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Kufuneka sihambe ngoku!

Author

Helen Brain

Illustrator

Rico

Translator

Liguqulelwe esiXhoseni

KwakungoLwesibini kwaye kwakungekho sikolo. Bonke abantwana babeza kuhlangana kwithala leencwadi kuba yayilusuku olukhethekileyo. YayiluSuku lweLitheresi lweZizwe ngeZizwe kwaye abantu kulo lonke ihlabathi babeza kufunda, babhale baze baphulaphule amabali, konke nje ngosuku olunye.

UNeo wayechulumance kakhulu. Oyena mbhali amthandayo, uJoan Rankin, wayesiza kwelo thala leencwadi esiza kufunda izicatshulwana zeencwadi azibhalileyo, kwaye utata wakhe wayemthembisile ukuba uza kumsa, aye kumbona. UNeo wayebhale incwadi ekhethekileyo malunga naye, kwaye wayengasakwazi ukulinda phambi kokuba ayinikezele kuye le ncwadi.

Kodwa akuvuka ngentsasa yangoLwesibini uNeo, kwakuvakala ingxolo engaqhelekanga iphuma ekhitshini. Waya kukroba. Umatshini wokuhlamba impahla wawusenza ingxolo embi kakhulu, unesandi sokukhexezela ngathi uza kugqabhuka.
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Utata kaNeo waza kujonga naye. “Iyho!” watsho. “Impopo inokuba yophukile. Kuza kuxabisa imali eninzi kakhulu ukuyilungisa. Mhlawumbi kuza kufuneka sithenge umatshini omtsha.”

“Asinayo nje imali yokuthenga umatshini omtsha,” watsho umama kaNeo. “Khawuncede wethu, awunakusilungiselela kwalo? Kufuneka ndiye emsebenzini, kwaye ininzi kakhulu impahla emdaka.”

Utata wayengakuthandi ukubona umama kaNeo ekhathazeke kakhulu ngoko ke wathi, “Ndiza kuyilungisa. UNeo uza kundincedisa. Ndiza kukhangela iwebhusayithi ebonisa indlela yokulungisa oomatshini bokuhlamba impahla abophukileyo.”

“Kodwa Tata, ubundithembise ukuba uza kundisa kwithala leencwadi,” watsho uNeo.

“Oko kuza kufuneka kulinde, Neo. Umatshini wokuhlamba impahla ubaluleke ngaphezulu. Mhlawumbi uGogo angakusa,” watsho uTata.

“Ndisaphuma namhlanje,” watsho uGogo, ehlunguzela intloko. “Uxolo, Neo. Kwakufuneka uye kwiveki ezayo.”

UNeo wayekhathazeke kakhulu. “Kodwa, Tata, ubundithembise ukuba uza kundisa kwithala leencwadi,” watsho. “Kufuneka sihambe kwakamsinyane.”

UTata walanda ibhokisi yakhe yezixhobo zokusebenza waza wakhangela ku-google, “Indlela yokulungisa impompo yomatshini wokuhlamba impahla” kwiselula yakhe.

“Nantso ke,” watsho kuNeo, embonisa elo khasi. “Oku akukhangeleki kunzima kakhulu.” Watsho sele ewutsala umatshini wokuhlamba impahla, wawuguqula ukuze akwazi ukukhupha umva wawo.

Kodwa ukulungisa umatshini wokuhlamba kwakunzima ngaphezulu kunokuba kwakukhangeleka njalo.

“Kukho umfanekiso apha,” wambombozela uTata, ejonge iselula yakhe. “Kodwa mncinane kakhulu, andiboni ukuba yintoni engena phi na.”
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Nanko uTata ewisa esinye sezikrufu saze saqengqeleka, satshona ngaphantsi kwesikhenkcezisi, ngoko ke kwafuneka atsale isikhenkcezisi ukuze asifumane isikrufu. UNeo wajonga ixesha. Yayilicala emva kwentsimbi yethoba. Kwakusele isisiqingatha nje seyure phambi kokuba uJoan Rankin afike kwithala leencwadi.

“Nceda, Tata,” watsho, etsiba ngomlenze omnye aze abuye atsibe ngomnye. “Nceda, khawulezisa ukuze sihambe siye kwithala leencwadi. Kufuneka sihambe ngoku.”

“Ndixakekile apha kwaye akundincedisi, Neo!” UTata wakhangeleka equmbile.

UNeo wayekhathazekile. UTata wakhe wayemthembise ukuba uza kumsa, kodwa ngoku yonke into yayingahambi ngendlela efanelekileyo.

“HAYI, HAYI, HAYI,” wakhwaza uTata. “Andiyikholelwa ke le!”

“Yintoni?” UNeo wabuza ngelizwi elincinane.

“Ngoku ndehlelwe yibhetri yeselula yam!” wakhwaza uTata. “Nceda undiphathele itshaja.”

Kuthe kanye ngaloo mzuzu wemka umbane.

“Owu hayi bo,” watsho uNeo. “Ngoku nombane umkile”

Utata wakhangeleka enomsindo kakhulu. “Lo ngoyena Lwesibini wakhe wambi. Ndiphakathi kanye ekulungiseni lo matshini kodwa ngoku andikwazi kufunda ukuba ndenze ntoni na elandelayo.”

UNeo wanqwala. “Ewe, lo ngoyena Lwesibini wakhe wambi. Awukwazi ukulungisa umatshini, kwaye nam ndiza kuphoswa nguJoan Rankin,” kodwa zange aqhubeke kuba wayembona uTata ukuba ukhathazeke kakhulu. UNeo wahlala etafileni yasekhitshini waqubuda efihla intloko yakhe ngeengalo zakhe.

Utata waqoshelisa izixhobo zakhe. “Akukho nto ingako esinokuyenza ngoku,” watsho.

UNeo waphakamisa kancinane intloko yakhe. Iwotshi yayisithi ilishumi imizuzu phambi kwentsimbi yeshumi. Babesenakho ukuya kufika kwithala leencwadi – babeza kufika emva kwexesha, kodwa wayeza kumbona uJoan Rankin kwaye wayesenakho ukumnika isipho sakhe. Watyhila amaphepha encwadana ayenzileyo. Wayebhale ibali wazoba nemifanekiso, kwaye uGogo wayemncedise ekuyidibaniseni nasekuyenzeleni iqweqwe. Umsindo nokukhathazeka kukaTata kwakudamba. Waphakamisa incwadi kaNeo. “Yintoni le, Neo?” wabuza watsho.

“Yincwadi yam,” uNeo waphendula ngelizwi elincinane. “Bendiza kuyinika oyena mbhali ndimthandayo kwi…” Zange asigqibe eso sivakalisi.

“Yiza khawuleza,” wakhwaza uTata, esithi hlasi izitshixo zakhe zemoto.
“Kufuneka sihambe NGOKU! Singafika ngexesha kwithala leencwadi ukuba siyakhawuleza.”

Xa uNeo noTata wakhe bangena kwithala leencwadi bengxamile, uJoan Rankin wayesele eqalile ukufundela abantwana ibali lakhe. UNeo wafumana isitulo ngasemva waze wahlala phantsi waphulaphula. Ibali lakhe lalimnandi kakhulu, ngokunjalo nemifanekiso yakhe yayimihle. UNeo wayenethemba lokuba ngenye imini naye uya kuzoba njengaye.

Eyona nto yaba mnandi yintoni kanene? Wathi akugqiba uJoan Rankin, waze uNeo wambonisa incwadi yakhe, nawacinga ukuba iyamangalisa uJoan Rankin.

“Ingaba eli bali ngokwenene uzibhalele ngokwakho uwedwa?” wambuza.

“Ewe,” watsho uNeo. “Nemifanekiso ndiyizobe ngokwam. Sisipho sakho, Mama.”

UJoan Rankin wavula ibhegi yakhe waze wakhupha enye yeencwadi zakhe. Ngaphakathi kuyo wabhala, “YekaNeo, owenza iincwadi ezintle”, waze wasayina igama lakhe ngoonobumba abakhulu, wamnika yona.

UNeo wayevuya kakhulu. Wayibamba nkqi loo ncwadi, engafuni nokuyibeka phantsi.

Kanye ngelo xesha wathi gqi uTata. “Awusoze ukukholelwe ke oku,” watsho. “Ndifumene incwadi efundisa ngendlela yokulungisa oomatshini bokuhlamba impahla, kwaye jonga – imifanekiso mikhulu kwaye icacile. Kutheni ungandixelelanga nje ukuba kwithala leencwadi kukho iincwadi ezifana nale, Neo?”
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UTata wamanga uNeo. “Iincwadi ziyamangalisa. Aziphelelwa ziibhetri zona, kwaye ungakwazi ukuzifunda nokuba umbane umkile.”

UNeo watsho ngoncumo lolonwabo waza wanqwala. Oko kwakuyinyaniso. Incwadi ungayifunda nokuba kuphi na nokuba kunini na.