Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bongani brings home Sandy - Chapter 14


 It was a rainy day in Pretoria with thunder storms. Aunt Maggie was dreaming while  doing activities with her late relatives in the  village. In the dream, she was screaming and begging them not to take her. And as she struggled, the nurse that had come to check her blood pressure ran to call the doctor. The doctor woke her up and asked her what she was dreaming about and she laughed realising it was only a dream. The doctor gave her the good news. Aunt Maggie was going home but had to follow a strict diet. She was so excited because she missed gossiping and  eating together with her  relatives.

Two more relatives had arrived from the village to take aunt Maggie home. They said her animals need her and around her home needed weeding. Aunt Maggie wants to live not far from a good hospital and she no longer wants to go back. Uncle Tabang has promised to hire some relatives to look after the home. The relatives have agreed to go back without aunt Maggie.

There is a program on television called 'Kumbula Ekaya' that  the family likes to watch every week. Suddenly they saw uncle Pilile begging for his relatives to come and get him at a mall he hangs out. He said he had a cleaning job at the mall and said he lost his memory.  Luckily he had a contact number.

All the relatives calling each other in shock were wondering who they buried! The guy they had burried looked exactly like Pilile. They got a call from someone who has been in a terrible accident with the late whose name was also Pilile. Some poor families never claim the bodies of their relatives. The state eventually has to bury them if no one claims.

However, nothing added up regarding his death. It was late so they called Pilile in the morning. Uncle Tabang assured the relatives that he was going to fetch him. It was going to be a big celebration.

Pilile got uncle Tabang's call and after checking the DNA, it was confirmed that Pilile was their relative.  The first celebration was at uncle Tabang's home and then after one month they were having another one back in the village. Pilile could not remember what happened to him. He was in hospital for eight months due to injuries on his head from an accident in Johannesburg. The hospital staff said someone brought him there and paid his bills.

The relatives told him he went to work and never returned. Everybody thought he wanted to abandon his girl friend. Uncle Tabang gave him a job at the supermarket.
The home is too crowded so uncle Tabang has rented a room for Pilile.

Sandy was tidying her bedroom only to find a bag in the wardrobe full of money! Sandy always dealt with things between her and Bongani her husband in their bedroom.

After dinner she asked Taata to come for some tea in their bedroom. She asked him if they got rich  already to move out. "Just because Notemba has a good job it doesn't mean it is our money!" Shouted Bongani.  Sandy just started crying and Bongani said he was sorry.  Sandy got the bag of money and opened it in front of Bongani!  "Taata, is this your money?" Asked Sandy. Bongani said it was for his friend.
"When my friend invited me for a drink last week, there was a shoot out and my friend asked me to run with his bag! He said the gang was after him. So escaped with the bag and left him wounded. I just hope he survived. I am waiting for his call. He said if he died I would then give the money to his wife after taking off a third of it. I met this guy at the zoo when I went with Xoliswa," Said Bongani.  Bongani asked Sandy not to tell anyone. Sandy just nodded and told Taata to help her make the bed.

Sandy has discovered a very good Pentecostal church at Hatfield. Bongani and uncle Tabang are both afraid of cults. After listening to their radio programs,  they decided to try it out. Uncle Tabang said he was going to organise transport for everybody to attend.
Uncle Tabang has not been to church for many years. Sunday has been family day. The family just eats together and tell jokes and stories.

Aunt Angela's sister Ronah has just called her to tell her the good news. She is pregnant. Piet her boyfriend is so excited. All the relatives in Malawi have been informed. Piet is already suggesting names. She is only three weeks pregnant. Piet is already looking for a bigger house for both of them to move in. Angela has asked Piet to first marry her sister. So Piet is going to Malawi with his uncle's next month.                      

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.                      

Bongani was so tired on Friday evening after work. He had supper and an early night. Sandy came to bed at ten only to find Taata talking in his sleep. He was dreaming about Notemba! As he called out Notemba's name, he screamed, "That's ticklish! That's ticklish, stop it!" Sandy slapped him twice and when he woke up, she asked him, "What  were you dreaming about?" Bongani was ashamed and said he could not remember. Sandy just let it go. Besides, Notemba has been given to Afika her brother in law.

