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UKoketso ulahle iinkukhu

Author

Patricia de Villiers

Illustrator

Vian Oelofsen

Translator

Nobuntu Stengile

Qho kusasa uKoketso wayencedisa umakhulu wakhe ekupheni iinkukhu ukutya kwihoko yazo engemva kwezindlu.

 

“Tyip, tyip, tyip,” wayekhwaza atsho uMakhulu zize iinkukhu zize zibaleka kuye. “Koko, koko, koko” zazisabela zitsho. “Koko, koko, kooooko!” Xa uMakhulu noKoketso bengqiyama ngocingo ukuze basasaze iinkozo zombona ngaphaya kwalo, iinkukhu zazityhalana, zibhabhazele, zijikeleze, zizame ukutsibana enye phezu kwenye, iyileyo ifuna ukufika kuqala ekutyeni.

 

UKoketso wayesoloko ezibala iinkukhu. “Inye, zimbini, zintathu, zine iinkukhu” wayesitsho, “kwakhona inye, zimbini, zintathu, zine iinkukhu. Ziphelele iinkukhu, Makhulu!”

Ngenye intsasa ukuvuka kwakhe uKoketso wabona umakhulu enxibe ibhatyi yakhe entle ethwele nomnqwazi.

 

“Kufuneka ndiye kuncedisa uNkosikazi Solomon ekliniki kusasanje,” ucacise watsho uMakhulu, “ngoko ke andinalo ixesha eloneleyo lokupha iinkukhu ukutya. Ungakwazi ukuzipha ukutya wedwa, Koketso? Uyayazi into ekufuneka uyenzile.”

 

UMakhulu wathabatha ibhegi yakhe waze wavula umnyango wangaphambili. Waguquka, wajonga kuKoketso wathi, “Ungalibali ke ukuzigalelela amanzi iinkukhu, kwaye, nangaphantsi kwayiphi na imeko, UNGAKHE UZIVUMELE ukuba ziphume ehokweni!”

 

“Owu, Makhulu,” watsho uKoketso, “Ndiyayazi nje LOO NTO!”

 

“Kulungile ke, ndiyathemba ukuba uyakuqonda oko ngenene,” watsho uMakhulu. “Ulumke ke! Sakubonana ukubuya kwam. Sala kakuhle, Koketso.”

Emva kokuba emkile umakhulu, uKoketso wahlala phantsi watya isidlo sakhe sakusasa. “Ndilambe kakhulu,” watsho ezithethela. “Ezo nkukhu kuza kufuneka zindilinde umzuzwana!”

 

UKoketso watya isitya esikhulu sesidudu waza wasela neglasi yobisi. Emva koko wahlala phantsi esitupini, watya i-apile.

 

“Molo!” watsho ebulisa uTatomkhulu uKoos xa wayedlula ngendlela eqhuba itroli yakhe ehamba kunye nenjana yakhe encinane.

 

“Molo, Mama!” watsho ephakamisa isandla, ejolise kuNkosikazi Zihlangu owayephesheya kwendlela.

 

“Pinky, yiz’odlala,” wakhwaza umzala wakhe, owayephuma evenkileni esekoneni, ephethe ilofu yesonka.

 

“Hayi uxolo, andikwazi. Ndinemisetyenzana ekufuneka ndiyenze,” wakhwaza watsho uPinky ukuphendula. “Akunanto kufuneka uyenzile wena?”

 

Uthe ke ngoko uKoketso wakhumbula ukuba akakaziphi ukutya iinkukhu. “Owu nkosi yam,” watsho, “ezaa ntsizana zeenkukhu zisalambile!”

 

Kwakunjalo kanye kuba, iinkukhu zazingxola, zisilwa kuloo hoko yazo. UKoketso wavula isango ngononophelo. “Tyip, tyip, tyip,” watsho. “Uxolweni, zinkukhu, naku ukutya kwenu.” Wasasaza iinkozo zombona apho phantsi.

 

“Inye, zimbini, zintathu, zine iinkukhu,” wazibala, “kwakhona inye, zimbini, zintathu, zine iinkukhu.”

 

Kusenjalo waqaphela ukuba isitya samanzi eenkukhu somile, asinamanzi waze wakhawuleza ukuya kukha amanzi ekhitshini – kodwa walibala ukuvala isango leenkukhu emva kwakhe!

 

“Owu hayini!” watsho uKoketso ukubuya kwakhe namanzi xa ebona iinkukhu zibaleka zigqiba iyadi yonke. “Owu hayi, hayi, hayi! Iinkukhu ezingevayo! Buyani NGOKU!”

Kodwa iinkukhu zaqhubeka zibaleka – zajikela ngaphaya kwendlu, zaphuma ngesango elikhulu, zehla ngendledlana, zangena esitalatweni!

 

Kwathi gqi indoda ekhwele ibhayisekile etyheli.

 

“Nceda! Nceda!” wakhwaza elila uKoketso. “Khawundincedise ukubamba iinkukhu zikaMakhulu!”

 

“Kulungile ndiza kukunceda,” yatsho loo ndoda, yaze yasukelisa ngaloo bhayisekile yayo, ikhalisa nentsimbi yebhayisekile.

Uthe njengokuba uKoketso ebaleka emva kwale ndoda, waphantse wabetheka kwinqwelwana kaTatomkhulu uKoos.

 

“Nceda! Nceda!” watsho uKoketso ekhefuzela ngumbefu. “Tatomkhulu uKoos,

khawundincedise sibambe iinkukhu zikaMakhulu!”

