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UFeleng ufunda ukufunda

Author

Joanne Bloch

Illustrator

Maja Sereda

Translator

Busisiwe Pakade

UFeleng Fishmoth uyawathanda amabali. ‘Mama, ndicela usibalisele ibali’ wayesitsho qho ngokuhlwa. Ndiyakucela torho, nceda!’

UMama Fishmoth wayesazi ibali elinye kuphela, kwaye wayesele ebukruquka kukusoloko elibalisa. Kodwa uFeleng nabanye abantwana bakwaFishmoth babesoloko bemcenga. Wabaxelela ngokubalasela kwakhe kwigumbi lokuphekela. Wathetha ngohambo lwakhe lwalapho, nangezinto ezinkulu nezingaqhelekanga awathi wazibona ekhabhathini. ‘Abantu basebenzisa izinto ezininzi, ezifana neekomityi neepleyiti namacephe,’ wabalisa watsho. ‘Aziqhelekanga ngeyona ndlela!’

Uvutho-ndaba lwebali kuxa uMama uFishmoth exelela abantwana ngeentlobo zokudla athe wazingcamla kolu hambo lwakhe. ‘Kwakukho iingququ zezonka, amaxolo wama-apile, izigaqa zezidudu ezimnandi namagaqa eswekile emva kwesitovu…’ ubalise watsho.

‘Mh-h-h!’ batsho ngamazwi anika umbono wobuncwane.

Emva koko wafika kwisigaba esibi seli bali – mhla umntu wazama ukumshwabadela. ‘Ndabalekela ukusindisa ubomi bam!’ watsho uMama Fishmoth.

Ngenye imini uMama Fishmoth waxelela abantwana bakhe ukuba mabaphume baye kwisidlo sasemini. ‘Feleng, ungoyena umdala,’ watsho. ‘Nceda ke ubakhathelele odadewenu nabantakwenu.’

AbakwaFishmoths abasoloko besidla yonke imihla, ngako oko abancinci babelambe kakhulu. Balinda de kwemka wonke umntu kwasala kuthe cwaka endlwini. Ze ngabanye ngabanye balambisa baphuma kwiintanda zodonga lwendlu ababehlala kuyo. ‘Ndilandeleni,’ wasebeza watsho uFeleng.

Benyuka benyuka ngomlenze wetafile enkulu. Phezu kwayo kwakukho iincwadi ezintathu okanye ezine ezivuliweyo zinephepha neekhrayoni zithe saa apho. ‘Khangela oku kutya kunencasa kangaka’ wahleka usisi kaFeleng.

Kodwa wathi akujonga kumzobo orhoqololo uFeleng wavakala esithi ‘Sukudla iincwadi. Yidla le – inencasa ngenxa yekhrayoni enayo.’

Ngokukhawuleza abantakwabo Feleng noodadewabo babexakeke yimizobo kodwa yena wayeqolozele kwimigcana egosogoso emnyama nakwimifanekiso enemibala eqaqambileyo kumaphepha encwadi evulekileyo. Wenyuka kuyo, ze waqalisa ukuhamba kancinane nangobunono ngemigcana leyo igosogoso.

Udadewabo omncinci uFifi wajonga ze wabuza wathi, ‘Wenza ntoni Feleng?’

Wasuka wancuma uFeleng. ‘Linda wena, uza kubona,’ watsho.

Ngoba busuku, apho ooFishmoths abancinane babebuthelene kumama wabo kwithanda eludongeni, uFeleng waqalisa ukuthetha. ‘Ndiyakwazi ukuba ufuna ntoni!’ watsho uMama Fishmoth. Wayonwabile emva kosuku loxolo ezihlalele yedwa endlwini. ‘Ufuna ndikubalisele ibali.’

Wancuma uFeleng. ‘Hayi namhlanje,’ watsho. ‘Fifi, xelela uMama ukuba ndenze ntoni namhlanje.’

Emva kokuba uMama Fishmoth evile ngendlela uFeleng ebewalandela ngayo amagosogoso ebesencwadi ngelixa bona abanye abantwana besitya, umama wakhe wababuxhalaba yile ndawo. ‘Ubusenzani Feleng?’ wabuza. Bonke abantwana kufuneka batye, uyayazi phofu loo nto.’

‘Ndisenokutya nangomso,’ watsho uFeleng. ‘Namhlanje ndenze ngcono – ndifunde ukufunda!’ Wacacisa ngendlela ebekujonge ngayo okumnyama ephephene kwimifanekiso. ‘Ndiqaphele namhlanje ukuba bekundixelela okuthile, watsho. ‘Emva kwexesha elithile, ndiye ndaqalisa ukukuqonda okuthethwa ngaloo magosogoso … ngoonobumba, kwaye oonobumba benza amagama xa bedibene. Amagama wona enza izivakalisi, ze izivakalisi zona zenze amabali. Ngako oko ngolu rhatya ngawuphumle Mama – ligem lam lokuba ndibalisele WENA ibali ngolu rhatya lwanamhlanje!

UFeleng wabalisela umama wakhe nabantakwabo noodadewabo ibali malunga nomntwana owahamba waya emlanjeni ze wadibana nengwenye. ‘Umlambo ongako ukuba mkhulu? Ingwenye engako ukuba nkulu?’ watsho uFishmoths omncinane.

‘Inene andazi,’ wahleka uFeleng, ‘kuza kufuneka ndiye kuzibonela ngomso. Kodwa umfanekiso ubonise into enkulu eyoyikekayo enomlomo omkhulu kakhulu.’

‘Njengomntu!’ watsho uMama ebuhlasimla, batsho bangcangcazela bonke abantwana bakwafishmoth baduma ….. Oko kwakuthetha ukuba lixesha lokulala.