Inyoni yezulu | Nal'ibali

Inyoni yezulu

Author

Joanne Bloch

Illustrator

Mieke van der Merwe

Translator

Itjhugululwe nguNomsa Mtsweni

Enarheni ebizwa ngokuthi yi-Gabon, ithreste elincani lakhiwe ekupheleni kwehlathi. Phakathi kwehlathi leli, phezulu emagatjeni womuthi omkhulu, kuhlala inyoni ekhethekileko –  inyoni eyenza izulu.

Kusukela ekadeni ngendlela abahlali bangakhumbula ngayo, bathethe isikhathi sabo ukwenza inyoni le ihlale ithabile. Babulunga iintshutshuru zobuboro, iintokakana zeenthelo nebisi elihlaza lekhukhunathi, begodu iveke neveke iinqhema ezimbili zabahlali bezithatha ukudlokhu bakuse ehlathini, lokha nabakubeka ngaphasi komuthi, omunye wabo uzakudlala ingoma elula ngepiyano yomuno. Ngemva kwesikhatjhana, inyoni yehlele phasi izokudla beyisele. Ithi ingaqeda, ithome ivume ingoma emnandi khulu. Ngesikhathi eso, ivule iimpiko zayo ezilihlaza-samkayi ezirhanyazelako, ngesikhatjhana, izulu lithome ukuna.

Lokhu kwenzeka iminyaka eminengi. Ngombana izulu belihlala lina, iintjalo bezikhulu ngobunengi begodu bekunokudla okunengi ethresteni. Kodwana kancani kancani izinto zathoma ukutjhuguluka. Ngandlela thileko, abahlali bebahlala bamatasatasa base bathoma ukungasatjheji inyoni yezulu. “Izulu belina nanyana kunjalo,” batjho njalo. “Sikhathi sokulisa ukudedesisa inyoni edala etshanyileko leya!”

Kodwana abantu bebanamanga. Lokha nabalisa ukutlhogomela inyoni, izulu khange lisana. Iintjalo zathoma ukoma nokufa, iinlwana zonda zababuthakathaka. Nanyana kunjalo, akekho noyedwa ethresteni owaya ehlathini ukuyokupha inyoni eletha izulu. Kwanjesi besele bamatasatasa bazama ukuthola imali bayokuthenga ukudla edorobheni eliseduze.

Web-the-rain-bird-spread-2Ngelinye ilanga elalitjhisa khulu, umntazanyana obizwa ngokuthi nguKhethi wacabanga ukuya ehlathini nakuphuma isikolo. “Mhlambe kuzakuphola ngaphaya,” uyazicabangela. Wakhamba, wakhamba, ngemva kwesikhatjhana, wafika emthini omkhulu lapho kwakuhlala khona inyoni yezulu. UKhethi waqala phezulu emthini. Masinyana, wakhumbula kobana ugogwakhe wakhe wamthatha wakhamba naye baya ehlathini ukuyokupha inyoni asesemntwana omncani. UKhethi wavula ibhege yakhe yeencwadi wase ukhupha isitokana soburotho esisele ngesikhathi sesidlo semini.  Ngokutlhogomela wabeka uburotho ngaphasi komuthi. Ngombana bekangayiphathi ipiyano yomuno, wavuma ingoma yakade ebekasoloko ayazi ipilo yakhe yoke.

Ngelikhulu itjhada, inyoni ehle ehlaza-satjani yaphuma hlangana namagatja ngehla kwehloko kaKhethi beyathoma yadla uburotho. Lokho inyoni nayiqedako ukudla, yavula umlomo wayo yavuma amanothi amnandi wephimbo eliphezulu. Yase iphakamisa iimpiko zayo ezirhanyazelako, msinyana uKhethi wezwa ukuraramba kombani. Ngesikhathi afika ekhaya, amathosi amakhulu besele abetha phasi, apholisa umhlaba obovu ingathi ngewokubhaga.

UKhethi wathaba khulu, waze wacocela ababelethi bakhe bonyana kwenzekeni. “Ungabi sidlhadlha wena!” Kuthukana unina. “Akekho umuntu osakholwa ukuthi inyoni leyo ngiyo eletha izulu!”

“Unyoko uqinisile,” kutjho uyise kaKhethi. Ukoma sekuphelile kwanjesi begodu sizakwaneliseka. Ungakhambi uyokumotjha uburotho ngokuyokupha inyoni edala  enomrhobholo leya godu.

