It is the end…

I hate the end of the month in South Africa, not the 15th of the month, which is a month end for most government employees, but the dates 25 to 30/31 or in this month 28 of each month.

25 is mostly for those working in the mines and 30/31 is for the rest of those employed in other sectors. I hate it because of what it does to my fellow country men in their frantic search for money saving bargains and the endless need to have hard cash in their hands. What I hate the most is that most are broke two day after payday.

This is what I experienced while living in Rustenburg for three years, where mine workers are so over indebted to the point that by day two after payday, they are already at the doors of loan sharks that are scattered around the town and those informal ones in the living quarters, villages and townships.

It pains my to see how a hard working black men have nothing valuable to show at the end of their service life because of the constant chase of booze, fancy cars, designer clothes, private schools, latest smart phones, black tax which by the way is the long term legacy of the poor management systems of both the previous and the present government policy implementations, if you don’t know what I am talking about, ask any black person with a job and a poor family background, and everything else that do not give them that comfortable old age lifestyle.

It is really painful to see how poorer they become with each day they wake up and give their lives to the other men for him to become far more richer than is he could count. It pains me to see how the single mothers of some of those men’s children queue for hours to receive a small piece of the tax that these hard working poor men had paid. YES the rich also pay tax and I really hate those that have found the back doors to not paying tax.

No one likes paying tax but the only honest way to not pay it is to die. The end of the month brings with it the rush to comply with the politics of our stomachs and also the means of how we are going to numb the agonizing thoughts of waking up each day just to get that temporary high of the balance in our bank accounts of numbers that are more than two digits reflected in them.

But worse of all these is those people with two items breathing over your head in line at the super market at this very time of the month, as if you don’t have anything better to do except wait in that long queue with you over flowing trolley. You turn around and looked at what they are in such a hurry to pay for, and it is a bottle of soda and a chocolate bar, really… and you are here breathing like a lion giving birth.

The only reminder I have in my house that it is month end is the envelop on my TV screen from my pay-tv service provider, I really avoid the rush as I am afraid of crowded places, this is made worse by my claustrophobia. My father taught me that I only buy things that my pocket can afford with his way of paying cash for what he wanted and had planned for, for months. I do the same with my groceries, I buy what I know I need for the whole month without bothering with where they say it might cost me 50c less.

The shop hopping for me makes no logic, as I see it to be more time consuming and money wasting to get into a taxi just to go get a 50c off from something I know I really need like roll on. The amount of petrol and waiting in that queue just does not add up for me I am sorry.

But for now all I can do is have hope that my two year old nephew will know better by the time he gets to know experience the high of payday and the meaning of paying tax.


Be the inspiration to those that inspire you

Earlier last year I had a friend whom I showed a piece that I had been working on and was having trouble with second guessing myself as usual, so I asked for her opinion on it. She give me pointers that I realized that I had but did not put in with the piece, they somehow managed to hide in my story folder.

That then gave me the boost I needed in that moment to go ahead and distribute to the group I was helping with samples of writings, that they were going to act out in their class. My friend then gave me something that she had, it was a poem and from that I wrote a short story of just over 2000 words in 90 minutes.

She was amazed not only be how easy I made that look, but also by the knowledge I had about the place that she based her poem on. We both became each other’s inspirations, and she started taking her love of writing poems up again. She had stopped for some time because of a friend she thought was a good person and a mentor, took off with her work and publish it without her permission, under his name and took all the credit for it.

My friend never saw anything from her hard work and the guy, so that made her not to trust any person with her work. I consider myself lucky to have come across this lady and we shared those words, sadly she moved to another part of Gauteng and we have not kept in touch about writing. My bad I am that horrible with keeping up with people that only phone you back if you phone them first.

Relationships are like investments, you both need to keep putting equal time in, in order for it to grow and give you both good returns. I have a very short concentration on anything that I don’t get a return value on. I am that bad, this include family members that always expect my out stretched hand to reach theirs which is by the way always in their pockets.

But I am grateful to have been given that chance to be an inspiration to one person in my life and that inspired me to push myself even more. She got back into writing poems before she moved and the one that she showed me, was all about her husband and how his name is a big deal and not just a name.

I was again so proud that from forcing my sister to come with me to Abantu book festival last year December, where she got to attend poetry sessions and two were by Lebo Mashile, in the first she was the host and the second on Sunday she performed, and from that my sister wrote poems once more. Something that I last saw when we still shared a bedroom in our teens. The so called poem I wrote for her after we talked and she told me how EMPTY she felt because of the momentary circumstances she was in at the time.

