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Thursday, April 28, 2011


By Lindokuhle Mnisi

Back in 1991 December 08 a hero was born, unintentional and unconsciously. Dreams came true, and the new beginning of great things in people's lives emerged even though for some it was hard to tell that it was a hero being born out of that destitute family. Lots of controversy generated, lots of questions were left unanswered. Sympathy and empathy were intertwined. No-body could turn back the hands of time. People saw it as a mistake, some cursed while some blessed. Some smiled while some seemed confused. But hey! That is not how the true story of my life began.

IN LOTHAIR                                                                                                          Honestly speaking I was born in Lothair, a certain location near Ermelo in Mpumalanga. I was born from a family of four members namely: My mother Thulisile Rebecca Khumalo, my father Michael Kiki Mnisi, my two big brothers Thulani Daniel Mnisi and Bhekani Edward Mnisi. That made me a last born in the family (which is still the case even today).
For me life started when my mother was in labour. You must be curious and intrigued to know what I mean, right? If you are, your answer is easy. My mother didn’t go to hospital to give birth of me, there was no time, I didn’t give her enough time for that because I was so determined to come and kick start my life in this world. By so doing I end up being a home delivery. Out of the pain I have caused her she decided to name me Lindokuhle, which, in Zulu, means she awaits the best out of me. Funny huh? Yeah! But then again that is not how the true story of my life began.

Who is Michael Kiki Mnisi? Did I say my father? NO!!! Sorry I made a mistake, please forgive me. Or maybe he is my father*thinking* eish sometimes I get confused to know if I do have a father or not. That guy has done nothing for me, all he brought was pain and unpleasantness in my world, Oh he gave me a surname (Mnisi) and I love it so much, but what else? Because of him I got the chance to see my mother’s tears, crying when I was 5years old.

*ANGRY* agghah!!! This guy misrepresents fathers. I’m damn glad I don’t look like him, Nxah! This bully drunkard would come home in the middle of the night, around 2am and wake my mother up to demand food. Who bought that food wena baba wena???  Where were you when we had our supper around 20h00pm? No-body would ask him those questions, because we were all afraid of being beaten. Just because the “King Lion” is in the house, everybody must wake up so he could choose who to beat on that day.

I would stand there, short, young and innocent (did he care?) sleepy with my eyes half closed and listen to the noise of crying, screaming and shouting in the house. I could sense and feel the pain that my brothers and mom were going through of being beaten in the middle of the night for no reason.

*SAD* I remember the day when my mom stole me from the house. She jumped with me over the window and we ran away together. (All she wished for was to protect her youngest son, me). I remember bumping on her back, vagabonding, not knowing where to go. She put me down and asked: “where are we going to go to?” She was expecting an answer from me. As a 5years old boy I wouldn’t think of anywhere else except for my friend’s place. “Let’s go to my best friend’s home, they will accept us. I want to sleep,” I replied. She had no choice but to agree with my idea. We both ignored the embarrassment and we went there to ask for a place to sleep. Jah Neh! What an “advantage” of having a father. Do you know what happened to my big brothers that night??? *CRYING*

My brothers were beaten the whole night. They were chased out to go and search for the cattle that the man (father) owned. Thulani and Bhekani were not given a chance to take their clothes and dress themselves to go look for the cows, they went out at night naked and in pains of being beaten. They had to pass by the cemetery because that’s where the cattle would be when they broke the kraal to escape at night. When they couldn’t find them there they decided to go look for a place to sleep at the nearest family members’ house. They spend the night at aunt’s house as naked as they were. The next morning, my mother and I were scared to go back to the house because my mom was afraid of being beaten for running away last night. She decided to flee and leave us alone with our “father” at Lothair. She went to Dundonald to stay there for couple of weeks, staying at my granny’s house. My granny who is the one who received my mother’s Lobola from my “father” chased her away and told her to go back to her house, our home. “Go and face your problems! You think running away will solve any problem. You married him, now go and stay with him!” gogo shouted. Mama came back to stay with us but things were tense in the house.

The situation went on and on, developing and getting worse day by day. Who could stop a giant from smashing an ant? But then there was a time when my mother became strong for herself and us. It was the year 2000. I was then 8years old but more experienced. Mama stood firm and decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Did she murder the bustard??? NO! She wouldn’t do that, but she did something that I’m proud of even today. It was March 2000 and I was doing Grade3. My mom hired a truck to come and collect everything that she bought with her money.
It was so surprising to find out that everything in that house belonged to her. But then again I’m not surprised; the guy, all he bought was alcohol. I don’t remember eating food that was bought by him.

*LOL* I couldn’t stop the laughter when I heard him begging Mama for at least 2-pots, 2-dishes, a cup and at least if she could leave one room roofed. Yerrrrrrrrr!!! The guy had absolutely nothing in that house. Uyaphapha nje kuphela. Ncooah! Shame, mama felt for him and gave him what he asked for; if it was me I would spit on his face and urinate on his toes.
Hahahaha! Hayi suka man!!! The truck was ready to take off. I was seating on mama’s thighs in the truck, my two brothers seating next to us then we drove away. VOOOOOOOM!!!! VOOOO!!!!! GONE!!!!

IN DUNDONALD                                                                                                   That was when we went to a place called Dundonald, A certain village far from Elukwatini and far from Ermelo. That was when and where we started a new life. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it was when we started to live a fresh life. But it was the first time I started to experience how it feels to go house to house begging for food.

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