Nanyana uKhethi angakhenge aphikisane nababelethi bakhe, wazizwa akholwa kobana bayaphosisa. “Ngathana uGogo bekasaphila,” watjho azicabangela, “bekazongikholwa!” kodwana ugogo kaKhethi wahlongakala iminyaka embalwa edlulileko. Into eyodwa uKhethi ayitjhiyako, bekuyipiyano kagogwakhe edlalwa ngomuno.

Kwadlula iimveke ezimbili, akhange kube nezulu. Iintjalo zathoma ukutjhwaba godu, begodu iimbambo zeenlwana ezilambileko zaphumela ngaphandle ngokudluleleko. Ilanga liphuma emkayini ohlaza-satjani litjhisa ngokunganamusa. “Anginandaba bonyana bathini!” kucabanga uKhethi. “Sidinga izulu. Ngiyoyipha godu inyoni kusasa!”

Ekuseni ngelanga elilandelako, emva kokuthatha isineyi soburotho nomomori obovu ozele isandla ngekhwitjhini, uKhethi wakhukhutha waphuma ngendlini. Wathatha indlela etjhinga phakathi ekabeni yehlathi. Lokho angakhenge akutjheje, kukobana uyise naye wayevukile. Lokha nakabona lokho okwakwenziwa yindodakazi yakhe, wayelela bonyana uyokupha inyoni yezulu godu. “Umntwana ongalaleliko lo ngizamfundisa isifundo!” kwatjho uyise kaKhethi ngokukwata azikhulumela yedwa. Warhwatjha umcibitjholo wakhe walandela uKhethi ehlathini ngokuthula.

Ngesikhathi inyoni nayehlela phasi iyokudla ukudla uKhethi ayibekele khona, uyise wakhupha umcibitjholo wadubula ngesungulo lokufa.  Isungulo latjhinga poro ehliziyweni yenyoni. Inyoni yarhuwelela kabuhlungu. UKhethi, watjhuguluka – ngesikhathi esifaneleko wabona uyise nakawela phasi, wafa khona lapho. UKhethi warhuwelela bewatjhuguluka – ngesikhathi lapho umcibitjholo uwa emzimbeni wenyoni odzegemako unganabungozi.   Khona lapho inyoni, ingakalimali, yeqela egatjeni lomuthi eliphakeme khulu.

UKhethi waphuma wabaleka endaweni yamatlhuwo. Isilwana esinye nesinye nomuntu omunye nomunye ambonako wayelele phasi afile. Ngehliziyo ebethela phezulu, wagijima njalo bewayokungena ekhaya. Masinyana wathola ipiyano kagogwakhe edala yomuno.  “Lokhu kulithemba lami lokugcina!” kucabanga  uKhethi. “Inyoni yezulu ikwatile. Kufanele ngiyenze ithabe godu! NGIFANELE!”

Ngemva kwesiquntu se-iri, uKhathi besele asemthini omkhulu. Umzimbakhe bewumanzi ngengurumela begodu bekanande akhokha ummoya. Amatriya ambalwa ukusuka kuye kwakulele umzimba kayise ongasenapilo. UKhethi waqala eqadi msinyana, ngezandla ezidengezelako, wathoma wabetha ipiyano yomuno.

Wadlala, wadlala, iminwakhe yaze yaba buhlungu. Ekugcineni, lokho agade akufuna khulu ephasini kwenzeka. Inyoni yehlela phasi sengathi akhenge khekwenzeke litho.  Inyoni yadla omunye umomori egade usasele phasi yase ivuma amanothi ambalwa. Kusenjalo, lokha uKhethi nakaragela phambili nokudlala ipiyano, inyoni yaphakamisa amaphiko wayo… UKhethi wezwa uburhwatjharhwatjha ngemva kwakhe. Bekunguyise obesele avukile. “Ngiyacolisa!” wacolisa ngokubuyelelweko enyonini, ekulu elihlaza-satjani. Wase ululela isandla sakhe endodakazini yakhe, base bakhamba kancani babuyela ethresteni. Ehresteni woke umuntu neenlwana bese baphilile godu.

Ngalobo busuku izakhamuzi zethreste zabamba umhlangano. Boke bavumelana ngokobana bafunde isifundo esiqakathekileko.  Ukusukela ngelangelo ukuya phambili, akhenge khekudlule ngitjho neveke yinye kungakathathwa ikhambo lokuya ehlathini ukuyokupha inyoni elethe izulu.