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Yilowo nalowo ubalulekile

Author

NguKai Tuomi

Illustrator

Imidwebo nguNatalie kanye noTamsin Hinrichsen

Translator

Ihunyushwe nguDumisani Sibiya

Ngolunye usuku uMandla wayezihambela nje ngenkathi esebona uNdlovu ezithela ngamanzi emfuleni. UNdlovu wayebukeka ejabule kakhulu ngalowo mzuzu. Wayedamane ebhakuzisa amagwagwa ezindlebe zakhe ezithela ngamanzi esebenzisa umboko wakhe.

            “Sawubona mngani,” kubingelela uMandla, evayizela uNdlovu.

            UNdlovu wambukela laphaya phansi uMandla maqede waphakamisa umboko wakhe.

            “Yebo, Mandla,” kuphendulau Ndlovu ngezwi lakhe elibhodlayo.

            “Lowo mboko wakho omkhulu uyamangalisa,” kusho uMandla.

            “O, usho njalo?” kusho uNdlovu ewubuka. “Sengathi unjalo, angithi?”

            “Kumele kube mnandi ukuzithela ngamanzi uma kushisa,” kusho uMandla.

            “Kanti-ke akukhona lokho kuphela engikwazi ukukwenza,” kusho uNdlovu. “Ngiyakwazi phela ukusebenzisa umboko ukukha izithelo ezihlahleni kanye nokuhlephula amagatsha imbala. Ngiphinde ngiwusebenzise ukwenza umsindo omkhulu uma ngithanda. Ngiwukhipha umsindo wakhona kube sengathi ngishaya icilongo. Awuthi ke ngikukhombise.”

            UNdlovu wawelula umboko wakhe. Bhru, bhru, bhru! Kwaphuma umsindo omkhulu oyisimanga. Waduma maqede kwenanela izihlahla, izinyoni ezisesihlahleni esiseduze zasuka zandiza. UMandla yena wavele wagida ndawonye ehleka.

            “Kuyisimanga-ke lokhu,” kusho uMandla. “Sengathi ngabe nginawo nami umboko njengawe.”

            UMandla washiya uNdlovu ezidlalela emfuleni, wangena ekujuleni kwehlathi. Waphakamisa ingalo yakhe wayibeka ngaphambi kwekhala, wayigoba ingalo wagoqa ngesandla sakhe ukuze kubukeke sengathi naye unomboko wendlovu. Wase ezama ukukha ihlukuzo lezindoni esihlahleni somdoni. Kodwa-ke wayengabhekile lapho eya khona … NGQUBU! Wazishayisa kokuthile.

            “Awu we ma-a-a,” esho evuma phansi.

            Wayezishayise entweni enombala onokunsundu nokusawolintshi. Kwakusengathi le nto isuka phansi esihlabathini iye phezulu emithini.

            “Kwenzekani laphaya phansi?” kusho izwi eliphuma le phezu.

            “Nguwe kanti, Ndlulamithi!” kusho uMandla ebheka phezulu.

            “Yini leyo?” kubuza uNdlulamithi.

            “Yimina, uMandla!”

            “Uthi ungubani?” kubuza uNdlulamithi.

            Ikhanda elikhulu ekugcineni kwentamo ende lehla ledlula emithini.

            “Yebo, sawubona, Mandla,” kwasho uNdlulamithi.

            “Yebo, Ndlulamithi; ngiyaxolisa ngokuzithela phezu kwakho. Bengenza sengathi nginomboko njengoNdlovu kanti angisabhekile lapho ngiya khona.”

            “Wena ube nomboko njengoNdlovu?” kubuzisisa uNdlulamithi.

            “Umboko kaNdlovu uyamangalisa, ngikutshele,” kwasho uMandla. “UNdlovu uyakwazi ukuzithela ngamanzi ngawo, akhe izithelo ezihlahleni aphinde enze umsindo omnandi osamculo.”

            “Hhayi-ke,” kusho uNdlulamithi, “kuzwakala kungukuhlakanipha lokho, kodwa mina ngikwazi ukwenza okungaphezu kwalokho ngale ntamo yami endekazi.”

            “Okunjengani nje?” kubuza uMandla.

