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UThembela emmoyeni

Author

Leo Daly

Illustrator

Magriet Brink

Translator

Itjhugululwe nguNomsa Mtsweni

“Yeyi, Thembela!” kubiza uMma. “Kunommoya ngaphandle. Buya, uzakungenwa mgomani.”

Kodwana uThembela akalaleli ngombana udlala kamnandi. Iinhluthu zakhe ziphaphela phezulu-phezulu ngaphezu kwehlokwakhe, njenganje sezirhatjheke zamvala iindlebe. Irogo lakhe ungathi yikhayithi, noThembela unethemba bonyana nange afuna angaphapha – ayokungena emkayini.

“Ummoya umnandi, Mma,” uyahleka. “Angifuni ukungena ngendlini.”

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“Ufanele, Thembela,” kuphendula uMma. “Akukalungi ngaphandlapho − kunobungozi khulu.”

UThembela uphakamisela izandla zakhe phezulu, uzisa phasi naphezulu njengenyoni. “Kulungile, kulungile,” wamomotheka. “Ngizakungena ngaphakathi.”

Utjho njalo uyeqa. Weqela ngale kwengadi, uzizwa ngathi uyaphapha. Ummoya wamvala, wamguga wambuyisela emuva kumma, owavala umNyango ngemva kwakhe.

“Tjhii, Thembela! Awukadinwa Kuphapha lokhuya? Kubayini ungangeni emanzini afuthumeleko udude bese utjhinge embhedeni”

Lokha uMma nakazokwembesa uThembela, uthi, “Hayi, Thembela, kufanele kube nguwe wedwa umuntu ephasini othanda ummoya.” Ngaphambi kobana uMma akhambe, uThembela wabawa kobana amakhethini avulwe ukuze akwazi ukubukela amafu lokha nakakhambako asithela ngemithi lokha nakaswayekako aya le nale. Wacabuza unina kobana alale kamnandi, wase uyalala.

Ngepelaveke leyo, umma kwakufanele aye edorobheni, uKghari uNozulu uyeza uzokuhlala nomntwana.

“Maye mina,” kutjho ukghari uNozulu ngokukhokha ummoya okukhulu, “Ngizwe endabeni batjho kunamawuruwuru ezako!”

Ilanga loke amafu ayebutha emkayini kwaze kwabanzima sengathi kusebusuku. Izulu lathoma lana. uThembela akakholwa amehlwakhe. Kunezulu angazange akhe alibone, masinyana kwase kunamachitjana yoke indawo. UThembela wamomotheka. Ufaka ijasakhe yezulu namabhudzi wase uphumela ngaphandle wakhamba.

“Awa, Thembela!” kulila ukghari uNozulu. “Buyela ngendlini njenganje!”

UThembela azange alalele ngombana bekadlala kamnandi. Uyahleka lokha ummoya nawuphephula ijasakhe yezulu bese uzalisa ingwanakhe ibe ngathi yibhaloni ekulu. “Nangiphakamisa izandla zami,” uyahleka, “Ngingaphapha!”

Ukghari uNozulu wagijima waya ngaphandle ngegawuni yakhe ebukhobe, waguga uThembela wambuyisela ngendlini. “Akekho umuntu othanda ummoya,” kutjho ukghari u-Nozulu. “Liyarasa, kumakhaza begodu alisilihle.”

Ukghari uNozulu uzomembesa, uThembela ubawa kobana amakhethini avulwe ukuze akwazi ukubukela imithi lokha iya le nale, amafu adlula ngaphezu kwayo. Kodwana ukghari uNozulu wathi, “Awa! Ngiyala ngithi awa, ngiyabuyelela ngithi awa!” Uvala amakhethini. “Asithembe kobana indlu angekhe iphephuke nalo izulweli,” kutjho ukghari uNozulu ngothuthumela.

UThembela uzwa ukuduma kombani nokubetha kwamathosi wezulu phezu kwendlu. Kwanjesi ummoya besele ubetha phezu kwamaboda. Libetha umNyango namafesdere. Libubulisa itjhimela begodu lokho kuthusa ukghari uNozulu kangangokuthi sele abhace ngemva kwesofa. Umfulelo nephasi bekutlikitlikiza, imithi ivunguzela kunetjhada elikhulu.

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Ukghari uNozulu uyalila, “Maye mina, soke sizokuphephuka!” Kodwana uThembela akasabi. Weqa uphuma embhedeni wagijima wehla ngeentebhisi. Masinyana wafaka amabhudzwakhe wathatha i-amburela yakhe, waphuma ngokuzithemba waya ngaphandle. Ummoya uyavunguza begodu uyaphephula nezulu liyana, umbani uyatlabha emkayini.

“Ngimi, Mmoya,” kutjho uThembela. “Ingabe ukwateleni kangaka? Ingabe ucabanga bonyana akekho noyedwa okuthandako? Ungabi sidlhayela. Unetjhada begodu umakhaza, kodwana uyakarisa – begodu ngiyakuthanda. NGIYAKUTHANDA MMOYA!”

Msinyana ukuduma kwathula, nawo woke amafu anzima abaleka. Kungakapheli isikhathi izulu lanyamalala. Lokha uThembela nakaqala phezulu, wabona umkayi ungasenamafu. Inyanga izele nazo zoke iinkwekwezi ziyakhanya. Kwanjesi ummoya uvunguza kamnandi eduze kwakhe, uphakamisa i-amburela, umcabuze emihlathini.

“Ngiyathokoza, Mmoya,” kutjho uThembela. “Ngiyathokoza ngokucotjha zulu.”

UThembela wase uyajika, wabuyela ngendlini. Wasiza ukghari uNozulu ngemva kwesofa, wase umenzela itiye etjhisako.

“Maye mina,” kutjho ukghari uNozulu, “Ummoya angiwuthandi nakancani.” Kodwana uThembela wamane wamomotheka.