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Umlingo wezinwele

Author

Mbali Kgame

Illustrator

Magriet Brink and Leo Daly

Translator

Dumisani Sibiya

UZinhle wayekuthanda ukweqa ingqathu enkundleni yokudlala nabangani bakhe oSindi noZongi. Kunento eyodwa nje eyayimkhathanza. Lapho abangani bakhe beqa ingqathu, izinwele zabo zazinyakaza ziye phezulu naphansi, futhi zinyakaze ziye lena nalena. UZinhle wayenezinwele ezithambile eziwugqinsi olwenza isimo esiyindilinga enkulu, futhi zazinganyakazi ngendlela efanayo nezabangani bakhe.

NgoMgqibelo mumbe ekuseni uZinhle wabuza unina, “Mama, kungani izinwele zami zingakhuli njengezinwele zabangani bami? Izinwele zabo ziyandiza nje uma beqa ingqathu. Zibonakala zizinhle! Kungenza ngiphatheke kabi ukuthi izinwele zami azinyakazi kanjalo. Zihlala zithule nje!” “Izinwele zakho zingase zehluke kwezabangani bakho, kodwa nazo zinhle nje njengezabo!” kwasho uMama. UZinhle waba nobuso obudangele, kodwa unina wammoyizelela. “Bheka eduze kwakho, Zinhle,” kusho yena. “Izinwele zakho zikhula zisuka ezimpandeni ziye phezulu, njengezihlahla kanye nezitshalo. Kanti ziyindilinga futhi zinkulu, zifana ncamashi nomhlaba esiphila kuwo. Ungadlala ngazo nawe bese wenza amaphethini nezimo ezinhle kuzo. Izinwele zakho ziwumlingo – futhi lokho kungokwekhethelo!”

 

La mazwi amenza uZinhle wajabula. Wagijima waphumela phandle eyotshela abangani bakhe ngezinwele zakhe eziwumlingo. Kodwa wathi lapho etshela uZongi kanye noSindi ukuthi uMama utheni, bavele babhekana base bephela yinsini.

“Zingaba wumlingo kanjani izinwele?” kubuza uZongi. “Ha-ha-ha!” kuhleka uSindi. “Ungahlekisi kanjalo, Zinhle! Umlingo? Lutho!”

Amehlo kaZinhle agcwala izinyembezi, kodwa akazange akhale. Wayengasafuni ukuthi uZongi noSindi baphinde bamhleke.

Khona ngaso leso sikhathi, amantombazane ayesebona uGogo ewaqhweba. Wayemile emnyango oseduze.

“Bhekani, uGogo uyasibiza,” kwasho uZinhle.

 

Izingane ezintathu zazithanda ukusiza uGogo. Wayezixoxela izindaba eziningi futhi ezinikeza nezithelo ezomisiwe njalo nje uma zimvakashele. Ngakho uZinhle, uZongi noSindi baphuthuma baya kuGogo ukuyothola ukuthi wayebabizelani. “Angiphilile kahle namuhla,” kwasho uGogo. “Ngifuna ukunithuma niye kwaNtuli niyongitholela umuthi.”

Izingane zadumala ukuzwa ukuthi uGogo wayengaphilile kahle zase zivuma ukuthi zihambe ziyomtholela umuthi.

“Ngizonidwebela ibalazwe ukuze ningeduki,” kwasho uGogo. “Ibalazwe lizosiza ukuniholela emzini kaBaba uNtuli, uzoninikeza amakhambi athile.” Emva kwalokho uGogo wangena ngaphakathi wayothatha iphepha nepensela ukuze adwebe ibalazwe. Wabheka ediloweni, kodwa kazange athole phepha. “Kuzomele ngenze elinye isu,” kwasho yena. Wayesebheka ngokucophelela intombazane ngayinye. Emva kwalokho wayesethi, “Zinhle, unezinwele ezinhle kakhulu. