Ontshontsha iphunga | Nal'ibali
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Ontshontsha iphunga

Author

Joanne Bloch

Illustrator

Mieke van der Merwe

Translator

Sebolelo Mokapela

UMnumzane Shabangu wayengumbhaki onekhono kakhulu edolobhaneni. Wayevuka ngehora lesine nqo ezimpondweni njalo ekuseni ukuze axove inhlama yamabhanisi, amakhekhe namabhisikidi akhe okudumile. Uma kushaya ihora lesishiyagalombili abantu babedlula ngasesitolo endleleni eya emsebenzini nasesikoleni, futhi kwakuzwakala iphunga elimnandi elaliphuma ngamafasitela esitolo. Abantu abaningi babeyothenga isidlo sabo sasekuseni esitolo. UMnumzane Shabangu wayebabuka emamatheka ngesikhathi ebadlulisela amabhanisi esinamoni amasha namnandi, amabhisikidi asagolide ayedumile edolobhaneni lelo.

Kodwa abanye abantu babengenayo le nhlanhla ayenayo. Ngenxa yokuthi babengenayo imali eningi, abantu abampofu basedolobhaneni babengavamisile ukwazi ukuthenga amabhanisi, amakhekhe namabhiskidi amnandi. Into ebabeyenza nje kuphela kwakungukuthokozela amaphunga amnandi ayephuma ngamafasitela. UMnumzane Shabangu wabona laba bantu behogela eduze nesitolo sakhe, lokhu kwamdina. ‘Bahogelelani iphunga elimnandi!’ kusho yena. ‘ELAMI leli phunga. Uma abantu befuna ukuhogela iphunga lami elimnandi, kumele balikhokhele!’ Waveva yintukuthelo, waphenduka waya kuhhavini ukuze abhake izinkwa zamakhasimende akhe angesikhathi sesidlo sasemini.

Kwakukhona isalukazi, uMaShange, esasilithanda kakhulu iphunga elivela esitolo. UMaShange wayelala ebhentshini elisepaki njalo ebusuku. Emasontweni ambalwa adlule kukhona umuntu onenhliziyo enhle owayemnikeze imali yokuthenga ibhanisi lesinamoni. Wabuyela epaki nebhanisi walidla kancane kancane, ekhotha izindebe zakhe zomlomo, wabelana nezinyoni ngemvuthuluka. Ngemuva kwalokho, owesifazane lo owayengenayo imali eyanele yokuthenga elinye ibhanisi, wadlula eduze kwesitolo sikaMnumzane Shabangu ehamba kancane, ehogela futhi emamathekiswa iphunga eliconsisa amathe.

Umkhuba omusha kaMaShange wamthukuthelisa kakhulu umbhaki. Ngokuhamba kwezinsuku, kwakhula ukumthukuthelela. Ekugcineni, ngolunye usuku lwasebusika olubandayo wayenolaka olubi, waphuma esitolo sakhe wasidonsa ngengalo isalukazi lesi. ‘Ulintshontshelani iphunga lami!’ emthethisa. ‘Uyisela lephunga wena!’

UMnumzane Shabangu wasula izindla zakhe ephinifeni lakhe, walikhumula waliphonsa esitolo sakhe. ‘Gada isitolo!’ esho ememeza umsizi wakhe. ‘Uyagcina namhlanje ukuntshontsha iphunga lami lo muntu wesifazane odelelayo!’ Ngalawo mazwi, wadonsa ngengalo uMaShange baya enkantolo ukuyobonana neJaji uNgwenya. Ijaji lalisahlala phansi edeskini lalo elikhulu, elicwebezelayo ngesikhathi kungena nezicabha umbhaki othukuthele, edonsa ngengalo uMaShange othukile futhi odidekile. ‘Sanibonani,’ kusho ijaji ngezwi elindondayo, kodwa uMnumzane Shabangu akazange alibingelele ngenxa yokuthi wayeveva intukuthelo.

‘Nkosi yami,’ kusho uMnumzane Shabangu ngentukuthelo, ‘Ngifuna kwenziwe ubulungiswa! Ngifisa ukufaka isikhalo ngalo wesifazane. Nsuku zonke emasontweni amathathu adlule, udlula eduze nesitolo sami ekuseni kakhulu uma iphunga elimnandi lasesitolo sami lisemandla, bese eyalintshontsha. Uyisela. Ngifuna angikhokhele ngalelo phunga elimnandi!’

Ijaji lanwaya ikhanda lalo elikhulu elinempandla isikhashana. Lase lithinta isikhwehlela. ‘Kulungile,’ lisho kumbhaki. ‘Kuzokwenzeka ubulungiswa.’ Laphendukela kuMaShange. ‘Unamalini, Mama?’ kubuza ijaji.

‘Nginamarandi amabili kuphela, Nkosi yami,’ kungingiza uMaShange.

‘Kulungile,’ kusho ijaji, ‘ngicela unginikeze yona.’ UMaShange wafaka isandla sakhe ephaketheni lejezi lakhe elidala ngokukhulu ukuzithoba wakhipha izinhlamvu ezimbili zamarandi. Wazinika ijaji. Lazithatha lambonga likhombisa inhlonipho. Laxukuza ezandleni zalo ezinkulu imali ewuhlweza, ukuze yenze umsindo. ‘Nasi isinqumo sami,’ lisho kumbhaki. ‘Isijeziso kumele sihambisane necala. Ngakho umsindo wemali kaMaShange iyona nhlawulo ozoyithola ngephunga elimnandi alintshontshile. Manje ngikufisela ukuthi ube nosuku oluhle.’

Umbhaki wabukeka ecabangisisa ngalokhu. Wase ebona ukuthi uzicabangele yena kanjani, waphenduka kancane waphuma egunjini. Ijaji lamamatheka libuka uMaShange ngomusa, lambuyisela imali yakhe. ‘Manje, Mama,’ lasho likhipha isikhwama sephepha esinsundu esikhwameni salo esiyi-briefcase, ‘ngingakucela ukuba udle nami isidlo sasekuseni? La mabhanisi asashisa – ngiwathenge esigamini sehora esedlule.’