Story Library

Being told stories and being read to leads children to develop the rich storehouse of language, grammar and vocabulary they need to bring to texts when learning to read and write. 
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Isobho letshe

Author

Ixoxwa kabusha nguHelen Brain

Illustrator

Imidwebo ngu-Alzette Prins

Translator

Umhumushi nguBusisiwe Pakade

Kwesukasukela, kwakukhona indoda eyayiya ekhaya ngemva kokuhamba izindawo eziningi ze-Afrika iminyaka eminingi. Yayizacile futhi ilambile, ingasenamali. “Ngaze ngakhathala bo,” kusho yona ngesikhathi ibashazela emgwaqweni. “Ngifisa sengathi ngabe sengisekhaya embhedeni othambile, nesisu sami sigcwele ukudla okufudumele.”

 

Ekugcineni yafika emzini. “Ehhe, nazi izindlu,” izitshela. “Kukhona umuntu onomusa ozonginika ukudla okufudumele, ngiqinisekile.” Wangqongqoza kulo mnyango nakuloya mnyango, kodwa impendulo yayilokhu ifana:

 

“Hamba. Asinakho ukudla esingakupha khona.”

 

“Uxolo, anginalutho.”

 

“Hamba uyofuna umsebenzi. Angizukukunika lutho.”

 

Indoda yabantu yayidangele kakhulu. Yahlala eceleni komgwaqo yase igebisa ikhanda layo ilibeka ezandleni zayo. “Ngizokwenzenjani?” izicabangela. “Uma ngingakutholi ukudla ngokushesha ngizobulawa yindlala.” Yabuka abantu abedlula ngomgwaqo. “Bonke baya emakhaya bayothola ukudla okushisayo,” kucabanga yona. “Ngifisa sengathi bengingaba ngomunye wabo.”

 

Kusenjalo yafikelwa yiqhinga elihlakaniphile. Yabasa umlilo yase ibeka ibhodwe layo kuwo. Yaligcwalisa ngamanzi kanti kungekudala ase ebila amanzi.

 

“Ngizokwenza …” isho kakhulu, “… isobho letshe eligcwele ibhodwe elikhulu!”

 

Kwadlula abesifazane ababili begoduka besuka emakethe. “Wenzani?” kubuza bona.

 

“Isobho letshe,” kusho indoda.

 

“Isobho letshe?” kusho omunye wesifazane. “Angikaze ngizwe ngalo phambilini.”

 

“Uzofakani kulo?” kubuza owesifazane.

 

“Ngizokukhombisa khona manje,” kusho indoda. Yafaka isandla sayo ephaketheni yakhipha itshe elibushelelezi eliyindilinga. “Ngizofaka leli litshe ebhodweni. Liyisithako esinomlingo. Ngeshwa-ke anginawo u-anyanisi kanye nezaqathi ezimbalwa. Uma benginalokho bengizokwenza isobho elimnandi ngokwedlulele.”

 

“Nakhu,” kusho abesifazane. “Sheshisa ufake lokhu ebhodweni lakho.”

 

Indoda yafaka u-anyanisi kanye nezaqathi ebhodweni yase ivala isivalo. Ngemva kwemizuzu embalwa indoda yezwa isobho letshe. “Yum, yum, yum!” kumemeza yona. “Laze lamnandi isobho bo! Angikaze ngilizwe ndawo elifana nalo. NaseMalawi imbala, lapho kwenziwa khona amanye amasobho anambitheka kamnandi kakhulu.”

 

“Ake ungizwise,” kuncenga omunye wabesifazane.

 

Umngani wakhe wamdudulela eceleni. “Akaqale ngami,” kusho yena.

 

Ngakho-ke indoda yathela isobho letshe enkomishini lase lizwiwa ngabesifazane. Bakhotha izindebe zabo.

 

“Laze lamnandi bo,” kusho abesifazane. “Ungumpheki ophambili ngempela.” Kodwa babefisa ukwazi kabanzi. “Ngabe empeleni ufakeni esobheni?” kubuza bona.

 

“Angeke ngikwazi ukunitshela iresiphi,” kusho indoda. “Iyimfihlo.”

 

Indoda yabona umfanyana ethwele ubhasikidi wemifino. Yalinda umfana waze waba seduze nayo. Yathatha isipuni sayo yase izwa isobho futhi.

 

“Laze lamnandi isobho bo,” isho kakhulu ukuze umfana ayizwe. “Angikaze ngilizwe ndawo elifana nalo. NaseMalawi imbala, lapho kwenziwa khona amanye amasobho aphambili ngempela. Sengidinga nje kuphela isixhawu semifino, ukuze ngilenze libe mnandi ngokungefaniswe.”

 

Umfanyana wama. “Ngizokunika yonke imifino oyidingayo,” kusho yena. “Uzobe-ke sewungivumela ukuthi ngizwe isobho lakho?” kubuza yena.

 

“Yebo, ngizokwenzenjalo,” kusho indoda. Yaphonsa imifino ebhodweni yase igovuza. Yase ithela isobho elincane enkomishini yalinika umfana. “Phela uzozwa isithako esinomlingo,” kusho yona. “Ngabe kodwa alehli esiphundu?”

 

“Lehla esiphundu,” kusho umfanyana. “Ngizotshela wonke umuntu ukuthi eze azolizwa.”

 

Ngokushesha kwase kunojenga lwabantu basemzini ababelinde ukuzwa isobho letshe. Kodwa, ngaphambi kokuba indoda ivumele noma ubani ukuthi alizwe, yacela abantu basemzini ukuthi bayinike ubhatata, ithambo elinenyama kanye nosawoti nophepha omncane. Yafaka konke lokhu esobheni. Ingxube yabila, iya ngokujiya nokuba mnandi umzuzu nomzuzu.

 

Baya ngokwanda abantu abangena ojengeni. Wonke umuntu wayefuna ukufaka okuthile esobheni. Kanti lapho abantu bengeza okuthile, laya ngokunambitheka kangcono isobho, futhi lalokhu likhona isikhathi eside.

 

Ngokushona kwelanga kwase kusuthi wonke umuntu, nebhodwe selingasenalutho. Wonke umuntu wayemamatheka futhi ejabulile. “Le ndoda ingumpheki onekhono,” kusho bona. “Kungenzeka ukuthi ifunde ukupheka esigodlweni senkosi eMalawi.”

 

“Leli isobho elimnandi elidlula wonke engake ngawezwa,” kusho imeya endodeni. “Woza uzolala kwami kusihlwa, embhedeni ontofontofo nobhulankethi ofudumele. Ekuseni uzofundisa ongiphekelayo ukuthi liphekwa kanjani isobho lakho.”

 

Indoda yamamatheka yase igeza ibhodwe layo elingenalutho. Nembala kube yisobho elimnandi ukudlula wonke, kanti yayingazange ilikhokhele nesenti leli. Indoda yafaka itshe layo ephaketheni, yaqukula ibhodwe layo yase ihamba iya endlini yemeya ukuze iyolala kahle.