Xoliswa was supposed to go with her dad to the zoo on Saturday. Bongani had already called Notemba and told her that she would pick her up in a Uber. Instead Notemba suggested that she could drop her off! Bongani couldn't agree to this because he thought  his wife would be upset. Remember she heard Taata calling Notemba's name in a dream!

Bongani left very early at five in the morning before work. They were all still in their pyjamas. Afika went to open the gate as Notemba was helping Xoliswa get ready.

Afika whispered to Bongani, "This woman knows how to make the bed and I'm going to marry her one day. It was worth sending back the letters she wrote!" Bongani was so angry and hit Afika. Afika just laughed and reminded Bongani he was doing it for the family. Notemba did not see them fighting. Finally, Bongani got to find out that his brother  sent back the letters Notemba wrote Bongani. He claimed he was doing him a favour because he was too young to be a father.

Xoliswa ran and hugged her dad and they left. Xoliswa was excited to meet the family. Breakfast was served as soon as they arrived. Lots of meat and 'pap' which is maize flour added to boiling water slowly and mingled with a wooden spoon until it is thick enough to look like mashed potatoes.  You know that relative that meets your child for the first time and claims they look like them! That was auntie Maggie. Uncle pulled the chair out for Xoliswa, and as they all laughed, he said they should give  thanks and eat.

After the heavy breakfast, tea and biscuits were served. Notemba called Xoliswa to hear how it was going, and she just said it was so much love. Xoliswa was already asking if she could move in but her dad said she had to wait for him to buy a house.  Xoliswa had to wait as her dad had to work half day. Tabang showed her around the house and they played games.

In the afternoon, Bongani and his wife were back from work. Again so much meat and a variety of colourful dishes were served for lunch. Amos and his Afrikaner girl friend Karina were also invited. Karina brought 2 bottles of wine, and milk tart and flowers for uncle Tabang's wife Angela.

Uncle Tabang gave Karina a gift of binoculars and told her to look after Amos.  Amos just laughed. Karina whispered in Amos' ear, "Lovely family" Amos was so surprised how Karina was blending in!

They all sat down to eat and told funny stories and laughed. Auntie Maggie was reminded of family gatherings back home in the village.

Bongani and his daughter Xoliswa had to excuse themselves to go to the Pretoria Zoo. Tabang wanted to go but his mum promised him the next weekend. Besides Taata needed to bond with his daughter Xoliswa. At the zoo, Xoliswa was screaming at the animals.  She took pictures and sent her friends.

Afika and Notemba went shopping for groceries. Afika decided to buy a parrot for Xoliswa just to win her over. When she came home and saw the parrot, she screamed, "Thanks you mummy," Notemba then told her to thank Afika.  For the first time she hugged him and thanked him.

Afika likes cleaning the house and cooks nice food so Notemba doesn't have to eat takeaways.  Notemba has always been attracted to bossy guys but one that cooks is a bonus. She is trying to find out Afika's weakness but I hope she won't find out that he sent the letters back that she wrote to Bongani.

Bongani felt he had spent so much time  away from home. He wanted to check whether Sandy was feeling neglected. He called her and whispered 'sweet nothings' and Sandy was just supportive. He bought her a chocolate and when he arrived home, Sandy screamed, "Taata I'm missed you!" But Bongani just whistled because he knew he was still boss.

The smell of Malawi fish is too strong for uncle Tabang! Angela has asked Piet her sister's boyfriend to take it to her house. He likes Malawi fish and Angela thinks they could cook together and make up. Piet first had flowers and candy delivered to Ronah and then arrived with the Malawi fish! She opens the door and Piet says, "I'm sorry, can I cook for you? " Ronah grabs him and kisses him. They cooked and talked   things through. Goodness! A fight over the wrong eggs, how could this ruin such a big love.

After a good family weekend, auntie Maggie collapsed. Uncle Tabang rushed her to hospital and luckily enough she had a minor stroke! How could auntie Maggie escape with so much meat indulging! Especially the craving for fat! Thank God auntie survived. Notemba still needs her support. Uncle Tabang has asked the doctor to tell auntie Maggie how  to eat right because she would never listen to any one. She was already asking for fatty meat and saying vegetable salads make her feel like she is grazing.


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