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Isipaji sikamamlambo

Author

Jude Daly

Illustrator

Magriet Brink

Translator

Umguquli: Nobuntu Stengile

Kwakusebusuku kakhulu ngexesha awabiwa ngalo bubuthongo uNolitha, entloko kuye kwakusazele oomamlambo, izinja zaselwandle kunye noomatiloshe. Phandle kwakuqhakraze iinkwenkwezi kwaye inyanga yaseAfrika yayinabise amathunzi kumhlaba owomileyo. Ngengomso wayezakuya elwandle okokuqala ebomini bakhe.

Uhambo lwavakala lulude kakhulu. Badlula kwiinduli ezibrawuni ezazenze ulundi baza badlula nakumajikojiko endlela esentabeni. Kodwa ke, ekugqibeleni, uNolitha wasibona isiphelo somhlaba nalapho utshona khona kulwandlekazi olukhulu.

Kwavakala umoya onetyuwa usiza kuNolitha. Amaza ayebetheka esenza isandi ngathi kuyaduduma. Amangabangaba ayephaphazela ekhala. Oogwidi babezijula ngezithongakazi emanzini. Encwadini yakhe yemifanekiso kwakungenje! Lo gama uMama wayekhupha izinto, uNolitha wazulazula ebuka eli lizwe litsha, apho iinkumba zaselwandle ezinamaqokobhe ajikojiko zazizifihla kwintlabathi emanzi, zize iintlanzi zibaleke zizimele kumadanyana aphantsi kwamatye.

Mermaid-1-finUNolitha waqokelela oonokrwece kuquka nemali kamamlambo, wasele eguquka eba ngomnye wezandi namavumba aselwandle, njengokuba wayesondela kukrozo neengqumba zamatye. Emi phezulu ematyeni wawangawangisa ngesandla esenzela uMama uphawu oluthi, “Ungahlupheki, akukho monakalo.” Emva koko wabala imali yakhe kamamlambo waza wacinga ngendlela aza kuyichitha ngayo.

“Lixesha lesidlo sasemini,” wakhwaza uMama.

Ayisaphele kwakamsinyane nje intsasa! Kodwa umoya waselwandle wawumlambise kakhulu uNolitha kwaye amaqebengwana kaMama awenziwe ngesonka sombona obomvu kunye nentlanzi enongwe bumuncwana ayemnandi kakhulu.

Emva kwesidlo sasemini, uNolitha noMama baqubha ngasenxwemeni bemana betsiba phezu kwamaza ze baphinde badudulwe ngawo ukuya elunxwemeni, de uMama wathi, “Shu, Nolitha ndidiniwe ngoku, ndifuna ukuphumla!” Ngoko ke uNolitha wabuyela kwasematyeni apho wafika wazolula waza wamamela ingonyana eyenziwa ngamaza aselwandle.

Kwaphuma inja yaselwandle emanzini. UNolitha wayeqinisekile ukuba yinja yaselwandle, kuba wayeyibonile imifanekiso yazo. Okomzuzwana, amehlo ayo amakhulu nalusizi amjonga. Kwa-oko yaphinda yanyamalala. Kwakamsinyane ke kodwa, yaphinda yavela yaza yaphumela ematyeni. UNolitha wahlala apho emangalisiwe … yayingeyonja yaselwandle ngoku, yayiyinkwenkwe!

Le nkwenkwe yaye isondela ngokusondela yaze yabeka into ethile phambi kukaNolitha. Emva koko yajika yabuyela emanzini. Ngokuthandabuza, uNolitha wayichola loo nto waze wayiguquguqula ngezandla zakhe. Yayisisipaji sikamamlambo. Sasingesihle ngako!

UNolitha waphakama efuna ukubulela inkwenkwe leyo. Kodwa, phambi kokuba akwazi ukwenza oko, yamthi krwaqu nje yabe seyizijula elwandle. Kwathi xa umzimba wayo udibana namanzi, yaphinda yaguquka yaba yinja yaselwandle.

“Nolitha, Nolitha,” wakhwaza uMama, “lixesha lokugoduka!”

UNolitha waqokelela yonke imali yakhe kamamlambo wayifaka esipajini sikamamlambo. Waza wangena endleleni eya kuMama, emane enyeka, ejonga elwandle umzuzu nomzuzu. Kodwa zange abone nja yaselwandle, engazange abone nankwenkwe; ngaphandle kwamaza awayesondela elunxwemeni abuye abuyele phakathi elwandle.

Njengokuba behamba ebusuku, begoduka, uNolitha wabonisa uMama isipaji sikamamlambo esihle.

Mermaid-2-fin-lores“Kuyamangalisa ke oku!” watsho uMama.

UNolitha wabalisela uMama malunga nenja-kwenkwe yaselwandle ethe yamnika isipaji eso.

“Kumangalisa nangakumbi ke oko!” watsho uMama.

Lo gama uNolitha ozelayo, uMama wancuma uncumo lweengcinga ezinzulu wasebeza esithi “Kwakulapho kanye apho ndayibonayo khona nam ndiseyintombazanana encinane.”