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UThembela udlala emoyeni

Author

Leo Daly

Illustrator

Magriet Brink

Translator

Ihunyushwe nguBusisiwe Pakade

“Hhayi, Thembela!” kumemeza uMama. “Kunomoya omkhulu, akufanele ukuba ube phandle. Ngena endlini, uzongenwa umkhuhlane.”

Kodwa uThembela akalaleli ngoba kumnandi phandle. Izinwele zakhe ziphakama ziye phezulu, phezulu, phezulu, zedlule ikhanda lakhe, bese ziwa zimboza izindlebe zakhe. Ingubo yakhe izwakala sengathi yikhayithi futhi uThembela usekholwa ukuthi ukuba ubefuna, ubezondiza – ayoshona esibhakabhakeni.

“Umnandi umoya, Mama,” esho ehleka. “Angifuni ukungena endlini.”

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“Kumele ungene, Thembela,” kuphendula uMama. “Akukuhle lapho phandle − kuyingozi kakhulu.”

UThembela uphakamisa izingalo zakhe ezinhlangothini zakhe bese ezibhakuzisa, ezishonisa phezulu naphansi njengenyoni. “Kulungile-ke, kulungile,” esho emamatheka. “Ngizongena endlini.”

Wanele washo njalo, wagxuma. Wadabula ingadi, futhi wazizwa sengathi uyandiza. Uzungezwa umoya bese uyamthwala umbuyisele kuMama, ovala umnyango emva kwakhe.

“Awu, Thembela! Awukhathele kodwa ngemva kwakho konke lokhu kundiza? Kunganjani uyogeza ngamanzi afudumele bese uyolala?”

Ngesikhathi uMama ezomembathisa uThembela embhedeni, uthi, “Hhayi, Thembela, cishe nguwe wedwa umuntu othanda umoya emhlabeni wonke.” Ngaphambi kokuba uMama ahambe, uThembela ucela ukuthi kuvulwe amakhethini khona ezobuka amafu ngesikhathi edlula, kanye nezicongo zezihlahla ezinyakaza zishone le nale. Uqabula uMama wakhe emfisela ubusuku obuhle bese eyazumeka.

Ngaleyo mpelasonto, uMama kumele aye edolobheni, ngakho u-Anti Ida uyeza uzohlala naye.

“Awu Nkosi yami,” kusho u-Anti Ida ngokwethuka okukhulu, “ngizwe ezindabeni kuthiwa kuza isiphepho!”

Lihlanganisa amafu usuku lonke, isibhakabhaka size sibe mnyama sengathi kusebusuku. Ibe seyiqala ukuna imvula. UThembela akakukholwa lokhu akubonayo. Yimvula enkulu kakhulu kunake wayibona kanti emva kwesikhashana nje sekuba khona amabhaka amakhulu yonke indawo. Kodwa uThembela uyamamatheka. Ugqoka ijazi lakhe lemvula bese efaka amabhuzu akhe aphumele phandle.

“Hhayi, Thembela!” kumemeza u-Anti Ida. “Ngena endlini njengamanje!”

Kodwa uThembela akezwa nakuzwa ngoba kumnandi phandle. Uyahleka lapho umoya ufutha ijazi lakhe lemvula nesigqoko salo sibukeke sengathi ibhelunde elikhulu. “Uma ngingaphakamisa izingalo zami,” esho ehleka, “ngingakwazi ukundiza!”

U-Anti Ida ugijima ngegawuni yakhe ephinki aqukule uThembela abuyele naye endlini. “Akekho umuntu othanda umoya,” kusho u-Anti Ida. “Unomsindo, uyabanda futhi ayikho nje into emnandi kuwo.”

Ngesikhathi u-Anti Ida ezomembathisa embhedeni, uThembela ucela ukuthi ikhethini lihlale livuliwe ukuze akwazi ukubona izihlahla zinyakaza, namafu edlula. Kodwa u-Anti Ida uthi, “Cha! Ngeke bo, ngiyaphinda ngithi cha!” Uvala amakhethini. “Manje ake sethembe nje ukuthi indlu ayizumuka kule mvula engaka,” kusho u-Anti Ida eqhuqha.

UThembela uzwa ukuduma kwezulu nokushaya kwamathonsi emvula phezu kwendlu. Manje umoya ushaya ezindongeni. Ungqongqoza emnyango udlikizise namafasitela. Uhhewula wehle ngoshemula wethuse u-Anti Ida aze ayocasha ngemuva kukasofa. Kutsegeza uphahla, namapulangwe aphansi akhale nezihlahla zishaye ikhwela kakhulu.

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 U-Anti Ida uyamemeza, “O nkosi yami, sonke sizophephuka!” Kodwa uThembela akesabi lutho. Ugxuma aphume embhedeni agijime ehlele esitezi esingezanzi. Ushesha afake amabhuzu akhe athathe isambulela sakhe, aphumele phandle ngokuzethemba. Umoya uyahhewula, uza uphenduphenduka, nemvula nayo ayiyekile ukuna, nezulu liduma liqhume laphaya phezulu.

“Yimina, Moya,” kusho uThembela. “Kungani uthukuthele kangaka? Ngabe ucabanga ukuthi ngempela akekho umuntu okuthandayo? Akunjalo. Unomsindo futhi uyabanda, kodwa uyathokozisa – futhi ngiyakuthanda. NGIYAKUTHANDA MOYA!”

Ngokushesha, kwanqamuka ukuduma, wonke amafu amnyama ahamba. Emva kwesikhashana nje yase inyamalele nemvula. Uthe uma ebheka phezulu uThembela, wabona ukuthi izulu selicwebile. Kunenyanga egcwele, nezinkanyezi zithi benye benye. Manje umoya omzungezile usuphephetha kancane, uphakamise isambulela sakhe bese umqabula izihlathi kancane.

“Ngiyabonga, Moya,” kusho uThembela. “Ngiyabonga ngokuxosha imvula.”

UThembela wabe esephenduka ebuyela endlini. Usesiza ukusukumisa u-Anti Ida ngemva kukasofa amenzele inkomishi yetiye eshisayo.

“O nkosi yami,” kusho u-Anti Ida, “angiwuthandi nhlobo umoya.” Kodwa uThembela uvele amamatheke nje.