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Isitiya sikaMnumzana Shabalala

Author

Wendy Hartmann

Illustrator

Jiggs Snaddon-Wood

Translator

Liguqulelwe esiXhoseni nguNobuntu Stengile

UMnuzana Shabalala wayenomhlaba omkhulu. Wayehlala endlwini entle, enomthi wama-apile, efuye neenkukhu kwaye enaso nesitiya semifuno.

Umthi wama-apile wawumkhulu kakhulu. Amasebe awo ayemade kakhulu kangangokuba ayenabele phakathi esitiyeni, aze aphinde aqabele nangaphezulu kocingo, ade afikelele nasesitiyeni asingasemva kocingo olo. Ngamanye amaxesha ama-apile ayebamaninzi kakhulu kangangokuba wayede angayazi into amakayenze ngawo.

Inkukhu zakhe zazibeka amaqanda amakhulu amdaka. Wayengakwazi ukuwatya onke loo maqanda azalelwe ziinkukhu zakhe, ngoko ke zaziwaqandusela amanye amaqanda, waza waneenkukhu ezininzi ukodlula wonke umntu kuloo ngingqi.

Isitiya sakhe semifuno sasisoloko siyokozela zizinto ezimnandi zokutya, kodwa ngamanye amaxesha ayede adlulise ngobuninzi amathanga, umbona, iitapile nezinye iintlobo zemifuno.

Mr-Shabalala's-Garden-1Kodwa ke uMnumzana Shabalala lo wayeyindoda engenabubele kangako. Wayengakuthandi nokucelwa izinto zakhe ngabantu. Wayengakuthandi tu ukwabelana ngezinto nabanye abantu. Xa kukho ubani othe wasondela endlwini yakhe nasesitiyeni sakhe, wayesiba nomsindo kakhulu. Yiyo ke loo nto eyabangela ukuba uMnumzana Shabalala angabi naye nomnye umhlobo.

Ezinye izinto zazimenza umsindo kakakhulu kangangokuba wayeye ade athukisele. Abantu xa behleli emthunzini womthi wama-apile, ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, babemenzela ingxolo eninzi. Xa ama-apile ewile emthini ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, abantwana abancinane babewachola. Babedlala, besitya loo ma-apile ze benze ingxolo enkulu. Ngamanye amaxesha iinkukhu zakhe zazithubeleza ezikrobeni elucingweni. Xa zithubelezile, zazizalela amaqanda azo kwezo gadi zikufutshane. Wayebeva abafazi bethetha xa befumene amaqanda, kwaye wayesazi ukuba bagoduka nawo amaqanda akhe. Kodwa, eyona nto imbi nangaphezulu, ngamanye amaxesha kwakubakho inkwenkwana enkqonkqoza kwakhe, ize kucela izithole ezisesitiyeni sakhe.

Ngenye imini uMnumzana Shabalala wayenomsindo kakhulu, kangangokuba wagqiba kwelokuba uza kuyiphelisa nya into yokuhlutshwa ngaba bantu. Wathi hlasi isarha yakhe, waza wawasusa onke amasebe omthi wama-apile awayejinga ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe. Wazivala zonke izikroba ezazisecingweni ukuze kungabikho nanye inkukhu ezakuthubeleza. Wayenomsindo kakhulu kangangokuba wayigrumba yonke loo mifuno yayikweso sitiya sakhe.

“Ekugqibeleni ndiza kuhlala ngoxolo nenzolo, kungekho mntu uza kundihlupha okanye andibele nto,” utshilo.

Akuthathanga xesha lingakanani phambi kokuba umthi wama-apile uthwale ii-apile ezininzi kakhulu. Kwabakho iinkukhu, amantshontsho namaqanda amaninzi kakhulu. Ngenxa yokuba sasiphelisiwe isitiya semifuno, uMnumzana Shabalala wayengenayo imifuno.

Kodwa kwakukho eyona nto yayimbi kunazo zonke. Kwakuthe cwaka kakhulu ngoku, kangangokuba uMnumzana Shabalala wayede aphathwe yintloko. Usizana olunguMnumzana Shabalala lwalungazi ukuba lungenza ntoni ngesi sizungu senzolo engaka. Uthe ke wavula ucango lwakhe lwangaphambili waza wakhwaza kakhulu kangangoko anakho, ukuze nje kubekho ingxolwana ayivayo.

Ngesaquphe kuthe wayi-wayi abantu begxalathelana, ukuza endlwini yakhe.

“Kwenzeka ntoni?”

“Ingaba wenzakele?”

“Singakunceda ngantoni?”

“Ndi… ndi…” UMnumzana Shabalala wayexakwe yinto amakayithethe. Nangona wayekhohlakele, engenabubele ebantwini, wonke umntu weza kuqonda ukuba akukho nto imehleleyo kusini na. UMnumzana Shabalala waziva ebuhlungu kakhulu kangangokuba wade walila. “Ndicela uxolo,” watsho. “Ndicela uxolo.”

Mr-Shabalala's-Garden-2“Sicela uxolo ngokungxola emthunzini womthi wakho,” kwatsho umntu othile eqeleni.

“Sicela uxolo ngokuthatha ama-apile,” batsho abantwana.

“Sicela uxolo ngokuqokelela amaqanda,” kwatsho umfazi othile.

“Owu hayi,” watsho uMnumzana Shabalala. “Bendicinga ukuba umntu ndim ndedwa kwaye bendikrwada kuni, ndicela uxolo. Ncedani, nonke ngenani ngaphakathi ukuze ndabelane nani ngako konke.”

Ukususela ngaloo mini uMnumzana Shabalala wabelana nabanye abantu ngako konke anako. Wathembisa ukuba uza kuwayeka amasebe omthi wama-apile anabele ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, kwaye uza kuvula isikroba esincinane ecingweni lakhe ukuze iinkukhu namantshontsho zibe nokuthubeleza kuso, zizihambele.

Kuthe ukumka komntu wonke kwakhe, wancuma ngolonwabo kuba ngoku kwakukho ingxolo yolonwabo etsho kamnandi phaya phandle.

Ngephanyazo uMnumzana Shabalala wakhumbula ukuba akanaso isitiya semifuno. Kanye ngalo mzuzu kwavakala unkqo, nkqo, nkqo kumnyango wangaphambili. Wavula ucango waza wabona kumi inkwenkwana.

“Aaaha,” utshilo, “uyilaa nkwenkwana ibisoloko icela izithole.”

“Ewe,” yatsho inkwenkwana, “kodwa ndiyazi ukuba awunasenaso isitiya semifuno ngoku. Ndingakuncedisa ekulimeni esinye?”

Okwesibini ngolo suku, kwathi gwantyi iinyembezi emehlweni kaMnumzana Shabalala. Kodwa ngoku yayizinyembezi zovuyo.