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Uhla lukaPalesa

Author

Helen Brain

Illustrator

Mieke van der Merwe

Translator

Malungi Mbhele

“Kumele ngiyothenga,” kusho uMama, ebhala uhla lokuyothengwa. “Ngidinga iklabishi, nenyama, no-anyanisi, ufulawa, imbiliso, namafutha.”  

 

“Ngizokuyela emakethe,” kusho uGogo. “Umatasatasa wena lapha. UPalesa uzohamba nami angiphathise uma sesibuya.”  

 

“Ngiyabonga,” kusho uMama. “Ungakhohlwa uhla lwezinto ezizothengwa.”  

 

Ngakho-ke uGogo noPalesa basuka baqonda erenki yamatekisi.  

 

“Yini esiyoyithenga, Gogo?” uPalesa ebuza, ehamba egxumagxuma.  

 

“Ake ngibone,” kusho uGogo, efunda uhla. “Sidinga iklabishi, nenyama, no-anyanisi, ufulawa, imvubelo namafutha.”  

 

“Iklabishi, nenyama, no-anyanisi, nofulawa, nemvubelo namafutha,” kucula uPalesa, ephendula uhla lokuzothengwa elwenza iculo. “Iklabishi, nenyama, no- anyanisi, ufulawa, imvubelo namafutha.”  

 

Yaze yafika itekisi yabacosha. “Niyaphi?” kubuza umshayeli.  

 

“Siya emakethe,” kuphendula uGogo. “Siyothenga igilosa.” Washo emkhombisa uhla lwakhe lwezinto ezizothengwa.  

 

“Kunjalo,” kusho uPalesa. “Sidinga iklabishi, nenyama, no-anyanisi, ufulawa, nemvubelo namafutha.”  

 

Itekisi yama eduze nesihlahla esikhulu. Owesifazane omkhulukazi wangena etekisini nengane yakhe ekhalayo.  

 

“Hhayi,” kusho uGogo. “Le ngane iyakhala bo, seyize yangiphathisa nangekhanda. Palesa, uze ungikhumbuze ngithenge namaphilisi ezinhlungu.”  

 

“Kulungile,” kusho uPalesa. “Sidinga iklabishi, nenyama, no-anyanisi, ufulawa, u-ayisikhilimu namafutha. Namaphilisi ezinhlungu.”  

 

Itekisi yahamba ngesivinini esikhulu, ishaya uhuthi yayo. Masisha babe sebefikile emakethe. Kwakuphithizela nje ngabantu. Kwakunemipheme edayisa izithelo nemifino, inyama nenhlanzi, izicathulo namasokisi, iziketi namalokwe. Kwakunemipheme eyayidayisa amakhekhe nezinkwa, amabhulashi namakamu nensipho, nensipho yokuwashisisa nofulawa nokhukhunathi. Kwakunamafutha, ibhotela, nezimbewu, namahalavu, namabhodwe, namapani, nezimbuzi nezinkukhu. Nakuphi lapho amehlo ayebuka khona, kwakunabantu, abantu, abantu, bethenga, bethenga, bethenga.  

 

“Baze babaningi abantu,” kusho uGogo. “Kambe, luphi uhla lwami? Angilutholi ndawo.”  

 

“Hawe ma,” kusho uPalesa. “Ngicabanga ukuthi ulushiye etekisini. Ungakhathazeki. Ngiyazikhumbula izinto okufanele sizithenge. Bekuyimpuphu, nenyama, no-anyanisi, nofulawa, u-ayisikhilimu namafutha. Namaphilisi ezinhlungu.”  

 

“Kulungile,” kusho uGogo. “Asiqale sithenge-ke. Kambe, sizoyithola kuphi impuphu?”  

 

Umpheme wokuqala abedlula kuwo wawudayisa impuphu, ngakho bathenga isaka lempuphu elikhulu.  

 

“Kulungile,” kusho uPalesa. “Manje sidinga kuphela inyama, u-anyanisi, ufulawa, ushukela, u-ayisikhilimu namafutha. Namaphilisi ezinhlungu.”  

 

“Unesiqiniseko sokuthi unyoko ufuna ushukela?” kubuza uGogo. “Mina ngibone isikhwama esikhulu sikashukela ekhabetheni ekhaya.”  

 

UPalesa wenwaya ikhanda lakhe. “Umm! Mhlawumbe bekungewona nje amaswidi?”  

 

“Uqinisile,” kusho uGogo. “Ngineqiniso lokuthi ubefuna amaswidi.” Ngakho bathenga iphakethe elikhulu lamaswidi. Okulandelayo kwaba umpheme owawudayisa izithelo nemifino.  

 

“UMama wakho ubengayidingi nje imifino?” kubuza uGogo, ebuyisa izinhlonze. “Angisakhumbuli.”  

 

UPalesa wabuka isixheke sikabhanana. Wawuconsisa amathe. “Ngifisa sengathi singathenga ubhanana,” kusho yena. “Singawuthenga bandla, Gogo?”  

 

UGogo wabukeka edidekile. “Angisazi-ke manje. Bewukhona ohleni?”  

