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Icebo lonwabu oluvilaphayo

Author

Ibhalwe nguPirai Mazungunye

Illustrator

Imidwebo idwetshwe nguVian Oelofson

Emandulo, emuzini owawunokuthula wakwaMudavula, kwakuhlala unwabu olwaluvilapha kabi. Ngaleso sikhathi, izilwane zazilima ukuze zizondle zona kanye nemindeni yazo. Zonke zazilima ngaphandle kukaNwabu. Ngenxa yobuvila bakhe, wayengafuni ukusebenza njengezinye izilwane. Kunalokho, wayecabanga isu elibheke eceleni ukuze aboleke kwezinye izilwane ukuze aphile kahle.

 

Ngomunye uMsombuluko ekuseni, uNwabu wahamba waya kuNogwaja ukuze ayokwenana impuphu. Ngaphambi kokuthi afike emzini kaNogwaja, waguqula umbala wesikhumba sakhe usuka konsundu uya koluhlaza okotshani.

 

“Ngicela ungenanele impushana,” kucela uNwabu.

 

“Uzoyibuyisa nini?” kubuza uNogwaja.

 

“Ekupheleni kwenyanga!” kwethembisa uNwabu.

 

UNogwaja wagcwalisa ibhakede elalingenalutho elalifike noNwabu. UNwabu wathatha impuphu wabuyela ekhaya, emoyizela ngesikhathi ehamba. Wayecabanga ngamasu akhe abheke eceleni okulutha ezinye izilwane. Wabe eseqamba ingoma emfushane eyayizomsiza ukuthi akhumbule isu lakhe.

 

‘Ngizoguqula imibala yami

Kodwa akekho namunye ozokwazi.

Bengiluhlaza okotshani ngenkathi uNogwaja engibona,

KuSibankwa ngizoba phuzi.

UXoxo uzobona unwabu olumnyama

KuFudu, ngizoba nsundu.

Ngizoyiguqula, ngiyiguqule imibala yami.

Abasoze bazi ukuthi yimina!’

 

NgoLwesibili, uNwabu wavuka elambile. “Angikwazi ukudla iphalishi nsuku zonke. Ngidinga ilayisi!” kwakucabanga uNwabu. “Ngizoguqula umbala wesikhumba sami ube phuzi bese ngiya kuSibankwa. Uma ngikwazi ukulutha wonke umuntu, akekho engizomkhokhela utho!”

 

UNwabu wahamba nebhakede lakhe elingenalutho waya kuSibankwa, nesaligcwalisa ngomusa lathi mfi ilayisi. UNwabu wethembisa ukukhokhela uSibankwa ekupheleni kwenyanga.

 

NgoLwesithathu, ngemuva kokupheka ilayisi, uNwabu walibuka ngokudumala ipuleti lakhe. “Cha! Cha! Ilayisi elingenalutho nje alimnandi. Ngidinga inyama!” uNwabu wayecabanga isikhathi esijana. “UXoxo uzonginika inyama!” kunquma yena.

 

UNwabu waguqula umbala wesikhumba sakhe waba mnyama wayesegijima eya emzini kaXoxo nebhakede lakhe elingenalutho. UXoxo wagcwalisa ibhakene lakhe ngenyama. Waphinda, unwabu wethembisa ukukhokhela uXoxo ekupheleni kwenyanga.

 

“Ngikhumbule izithelo. Ave ngizidinga!” kwakucabanga uNwabu ngoLwesine. “Ngubani onezithelo?” kwakucabanga uNwabu, enwaya ikhanda lakhe. “UFudu! Yebo, uFudu!”

 

 

UNwabu waguqula umbala wesikhumba sakhe waba nsundu emva kwalokho waya kuFudu nebhakede lakhe elingenalutho. Wacela kuFudu izithelo, noFudu waligcwalisa ibhakede lakhe ngobhanana, amawolintshi namahhabhula.