That was very first attempted at poetry and when she finally read it, all she could say was it was so empty and loved it, and I was more happy seeing her wearing her big smile once again. Not only was it all about those that were close to me but I got a long distance mentor that I came across on Facebook, and discovered she was also on WordPress, and we kind of share similar things. LadyLebz is my virtual mentor and her posts really inspire me to keep doing what I am doing and to the best of my abilities, I am learning the journalism side of writing from her and I own thanks to her. She did tell me that I too do inspire her in the way I am able to just put it out there like I do.

It is such little gestures that keeps me going, how do you keep going in your world?

Episode 21: First romantic fight filled with nightmares

OMG! Here we go again, that road less travelled but envied by so many.

The ‘not important’ box just emptied some hidden contents, that one thing that she could not put her finger on came out, conjured by that voice that always left her looking like a fool. Smiles and tears were all over her in a rush, but Sipho managed to pull herself together and pull a straight face.

“How dare you! You only want to see me when I am back on my feet, but all that time that I needed you the most you where no where to be found. Do I look like something that you could just…just…”

“That you could just do what? Out of words again I see? I seem to have such an effect on you hah? Anyway it has been a whole year seen you last saw me and that is how you welcome me and talk to me? Where do you think those roses came from, your secret admire or the guy that almost caused you your life or the last one that broke your heart?”

He was slowly approaching her with something between a smile and a serious face. She had not had the time to think of how to brush him off, before she was in his arms and they were kissing. That evening Vuyo tried to get her to say what was on her mind that made her to loose focus on the road that day, but Sipho brushed him off and changed the subject each time, or said that she has memory loss.

He heard her call out some name in her sleep but could not make out the name, and she told him that she did not know what he was talking about when he asked her. That continued the whole week he was with her and he decided to record her one night before waking her up. Sipho did not believe that the person she was looking at on that recording was her. They both agreed that should she remember anything he will be the first person that she would tell.

Episode 20: Three red roses

Siphokazi remained in a coma for six months, each day her mom found on fresh rose next to her bed without a note as to where it was from or from whom. Vuyo heard about her accident on social media during his flight to New York on another business trip, and was only able to come back six weeks after the accident.

When Sipho regained consciousness, the first face she saw was that of her therapist, but she did not know who he was, where she was, who she herself was or what had happened to her. She did not even remember her own mother. The doctors reassured them that it was temporary and with therapy she could regain her memories, but to what extend they could not say.

The next ten weeks were crazy, she had to learn how to talk walk and feed herself. Vuyo never came to see her in hospitals; there was always a fresh rose next to her bed each morning she opened her eyes. Over the Christmas holidays, her mom and Katlego’s family were with her at her house, but she felt that she was missing something but could not figure out what it was.

This feeling went on for a while, and like all the other things that took up her time unnecessary, she placed it in one of the ‘not important’ box in her brain. She went back to work in July and the red roses did not stop, they even multiplied from one to three. Sipho found one on her doorstep each morning as she stepped out to leave with Mpho for work, the second one on her table at work and the third on her bedroom balcony after work.

They were starting to annoy her because they did not have the regular rose scent, but that of something which kept on bringing up ‘that thing’ that she was not able to put her finger on. That thing that she thought she had boxed in some part of her brain somewhere back there.

This went on until September when one evening after work she found rose petals going from her doorstep to the garden. Her unexplained stomach feelings and chills down her spine came rushing over her again.
“Hello there stranger, how do you do?”


Remembering you

You are my rock, my propeller, my water and food

Thank you for not being that junk food though. I have found my church in you

I love falling in love with you each day I open my eyes

I love feeling powerless with each one of your touch, the lightness that comes over me when we kiss

You are my church

I am flying, I am woman, I am alive, I am loving

Loving you feels so natural like I was born to love you

You were born to love me too

We please each other with such ease

I love how your hairs stand when I go down to your…

And how you make that high pitched sound when you are pleased

Pleased and filled with the love that we share

That we love giving to each other each night we go down of each other go in and out in and out of each other time after time before laying breathless next to each other

Breathless in each other’s arms, breathless looking into each other’s eyes as if to see how far our love has gone inside each other

I love loving your ways of turning each day to an episode in our lives that I will remember for life

The heat of your body at night when I run out of dreams puts me back to that peaceful sleep

I love loving my Mo with all his small crazy gestures of showing he can be romantic too, to some they might come out as stupid but I still go gaga over them, the notes he leaves on my pc each night for me to find in the morning when I come to interact with the world

Episode 19: The big bang

Siphokazi always got very emotional when thinking about Katlego and wiped her tears off as another motorist hooted at her for not keeping to her lane on the road. “Oh my God, what am I doing, where am I?” She looked at the time and realized she had been on the road for only 20 minutes, and had already been called to order by other motorists twice.

