngoyi is coming for dinner next week to meet the family. Aunt Maggie has told him great things about the family.
Uncle Tabang wrote his wife a very long letter. He has never written her a letter so long. Aunt Angela then replied also with a very long letter! Will they be friends again? Will they live as an arrangement or carry on as happy couples? Bongani has asked the pastor to help them reconcile. Both of them agreed to get help. The counselling will be once a week.
Uncle Tabang has been behaving like the old Bongani! Drinking a lot and talking in parables. "Sandy tell your aunt I hate her food, I'm not hungry!" Shouted uncle Tabang. That's when Sandy realised where her husband gets it from. The counselling is however helped a lot at least they have started talking to each other.
Bongani is waiting for uncle Tabang to stabilise emotionally then he will tell him about moving to Rivonia. Uncle will probably be proud of him.
A real African man does not display defeat to his in laws not even when they ask to help him sort things out. His wife and children are his pride. He always leads and commands respect from both his family and the community. So uncle Tabang and Angela his wife have a home to be proud of. Notemba is finally decided to marry in the family too. It is going to be a wonderful surprise on Saturday this week.