 

“Ngiyabonga, ngiyabonga, Mnu. Fudu. Ngizokukhokhela ekupheleni kwenyanga,” kusho yena ethembisa.

 

Ngaso sonke isikhathi uNwabu wayeqhubeka ecula ingoma yakhe ukuze akwazi ukukhumbula amasu akhe emibala.

 

‘Ngizoguqula imibala yami

Kodwa akekho namunye ozokwazi.

Bengiluhlaza okotshani ngenkathi uNogwaja engibona,

KuSibankwa ngizoba phuzi.

UXoxo uzobona unwabu olumnyama

KuFudu, ngizoba nsundu.

Ngizoyiguqula, ngiyiguqule imibala yami.

Abasoze bazi ukuthi yimina’

 

Ngenkathi kufika ukuphela kwenyanga, izilwane zalinda uNwabu ukuthi afike azozibuyisela ayekade ekwubolekile. Kodwa-ke uNwabu akazange eze.

 

Kwaqala uNogwaja waya emzini kaNwabu. “Nina enihlala lapha! Nina enihlala lapha!” kwakumemeza uNogwaja ngeliphezulu esangweni.

 

UNwabu walunguza ngewindi. Ngenkathi ebona uNogwaja, wakhumbula ingoma yakhe. “Awu, Mnumzane Nogwaja, ngangiluhlaza okotshani ngenkathi ngenana impuphu yakho,” kwasho uNwabu ngaphakathi. Ngokushesha, waguqula umbala wesikhumba sakhe waba phuzi emva kwalokho waqonda esangweni eyohlangana noNogwaja.

 

“Ngifuna unwabu oluluhlaza okotshani,” kwasho uNogwaja emangele.

 

“Unwabu oluluhlaza okotshani? Ngihlala ngedwa mina lapha. Ngisanda kufika esikhathini esingeside,” kusho uNwabu eqamba amanga kuNogwaja.

 

UNogwaja wahamba uNwabu wase ebuyela emuva endlini yakhe. “Mina ave ngiyisihlakaniphi,” kwakuqhosha uNwabu ephimisela, egxumela kusofa.

 

Ngezinsuku ezalandelayo, uSibankwa, uXoxo noFudu bafika naob befuna unwabu olwalufike luzokwenana ilayisi, inyama nezithelo kubo. Unwabu lwazidida ngasinye lezi zilwane ngokuguqula umbala wesikhumba salo ukuze zingaluboni.

 

Kwedlula enye inyanga. UNogwaja, uSibankwa, uXoxo kanye noFudu bahlangana eduze kwesihlahla samaganu ukuze baqoqe izithelo zaso ezimnandi ezimbala osagolide. Ngesikhathi ebuka ubhasikidi onamaganu, uFudu wathi, “Unwabu oluluhlaza okotshani seluthuthele emzini wonwabu olunsundu. Loluya nwabu olunsundu lungikweleta ibhakede eligcwele izithelo.”

 

“Cha,” kwasho uNogwaja. “Unwabu oluphuzi luhlala kuleya ndlu. Ngifuna unwabu oluluhlaza okotshani olungikweleta ibhakede lempuphu.”

 

“Lutho,” kwasho uSibankwa. “Unwabu olumnyama luhlala kuleya ndlu. Ngifuna unwabu oluphuzi olungikweleta ibhakede lelayisi.”

 

“Cha,” kwasho uXoxo. “Unwabu olunsundu luhlala kuleya ndlu. Mina ngifuna unwabu olumnyama olungikweleta ibhakede lenyama.”

 

Ngemva kwalokho uSibankwa wathi, “Kungenzeka yini ukuthi unwabu olulodwa olusiluthile sonke ngokuguqula umbala wesikhumba salo? Masihambeni siye emzini walo ngesikhathi esisodwa.”

 

Nebala uNogwaja, uSibankwa, uXoxo kanye noFudu bahamba baya emzini kaNwabu bafike bamemeza bethi makaphumele phandle.