Her phone rang over the car stereo;
“Hi ma, did I forget something?”
“Oh no my child, I was just checking to see if I did not make you late. By the way, are you coming back here tonight, I have some people coming over this afternoon, so I was wondering if I will have to make them leave early?”
“Can I come back to you about it later today please? I have a meeting after lunch and I don’t know how long it will take, it’s big ma.”
“It’s okay my baby, don’t stress about it and concentrate on your big deal, go get them my girl. Oh yes before I forget, I am going to work from tomorrow until Saturday, which will be a half day, so please make sure that my driver knows because I did not have a clear schedule the last time I was with him. You know how grumpy Mr Langa can get when I don’t tell him these things, as if he has anything better to do than run around with your car,”

“Ma! But I think it’s because you blew him off and his ego is still bruised.” They laughed about it and said their goodbyes, and Sipho realized that all that time on the phone with her mom, she only moved a distance of three cars. She played with the car radio to keep her mind from wondering off again, which reminded her of the game she used to play with Katlego when they were on one of his family road trips to pass time.

That did not help the situation either, in fact it took her right back where she was trying to avoid going. Sipho could still hear the gun shots in her head when she heard tires screeching and a big loud BANG! and it was lights out for her. She was hit by an oncoming truck as she was avoiding a bus that was stuck on the side of the road, but was still covering half her lane.

She was not that far from her office and some of her co-workers saw the whole incident. Sipho was rushed to hospital and had sustained very serious injuries and the doctors were not sure how she was still alive. Mpho was the first person to notify MmaSipho of the accident long before Sipho was in the ambulance.

Episode 18: Memories sweet and sour

MmaSipho had fixed them breakfast by the time Sipho got out of the bathroom.
“Oh ma, why didn’t you wake me up, I am going to be so late mara!”
Sipho found her mom singing in the kitchen as she came in with shoes in her one hand and her bags in the other.

She threw the bags on the table and hooped on one foot trying to put on the other shoe, until she balanced herself with the fridge. Luckily she still had some clothes at her mom’s and dear old mom took out black pants, blue shit and a baby blue and white scarf and made sure they were wearable as she knew her daughter would be late in the morning. Like she did always when she had spent the night with mommy dearest.

Sipho slept like her dad each first night of the start of the holidays or any long weekend.
“So when do I get to meet this mysterious man that is so all over you?” her mom asked while handing her the car keys.

“I don’t know if he is worth the time he spends in my head yet. Can you believe that I spent almost two months thinking about him, without even knowing his name or anything about him? After Katlego, I told myself that I’ll never let this happen, I thought that what we had, what I felt when I was with him and thinking about him, can never happen ever. There fall out was enough torture on its own to last me my whole life. The flash backs are still that painful and exhausting, it is like I’ll forever be in recovery  but thinking of the many great times we had ease the pain greatly. I mean look how beautiful my life turned out, from the mess I was. Ijo mma wee, look at the time ma! I love you lots mom, but I have to go now, we’ll talk again sometime soon okay.”

Sipho went out running, her mom was left with the memories of that awful day when the lives of the two families were changed dramatically. No mother should ever see her children in such a position.
Sipho’s mind was not on the road, when the driver behind her hooted. The traffic light had turned green, then amber, without Sipho noticing. She was thinking about the same thing as her mother.

It took her two and half years to interact with people in public, and to openly speak about that horrible day. Oh mothers, what are we without that sixth sense, why did Katlego’s mom ignore that motherly instinct burning inside her the moment she saw her son? This ideology that men don’t cry is really killing our boy children, including grown men in our society.

There is no excuse worth wasting your time

I feel like such a coward.

I have failed you this week and there is no excuse big enough to explain my failure. I promised to deliver an episode a day and this week I only managed three instead of the usual five.