 

“Kulungile ndiza kukuncedisa,” watsho uTatomkhulu uKoos, waza waleqa iinkukhu emva kwendoda ekhwele ibhayisekile etyheli. Injana yakhe nayo yayibaleka emva kwakhe, ikhonkotha, ingxola.

 

Uthe lo gama uKoketso ebaleka esihla ngendlela emva kukaTatomkhulu uKoos, wabona umhlobo wakhe, uDikeledi. UDikeledi wayeziqhelisa ukutshibilizisa iskateboard sakhe.

 

“Nceda! Nceda, Dikeledi!” wakhwaza uKoketso. “Khawundincedise ekubambeni iinkukhu zikaMakhulu.

 

“Kulungile ndiza kukuncedisa,” watsho uDikeledi eleqeka emva kweenkukhu naye.

 

Njengokuba uKoketso wayebaleka emva koDikeledi wayecinga ngazo zonke izinto ezimbi ezazinokwehlela iinkukhu. Zazinokutshayiswa ziimoto, okanye zityiwe zizinja. Okanye, zazinokweyela nasemlanjeni, zirhaxwe. “Owu nkosi yam, uya kuthini uMakhulu?” watsho ekhefuzela. Wayenga angalila.

 

“Jonga ndifumene ntoni!” kwatsho ilizwi. Yayilaa ndoda ibikhwele ibhayisekile etyheli. Yayiphethe iinkukhu ezimbini izifake eplastikini yegrosari.

 

“Inye, zimbini iinkukhu,” wabala uKoketso. “Owu, enkosi! Ngoku kufuneka ndikhangele ezinye.”

 

Kanye ngalo mzuzu uTatomkhulu uKoos wafika nezinye iinkukhu ezifake kwikhadibhodi evulekileyo ekwinqwelwana yakhe. “Nazi iinkukhu zakho, mntwan’am!” watsho ekhefuzela.

 

“Inye, zimbini, zintathu, zine iinkukhu” kwabala uKoketso. “Oku kuthetha ukuba ngoku inye, zimbini iinkukhu endizinikwe yindoda ekhwele ibhayisekile etyheli, kwaye inye, zimbini zintathu, zine iinkukhu endizinikwe nguTatomkhulu uKoos. Owu enkosi, enkosi kakhulu! Ngoku kufuneka ndikhangele ezinye.”

 

Kuthe kanye ngaloo mzuzu, wathi gqi uDikeledi etshibiliza ngeskateboard sakhe. “Jonga ndifumene ntoni, Koketso!” watsho ethe khwa inkukhu ekhwapheni lakhe.

 

“Oko ke kuthetha ukuba inye, zimbini, zintathu zine iinkukhu,” watsho uKoketso, ze kwakhona ibenye, zibembini, zibentathu iinkukhu. Owu enkosi, enkosi kakhulu! Kodwa kusekho enye inkukhu elahlekileyo!”

 

Abahlobo bakaKoketso bamncedisa ekufakeni iinkukhu ehokweni. Emva koko bamncedisa ukukhangela le nkukhu yokugqibela kuyo yonke indawo, kodwa akwabikho bani uyifumanayo.

 

Wathi akubuya uMakhulu ekliniki, uKoketso wamenzela iti. “Hlala phantsi, Makhulu,” watsho uKoketso. “Inokuba udinwe kakhulu! Hlala phantsi uphunge iti yakho emnandi utye nantsi nebhiskiti!”

 

UMakhulu wamjongisisa uKoketso. “Ingaba akukho nto yonakeleyo?” wambuza. “Awuqhelanga kundenzela ti.”

 

UKoketso wasuka wasitsho isikhalo. “Owu, Makhulu,” wabhomboloza elila watsho. “Kukho into embi eyenzekileyo ngethuba ubungekho!” Waza ke wamxelela umakhulu wakhe lonke ibali. “Kwaye, kwaye, kwaye” wathintitha phakathi kwezo nyembezi, “enye yezi nkukhu isalahlekile. Kwaye yile uyithanda kakhulu – le ingqoqo.”

 

“Yambi ke loo nto, Koketso,” watsho uMakhulu ngqwabalala. “Leyo yeyona ibeka amaqanda amaninzi ngaphezulu kwazo zonke ezinye ezi. Kulungile, ndiyathemba ke ngoku ukuba ufunde ukuba nenkathalo!”

 

“Owu, ndikufundile oko, Makhulu,” wafixiza watsho uKoketso. “Ndikufundile oko ngokwenene!”

 

Kanye ngaloo mzuzu kwavakala ukukokoza ekoneni yekhitshi. Xa uMakhulu noKoketso bejonga, babona inkukhu elahlekileyo. Yayihleli kamnandi phezu kwempahla ecocekileyo kwingobozi yokufaka iimpahla!

UMakhulu wayithatha wayiphulula entloko. “Ndiyavuya ubuyile nje,” watsho uMakhulu.

 

“Jonga, Makhulu,” watsho uKoketso esolatha kwingobozi yokufaka iimpahla, “izalele iqanda!”

 

Apho phezu kwempahla ehlanjiweyo, kwakukho iqanda elikhulu, elibrawuni, nelinamachokoza!

 

“Siza kulitya nesidlo sethu sangokuhlwa,” watsho uMakhulu enika uKoketso inkukhu. “Nceda uthathe le nkukhu uyibuyisele kwasehokweni – kwaye uze ke ungaphindi ulibale ukuvala isango!”