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Isuphu yexhegokazi

Author

Wendy Hartmann

Illustrator

Natalie and Tamsin Hinrichsen

Translator

Kholisa Podile

Kudala-dala kwakukho ixhegokazi elalithengisa eyona suphu ibalaseleyo emarikeni yaselalini. Yisuphu emnandi, eshushu yenkukhu. Akukho mntu owayelazi igama leli xhegokazi. Akukho mntu wayelazi ukuba lalihlala phi. Akukho nomntu owayesazi ukuba kwakutheni yayinencasa kangako isuphu yakhe nokuthi kwakutheni yayiba shushu kangako. Babengazicingi nokuzicinga ezi zinto. Babethenga isuphu batye kuphela. Qho kusasa, eli ixhegokazi lalisiya emarikeni. Lalisoloko lithwala imbiza enkulu emnyama ezele yisuphu yenkukhu entloko lize lihlale nayo phantsi komthi emthunzini. Kungekudala lilapho, beliza kuba seliyithengise yaphela isuphu. Emva koko beliqhinela imali yalo elaphini, liyifake epokothweni, lithwale imbiza yalo engenanto entloko, landule ukuhamba.

 

 

Kwakukho inkwenkwe eyayibizwa ngokuba nguFezile eyayihlala elalini kufuphi nemarike. Yayithanda le suphu yenkukhu kakhulu. Enyanisweni, yayiyithanda kangangokuba yayingeneli yiyo. Yafuna ukwazi ukuba ingaba eli xhegokazi elalisenza isuphu emnandi kangaka lalivela phi. Ngenye imini ixhegokazi lathwala imbiza yalo entloko laze lemka emarikeni, uFezile walilandela. Wayehamba ngokuqaphela emana ezifihla ngezithunzi, emva kwemithi namatyholo, ukuze lingamboni. Walilandela umgama omde, omde ohla ngendlela ephumayo elalini iphinde inyuke iqhina. Wayesaqabela phezulu, phezulu, phezulu xa ilanga litshona. Wayesoyika uFezile kodwa waqhuba ngokuhamba.

 

Ekugqibeleni ixhegokazi lafika endlwini encinane phezulu endulini eseqhineni. Labeka imbiza phantsi phambi kwendlu. UFezile walinda ukuba ixhegokazi lide lingene endlwini lize livale umnyango. Wachwechwa wasondela ukuze akrobe phakathi embizeni. Ngephanyazo, uFezile weva sekuvuleka umnyango. Wakhawuleza wazifihla apho wayeza kulibona lula ixhegokazi. Lahamba laya embizeni laqala lacula: 

“Mbiza emangalisayo, mbiza emangalisayo

Ndenzele isuphu, ibe shushu, shushu, shushu.

Yenza isuphu yenkukhu. Yenza isuphu yenkukhu.

Yenza isuphu ukuze ndithengise nokuthi abantu bathenge.

Owu mbiza emangalisayo, owu mbiza emangalisayo!”

 

Kwangoko imbiza yazala yisuphu yenkukhu! Kwakuphuma umphunga embizeni enkulu emnyama kanti nevumba layo lalimnandi kakhulu wade waziva elambile uFezile. Lakuba libuyele endlwini ixhegokazi, uFezile wachwechwela embizeni enkulu. Wakroba ngaphantsi kwayo. Nangona imbiza yayizele ntli yisuphu eshushu yenkuku, kwakungekho mlilo uvutha phantsi kwayo. “Kufuneka ndifumane intwana yale suphu,” wathetha yedwa uFezile. “Ndilambe kakhulu!” Wolula isandla sakhe waze wasifaka embizeni ukuze athathe iqhekeza lenkukhu. Ngephanyazo laphuma endlwini ixhegokazi laza lambhaqa uFezile esasifake embizeni isandla sakhe. “OWU! Owu! Owu!” lakhala. “HAYI! HAYI! HAYI!” Wajika uFezile wabaleka ngamendu kangangoko wayenakho. Ixhegokazi lamleqa, lingxola, kodwa zange likwazi ukumbamba.

 

 

UFezile wabaleka, wabaleka wade ekugqibeleni, wafika ekhuselekile ekhaya. Waxelela umama notata wakhe ngako konke malunga nexhegokazi nangembiza yalo emangalisayo. Bonke baphuma phandle baphakamisela amehlo abo endulini, baze bawubona umphunga owawunyuka usiya phezulu esibhakabhakeni. “Ewe,” batsho abazali bakaFezile, “jongani phaya. Siyawubona umphunga ophuma embizeni emangalisayo.” Zange liphinde libuyele emarikeni ixhegokazi futhi akukho mntu owakhe waya endulini eseqhineni ukuya kulityelela. Wonke umntu wayesoyika kakhulu. Kodwa ukususela ngoko, xa kukho umntu waselalini obona amafu ajikeleze najinga phezu kwenduli, kwakusithiwa, “Jongani! Jongani phaya phezulu! Ngumphunga ophuma embizeni emangalisayo yexhegokazi.”