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Isikhwama senkosazane yasolwandle

Author

Jude Daly

Illustrator

Magriet Brink

Translator

Umuhumushi: Busisiwe Pakade

Kwase kusebusuku kakhulu ngesikhathi uNolitha ezumeka, ekhanda lakhe kwakugcwele amakhosazane asolwandle angumuntu ngenhla nenhlanzi ngezansi, izinja zasolwandle namatilosi. Ngaphandle kwakuthi benye benye izinkanyezi, nenyanga yase-Afrika yayenza amathunzi emhlabeni owomile. Ngakusasa wayezoya ogwini okokuqala empilweni yakhe.

Uhambo kwakungathi alusabafikisi lapho ababeya khona. Babehamba phakathi kwamagquma ansundu ayebelethene bechusha nasezintabeni ezinamawa. Kwathi ekugcineni, uNolitha wabona unqenqema lomhlaba olwalwehlela olwandle olukhulu.

UNolitha wahlangatshezwa umoya ogcwele usawoti. Kwaduma amagagasi. Kwakhala izinyoni zasolwandle. Zaziphoseka emanzini izinyoni okuthiwa yimiphishamanzi. Kwakungenzeki lokhu  encwadini yakhe enezithombe! Ngesikhathi uMama ethulula izimpahla, uNolitha wayehlola lo mhlaba omusha lapho iminenke yasolwandle eyayinamagobolondo azungelezayo yayimba khona esihlabathini esimanzi, nezinhlanzi ziphonseleka ukucasha emanzini asemadwaleni.

Mermaid-1-finUNolitha wacosha amagobolondo kanye nemali yenkosazane yasolwandle, wade ephenduka uma ezwa imisindo nephunga lasolwandle, ngesikhathi eya emadwaleni ayehlangene. Esephezu kwamadwala, uNolitha wathathazelela uMama wakhe echaza ukuthi “konke kusahamba kahle”. Wabe esebala imali yakhe yenkosazane yasolwandle, ephupha nangokuthi konje uzoyisebenzisa kanjani.

“Isikhathi sesidlo sasemini manje,” kumemeza uMama.

Sasheshe sadlula isikhathi sasekuseni! Kodwa, umoya wolwandle wase umlambise kakhulu uNolitha, kanti amasemishi esinkwa sommbila nenhlanzi enongiwe ayemnandi kakhulu.

Ngemuva kwesidlo sasemini, uNolitha noMama babhukuda emanzini angashoni kakhulu, bede beqa  amagagasi, babuye bagijime babuyele osebeni, uMama waze wathi, “Cha, Nolitha, manje sengidinga ukuphumula!” Ngakho uNolitha wabuyela emadwaleni lapho azelula khona walalela umsindo, iculo elilalisayo lamagagasi olwandle.

Kwavumbuka inja yasolwandle yaphumela ngaphandle kwamanzi. UNolitha wayenesiqiniseko sokuthi kwakuyinja yasolwandle, njengoba wayezibonile izithombe zazo. Amehlo ayo amakhulu adangele ambuka isikhashana. Yase inyamalala. Kodwa kungakapheli nasikhathi eside, yaphinde yavumbuka yaqhwakela edwaleni. UNolitha wayehleli emangele. Kwakungaseyona inja yasolwandle, kwase kuwumfana manje!

Umfana wasondela, waphinde wasondela, wabeka okuthile ngokucophelela phambi kukaNolitha. Wase ephenduka ebuyela emanzini. UNolitha wathatha leyo nto wayiphendula esandleni sakhe, emanqikanqika. Kwakuyisikhwama senkosazane yasolwandle. Sasisihle kakhulu!

UNolitha wasukuma ukuze abonge umfana. Kodwa, ngaphambi kokuba enze njalo, umfana wabheka emuva wambuka, wase eziphonsa olwandle. Kanti, ngesikhathi umzimba wakhe ungena emanzini, waba inja yasolwandle futhi.

“Nolitha, Nolitha,” kumemeza uMama, “sekuyisikhathi sokugoduka!”

Mermaid-2-fin-loresUNolitha waqoqa yonke imali yakhe yenkosazane yasolwandle wayifaka esikhwameni senkosazane yasolwandle. Wabuyela kuMama, elokhu ejeqeza emuva olwandle. Kodwa akabonanga nja yasolwandle, namfana; ngamagagasi ayegubha kuphela.

Ngesikhathi behamba ebusuku, uNolitha wabonisa uMama isikhwama esihle senkosazane yasolwandle.

“Saze sasihle!” kusho uMama.

UNolitha wase etshela uMama ngenja yasolwandle eyaphenduka umfana eyayimnikeze sona.

“Kwakuhle  kakhulu-ke nalokho!” kusho uMama.

UNolitha, wazunywa ubuthongo, uMama wamamatheka kancane wamhlebela ukuthi, “Kwakuyilapho kanye lapho ngangiyibone khona ngiseyintombazanyana.”