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Uluhlu lukaPalesa

Author

Helen Brain

Illustrator

Mieke van der Merwe

Translator

Sindiswa Mbokodi

“Kufuneka ndiye kuthenga,” watsho uMama, ebhala uluhlu lwezinto aza kuzithenga. “Ndifuna ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neyisti kunye neoyile.”  

 

“Ndiza kuya emarikeni,” watsho uGogo. “Uxakeke kakhulu wena apha. UPalesa angahamba nam ze andincedise ukuthwala zonke ezi zinto sigoduke nazo.”  

 

“Ndiyabulela,” watsho uMama. “Ungalulibali uluhlu lwezinto oza kuzithenga.”  

 

Ngoko ke uGogo noPalesa benjenjeya ukuya kwisikhululo seetekisi.  

 

“Siyokuthenga ntoni Gogo?” Wabuza uPalesa etsiba-tsiba lo gama ahamba noGogo.  

 

“Yithi ndibone,” watsho uGogo, efunda uluhlu. “Sifuna ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neyisti kunye neoyile.”  

 

“Ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neyisti kunye neoyile,” wacula uPalesa, eluguqule uluhlu lwayingonyana emnandi. “Ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neyisti kunye neoyile.”  

 

Yafika itekisi, yabathatha. “Niya phi?” wabuza umqhubi. 

 

“Siya emarikeni,” watsho uGogo. “Siyokuthenga igrosari.” Wambonisa uluhlu lwakhe.  

 

“Kunjalo,” watsho uPalesa. “Sifuna ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neyisti kunye neoyile.”  

 

Iteksi yemisa kufutshane nomthi omkhulu. Inenekazi elinesiqu langena nosana lwalo olulilayo.  

 

“Yho,” watsho uGogo. “Olu sana lulila kakhulu kangangokuba lundenzela intloko ebuhlungu. Palesa, uze undikhumbuze ukuba ndizithengele iipilisi zeentlungu.”  

 

“Kulungile,” watsho uPalesa. “Sifuna ikhaphetshu, nenyama, netswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, neayisikhrimu neoyile. Kunye neepilisi zeentlungu.”  

 

Iteksi yaqhuba ngokungxama, ikhalisa ihutara. Bakhawuleza bafika emarikeni. Kwakuzele abantu yonke nje indawo. Kwakukho iivenkile nezitendi ezithengisa iziqhamo nemifuno, nezithengisa inyama nentlanzi, nezithengisa izihlangu neekawusi, nezithengisa izikeyiti neelokhwe. Kwakukho iivenkile nezitendi ezithengisa iikeyiki nesonka, nezithengisa iibrashi neekama, nesepha nezinto zokucoca, nomgubo wengqolowa nekhokhonathi. Kwakukho ioyile nebhotolo, nembewu nemihlakulo, neembiza neepani, kunye neebhokhwe neenkukhu. Babangajonga ngapha, kwakukho abantu, abantu, abantu, bethenga, bethenga, bethenga.  

 

“Abangaka abantu,” watsho uGogo. “Ngoku, luphi uluhlu lwam? Andilufumani ndawo.”  

 

“Owu torho,” watsho uPalesa. “Ndicinga ukuba ulushiye etekisini. Sukukhathazeka. Ndiyakhumbula ukuba zintoni na ekufuneka sizithengile. Ibingumgubo wombona nenyama namatswele, nomgubo wengqolowa, iayisikhrimu neoyile. Kunye neepilisi zeentlungu.”  

 

“Kulungile,” watsho uGogo. “Masiqalise ukuthenga. Ngoku, siwuthenga phi umgubo wombona?”  

 

Ivenkile yokuqala ababedlule kuyo yayithengisa umgubo wombona, baza bathenga ingxowa enkulu.  

 

 

“Kulungile,” watsho uPalesa. “Ngoku izinto esizifunayo yinyama, amatswele, umgubo wengqolowa, iswekile, iayisikhrimu neoyile. Kunye neepilisi zeentlungu.”  

 

“Uqinisekile ukuba umama wakho ufune iswekile?” wabuza uGogo. “Ndibone ingxowa enkulu yeswekile ekhabhathini ekhaya.”  

 

UPalesa wazonwaya entloko. “Emh. Mhlawumbi ibiziiswiti?”  

 

“Kunjalo,” watsho uGogo. “Ndiqinisekile ubefune iiswiti.” Batsho bathenga ingxowa enkulu yeeswiti. Okulandelayo bafika kwisitendi esithengisa iziqhamo nemifuno.  

 

“Umama wakho khange afune mifuno?” Wabuza uGogo, efinge iintshiyi. “Andikhumbuli.”  

 

UPalesa wajonga iibhantshi ezinkulu zeebhanana. Zabonakala zimnandi kakhulu. “Ndinqwenela ukuba sithenge iibhanana,” watsho. “Singazithenga, Gogo?”  

 

UGogo wakhangeleka edidekile. “Andiqinisekanga. Bezikhona eluhlwini?”  

 

“Umgubo wombona, iiswiti, iibhanana, umgubo wengqolowa, iayisikhrimu neoyile, neepilisi zeentlungu,” wacula uPalesa.  