I feel like I am one of those bankers who keep rejecting your loan application after you have invested so much of your time gathering all the necessary documents and making sure they are all in order. This in the time you took to follower my writing and the anticipation of what comes next.

I have in the past mentioned in passing that I have some medical limitations, where my body decides when it want to corporate and when not, but still that is no excuse. This was the longest week of 2017 so far and I learn how valuable my time with you all is and yours with me.

I am not proud of what I did to you this week but I am proud to say that in the middle of all the pain I had a light bulb moment, so be on the look out for the surprise gift in your inbox soon. That soon will be mid March, and I have swallowed my pride and asked for help.

Episode 17: Mom always knows

The day went by very slowly for Sipho that Monday, her mind was all over the place, was it the fun she had over the weekend or was it someone in particular. Anyone who had ever, I mean EVER been in love, that kind of love that melted even your dad’s heart you know, ya and it does not happen for everyone though, could see that Siphokazi was in LOVE.

Her friends and some colleagues noticed a change in her aura, but thought it was the break away weekend that caused the change and made no big deal about it. Sipho decided to make a pit stop at her mom’s after work and found her preparing to go to bed and sat on the chair next to the bed.

She did not waste time with small talks as usual, before she comes clean with the real reason she is there, no, this time she came out straight with her strange question. It was strange to her mom because even with her teasing Sipho all the time about finding someone meaningful to share her space with, the question was not expected like this.

“Ma, what does it feel like being in love or loving someone without any motive, is it even possible for such a thing to happen in these days?”

Sipho asked while looking at the ceiling with her hands on her head, her mother did not like it when she put her hands like that, but that evening she just let it pass. She did not reply Sipho’s question but asked her to read one of the stories in the book she enjoyed a lot.

It was a collection of fictional short stories that she found could resonate with a lot of real life around the township. It was titled My distant path, by TM Book Galleries, written and printed by a young woman she met in church, who was giving copies of her work to kids in the confirmation class, some two or three year before. The story was of the same title and left Sipho in deep thoughts.

“I knew there was a reason for you to just come here like this without phoning first to check who I was with or even bring some crazy food I don’t understand, for us to try. Who is he that has gone into that hard head and cold heart of yours and left you confused like this my baby?”

Sipho stood up and went to the bedroom patio and laughed out at the top of her voice, came back in, looked at her mom and passed to go make tea. Her mom could hear her talking and giggling from the kitchen.

“Are you that serious about him or have you lost your mind over another one of your so called sex relievers”

Her mom continued politely as she received her cup of tea, but all Sipho did was smile and blush and swallow words every time she looked at her mom.


Sipho’s mom had not seen that look on her daughter’s face in her adult life, not since the day Sipho came home from school, back when she was in grade 8 anyway.

She recalled how blooming her daughter’s face was on that day, it was about a boy Sipho had always wanted to talked to but was unable to say a word when he was around her. That day he finally said hello to her, though she did not reply. Sipho’s mom knew even this time, that it would be a while until Sipho let her in on the big discovery, but she knew there was a good man involved.

Episode 16: What a girl got to do

Siphokazi turned and looked at the blue sky and smiled, 15  minutes later she followed Vuyo upstairs, and made her bed then proceeded to the other guest bedroom to change the sheets.

She went back to her bedroom, took a shower and got ready for work, after deliberating in the shower whether to go or not. When she went to check on Vuyo, she found him in his underwear and an unbuttoned shirt. Their eyes met for a moment, followed by that awkward silence.

It was as though their hearts were talking to each other, and the heat that their bodies produced, could light up the forest. Sipho felt her throat getting dry but she was not thirsty.

“You should have told me that you were not yet decent, I could have gone to the next room to open the windows there first.”

She turned to look at wall pictures, but it was really to hide the obvious expression on her face of how much she wanted him. Sipho was being tortured like this because Vuyo insisted that they take things slow and get to know how to please each other better, hence the separate sleeping arrangement.

She left to make herself another cup of coffee which she did not really need. When she turned after pouring the whole mug in the sink, Vuyo was standing behind her. He touched her with the tips of his fingers, from the top of her shoulders to the tips of her fingers, then took her hands in his and blew both with his warm breathe. All the while gazed right in her eyes, she held her breath like it was the last thing she owned before dying.

He said his goodbyes and left her frozen at the sink. He had just started his car, when she breathed out.