            “Ngikwazi ukufinyelela ngaphezu kwezihlahla lapho kunamaqabunga amnandi ngokwedlulele khona. Ngiyakwazi nokuqalaza yonke indawo ngibone uma kukhona ingozi. Nolimi lwami futhi lungolwekhethelo,” kwasho uNdlulamithi. “Lude kakhulu.” UNdlulamithi wakhipha ulimi lwakhe olubukhwebezane. “Futhi luyigqinsi ngempela, okusho ukuthi ngiyakwazi ukudla ngisho amaqabunga ezihlahla ezinameva. Phela izihlahla ezinameva zinamaqabunga ehla esiphundu ngempela,” kugcizelela uNdlulamithi.

            “Yisimanga lesi ongitshela sona,” kusho uMandla. “Nami ngifisa sengathi ngabe ngimude njengawe, Ndlulamithi, ukuze ngibuke phezu kwezihlahla, nami ngidle lawo maqabunga olokhu ungiqhoshela ngawo.”

            “Musa ukudlala wena,” kusho uNdlulamithi. “Abafana abawadli amaqabunga. Washo wangikhumbuza ukuthi sekufanele ngiyodla isidlo sasemini futhi. Ngizobuye ngikubone, Mandla.”

            Wasuka lapho uMandla wangena ehlathini ephakamisele izingalo zomibili emoyeni ezama ukwenza okunjengentamo ende yendlulamithi, eqala nokunqampuna amaqabunga ezihlahleni.

            “Ucabanga ukuthi wenzani wena?” kubuza izwi elipholile.

            UMandla wagxuma wahlehla ngokwethuka.

            “Bengingaqondile ukukwethusa,” kwasho izwi elipholile. Ehlathini kwaphuma inyamazane encane empunga egqize ngombala omhlophe ngemuva.

            “UPhiva!” kwasho uMandla. “Uyisilwane esithule kunazo zonke.”

            UPhiva wafa amahloni. “Ave ulungile, Mandla. Ukuthula kuyangisiza ukuthi ngihlale ngiphephile. Angizithandi zonke lezi zilwane ezibanga umsindo.”

            “Kuzwakala kuyisu elihle ukuhlala uzithulele,” kwasho uMandla. “Ngifisa sengathi ngabe ngiyakwazi ukunyonyoba njengawe, Phiva.”

            “Uboke ukuzame nawe lokho! Kuyokuthatha isikhathi eside ukukwejwayela uze ukwazi njengami. Hhayi-ke, izobonana, Mandla,” kwasho uPhiva, enyelela engena ehlathini futhi.

            UMandla wanyonyoba wangena ehlathini ehamba ngamanzonzwane njengoPhiva. Uthe esacathama kanjalo waqhuzuka, wawela enqumbiniyamacembe. Kwezwakala uhleko nje luphuma ehlathini, uMandla wabona umbala ompunga uthi shalu ngenkathi uPhiva engena ezihlahleni. UMandla wasukuma waziqinisa, wagijima ehlathini esebheke endlini yakhe elapho okuvuleke khona. Unina wayematasa eneka izingubo.

            “Mama?” kusho uMandla ngelipholile.

            “Kwenzenjani, Mandla?” kubuza unina. “Yini ubukeke ungathokozile nje?”

            “Mama, kungani mina ngingenawo umboko njengoNdlovu? Kungani ngingenayo intamo ende njengoNdlulamithi? Futhi yini ngingakwazi ukucathama njengoPhiva? Zonke lezi zilwane zihlakaniphile, kanti mina angizizwa ngikhethekile.”

            Unina kaMandla wagoba maqede waqabula uMandla esiphongweni.

            “Mandla, ukuba ubunomboko njengoNdlovu bengingeke ngikwazi ukukuqabula lapho usuyolala. Futhi ukuba ubunentamo ende njengoNdlulamithi ngabe angikwazi ukukubamba ngikugone ezingalweni zami ngidlale nawe. Ake ucabange nje ukuthi ukuba ubuthula njengoPhiva, bengingeke ngikwazi ukukuthola kalula ngikuwole ezingalweni zami.”

            Unina kaMandla wambamba wamsondeza kuye. “Yilowo nalowo unokubalulekile, okukhethekile ngaye. Mina ngikuthanda njengoba unje. Futhi kimina ungowekhethelo ukwedlula zonke izilwane ezikhona lapha ehlathini,” kusho unina.

 

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