 

“Ntombazana elungileyo,” watsho uGogo, ethenga ibhantshi yeebhanana. “Ukrelekrele ukuba ungakhumbula zonke ezi zinto kakuhle. Ngoku masithenge umgubo wengqolowa, iayisikhrimu neoyile, size ke sigoduke. Iinyawo zam ziyaqaqamba!”  

 

“Ungazilibali iipilisi zeentlungu,” watsho uPalesa.  

 

UGogo wathenga ibhotile yeepilisi, umgubo wengqolowa, iayisikhrimu neoyile nebhotile yesiselo esibandayo.  

 

Waginya iipilisi ezimbini ngethamo lesiselo.  

 

“Nantsi itekisi,” watsho uGogo. “Ubuyintombazana elungileyo. Gqibezela esi siselo kule ndlela igodukayo.”  

 

UMama wamangaliswa kukubabona sebebuyele ekhaya ngokukhawuleza kangako. “Nenze kakuhle,” watsho. “Ndiyabulela ngokuya kundithengela izinto endizifunayo. Ngoku ndingaqalisa ukupheka inyama yam emnandi nekhaphetshu nesityu, nesonka.”  

 

“Ikhaphetshu?” watsho uPalesa. “Ubusithume ukuba sithenge ikhaphetshu?”  

 

“Inyama?” watsho uGogo. “Ubusithume ukuba sithenge inyama?”  

 

UMama wakhupha izinto ezithengiweyo kwiingxowa zeplastikhi. Wajama engakholelwa koku kuthengiweyo nebhotile yeepilisi.  

 

“Yintoni le?” wakhuza. “Umgubo wombona, iiswiti, iibhanana, umgubo wengqolowa, iayisikhrimu neoyile. Ndimelwe kukuba ndenze ntoni ngezi zinto?”  

 

“Owu torho,” watsho uGogo.  

 

“Yho,” watsho uPalesa.  

 

“Ndininike uluhlu,” watsho uMama. “Kutheni ningathenganga izinto ezikuluhlu?”  

 

“Lulahlekile uluhlu,” watsho uGogo. “Ndilushiye etekisini.”  

 

“Uxolo,” watsho uPalesa, waqalisa ukulila.  

 

“Kungcono ke kuba nizithengile iipilisi zeentlungu,” watsho uMama. “Ngoku ndinentloko ebuhlungu kakhulu kukucinga ukuba ndiza kupheka ntoni ngokuhlwa nje! Bendiza kupheka isityu sekhaphetshu. Ngoku andazi ukuba ndiza kupheka ntoni!” Waginya iipilisi ezimbini zeentlungu ngeglasi yamanzi waza waya kungqengqa. UMama wayekhathazeke kakhulu.  

 

UGogo noPalesa bahlala etafileni yasekhitshini. Beva kakubi kakhulu.  

 

“Ndiyakhumbula ke ngoku,” watsho uPalesa. “Uluhlu BELUNAYO ikhaphetshu.”  

 

UGogo wanqwala. “UMama ubefune nenyama, namatswele.”  

 

UPalesa wajonga ukutya okusetafileni. “Eziya bhanana zikhangeleka zintle kakhulu,” watsho.  

 

“Ininzi ioyile,” watsho uGogo. “Kukho nomgubo wengqolowa. Ndiyazi ukuba ikhona iswekile ekhabhathini, namaqanda ambalwa. Singazisebenzisa ukwenza amaqebengwana ebhanana?”  

 

“Mhmm,” watsho uPalesa, esiya kuthatha isitya esikhulu seplastikhi ekhabhathini.  

 

“Thatha apha, uxobule ezi bhanana,” watsho uGogo, eqhufuzela amaqanda esityeni.  

 

Kwisiqingatha seyure elandelayo uPalesa wankqonkqoza elucangweni lwendlu yokulala. “Mama,” wakhwaza, “ndikuphathele into emnandi.”  

 

“Ngena,” watsho uMama.  

 

UGogo waluvula ucango, wancedisa uPalesa ukuphatha itreyi.  

 

Ngenyameko bayibeka phezu kwebhedi. “Sikuphathele iti,” watsho uGogo, “sizokuxolisa.”  

 

“Sikwenzele namaqebengwana eebhanana,” watsho uPalesa.  

 

UMama waphakama wathi ngcu phezu kwebhedi. “Amaqebengwana eebhanana. NDIYAWATHANDA amaqebengwana eebhanana.”  

 

Bonke bazixakekisa ngokuphunga iti nokutya amaqebengwana eebhanana aneayisikhrimu. Bakugqiba ukutya ipleyiti ezele ngamaqebengwana lawo, akukho mntu wasala esalambile. Kwakungekho mfuneko yokuba uMama abe sapheka isidlo sangokuhlwa ngobo busuku.  

 

“Ulale kakuhle, Palesa,” watsho emphuza uMama ngexesha lokulala.  

 

“Xa ndiphinda ndisiya kuthenga noGogo, ndiyathembisa ukuba uluhlu lwezinto esiya kuzithenga ndakulugcina lukhuselekile, ukuze uGogo angalulibali etekisini kwakhona,” watsho uPalesa. “Ulale kakuhle Mama.”