 

“Impuphu, amaswidi, ubhanana, ufulawa, u-ayisikhilimu, namafutha, namaphilisi ezinhlungu,” kucula uPalesa.  

 

“Awuboni-ke ntombazane,” kusho uGogo, ethenga isixheke sikabhanana. “Uhlakaniphe kabi, buka nje ukuthi uyikhumbula kahle kanjani yonke into. Manje asithenge ufulawa, u-ayisikhilimu namafutha, bese siyagoduka. Izinyawo zami sezibuhlungu kabi!”  

 

“Ungakhohlwa amaphilisi ezinhlungu,” kusho uPalesa.  

 

Ngakho uGogo wathenga ibhodlela lamaphilisi, ufulawa, u-ayisikhilimu. namafutha, nebhodlela likadilinki.  

 

Wagwinya amaphilisi amabili wehlisa ngodilinki.  

 

“Nansi itekisi,” kusho yena. “Uziphathe kahle kakhulu. Phuza nanku udilinki uwuqedele njengoba sesibuyela ekhaya nje.”  

[A/w 04] 

 

UMama wamangala ukubabona sebebuya ngokushesha okungaka. “Nenze kahle kakhulu,” kusho yena. “Ngiyabonga ngokungiyela ezitolo. Manje kufanele ngiqale ukupheka isitshulu sami esimnandi senyama neklabishi, nesinkwa.”  

 

“Iklabishi?” kusho uPalesa. “Bewuthe sithenge iklabishi?”  

 

“Inyama?” kusho uGogo. “Bewuthe sithenge inyama?”  

 

UMama wakhipha izimpahla ezikhwameni. Wagqolozela igilosa nebhodlela lamaphilisi ezinhlungu.  

 

“Yini le?” ebabaza. “Impuphu, uswidi, ubhanana, ufulawa, u-ayisikhilimu namafutha. Ngizozenzani lezi zinto mina?”  

 

“Oh, nkosi yami,” kusho uGogo.  

 

“We ma,” kusho uPalesa.  

 

“Ngininikeze uhla lwezinto ebenizozithenga,” kusho uMama. “Yini ningathenganga izinto ebezisohleni?”  

 

“Lulahlekile,” kusho uGogo. “Ngilukhohlwe etekisini.”  

 

“Ngiyaxolisa,” kusho uPalesa, washo eqala ukukhala.  

 

“Kungcono ngoba nithenge amaphilisi ezinhlungu,” kusho uMama. “Sengivele ngaphathwa ikhanda njengoba ngizama ukucabanga ukuthi ngizophekani nje namhlanje! Bengithi ngizopheka isitshulu seklabishi. Manje angisazi!” Wagwinya amaphilisi amabili ngengilazi yamanzi wayolala phansi. UMama wayecasuke kakhulu.  

 

UGogo noPalesa bahlala etafuleni lasekhishini. Babezisola kakhulu.  

 

“Manje sengiyakhumbula,” kusho uPalesa. “BELIKHONA iklabishi ohleni.”  

 

UGogo wanqekusiza ikhanda. “UMama ubefuna inyama futhi, no-anyanisi.”  

 

UGogo wanqekusiza ikhanda. “UMama ubefuna inyama futhi, no-anyanisi.”  

 

“Kukhona namafutha amaningi,” kusho uGogo. “Futhi kukhona nofulawa. Ngiyazi kukhona noshukela ekhabetheni, namaqanda ambalwa. Yini singakusebenzisi lokhu ukwenza ama-banana fritters?”  

 

“Ncam,” kusho uPalesa, elanda indishi enkulu yepulastiki ekhabetheni.  

 

“Mina, thatha, uhlube ubhanana,” kusho uGogo, eqhafaza amaqanda ewafaka endishini.  

 

Emva kwesigamu sehora uPalesa wangqongqoza egumbini lokulala. “Mama,” embiza, “Ngikulethele into emnandi.”  

 

“Ngena,” kusho uMama.  

 

UGogo wavula isicabha, welekelela uPalesa ukuphatha ithileyi. Ngokucophelela balibeka phezu kombhede.  

 

“Sikulethele itiye,” kusho uGogo, “ukuze sixolise.”  

 

“Futhi sikwenzele ama-banana fritters,” kusho uPalesa.  

 

UMama wahlala ngesinqe embhedeni. “Ama-banana fritters. NGIYAWATHANDA ama-banana fritters.”  

 

Bonke baqala ukuphuza itiye badla nama-banana fritters no-ayisikhilimu. Lapho sebeqede ipuleti lonke lama- fritters, akekho owayesalambile. UMama akazange apheke sidlo sasebusuku ngalelo langa.  

“Ulale kahle, Palesa,” kusho uMama ngesikhathi sokulala, washo emqabula.  

 

“Ngokulandelayo uma ngiya kothenga noGogo, ngiyethembisa ukuthi ngizoluphatha kahle uhla lwezinto ezizothengwa, ukuze uGogo angalukhohlwa etekisini futhi,” kusho uPalesa. “Ulale kahle, Mama.”