It was on a Friday morning as the crack of dawn broke open on the eyes of the Ba-Phalaborwa people. You see this part of the Sub-Sahara is known for its extreme high somatic sensation of heat. Growing up here has had me swear on my mother’s life and my father’s grave that I surely can prepare food from the sun. Like any other suburb, Phalaborwa has its own township, Namakgale. It was at this township that I learned that most if not all of the youth think and do the same thing on Fridays. They are either going on a drinking spree or that one game that ends up with all of us painted with the same brush and called with the same tag line of “boys will be boys”. oh and any other day.
The uninvited sunbeam beamed into my bedroom, ok not mine alone, I shared it with my two siblings. I had to wake up and get ready for the marathon that we see or hear about, that of running for the bathroom, of course after boiling water as substitution for our geyser. Did the runs, only to find that my eldest brother was already in the bath, bloody bastard!
Like any other day, I got ready on time for school at the local senior secondary school called Sebalamakgolo High, this is where we indeed count some thousands as the name implies. I mean people sold from titbits to sweets, cigarettes, marijuana and ecstasy, enmasse. On my way to been part of the counting thousands hoi polloi, I find a lot of different people on the road. You find the elders and juniors imbibing the amber nectar of the gods. Failing grace to these limpid liquids, these are some of the people that should be jaunting with me to class. Either for getting educated or educating, oh Namakgale my beloved township, has turned to self-hate. You think I’m slandering my home town, think again, surely you can’t explain the hurling at our teachers square in the eyes.
If we do have the Lord, father of the only Son of Mary’s mercies we have quiet classes. It was on the same Friday that a classmate got that call that his father was not coping well, under the retroviral pill. You see my friend had a father that wouldn’t grow up at all. We had buried his mother circa his birthday which was roughly a year ago. The thought of having to bury his father again around the same time was probably more than the proverbial say that people say when they have too much on their plate. He as expected had to rush home and play head of the house, at 16years old. What dawned on me and was cringeworthy is the guffawing that the whole class found was salient to the ghastly death of Masilo’s father. I was gobsmacked by this, to some degree.
The taboo that the HI virus has always carried with was not of equal strides to the kleptomaniacs that were harboured in this very town. I say this with a wagging tail, who am I fooling. It is not even wagging. I am scared for my life. That is if they do get this and obviously get someone to read it for them, I am history. My peers were killed in gory and obscene manners, by some of my peers. I have had to bury a lot of them without the others.
It has also been the harsh reality that I had come to terms with, that I am also a father of this nation. With every single one of them calling me “uncle” if and when they want a fix, a rand, a quart of the amber nectar of the gods. If you think I am fibbing, then you need to come with me on one of my weekend visit to my mom’s house. As Long as you promise to not feel younger than me, as you sure will be hanging with the father of the Namakgale nation. I always make sure I have chickenfeed for instance like this, otherwise I am going to assume a different name from that of “uncle”. This is my home town. I know what I am talking about.
I am not taking turns at pelting my hometown, not by a longshot. Because the truth of the matter is that we do have people that made sure the dynamics of the town are diluted. I do by some fourth dimension get a chance to walk around and find minds that leave me thinking is he or she from here.
This is my hometown, I love this place. I could shout at the top of my lungs that it too shall one day be habitual to its habitant.
By Mafedi Selepe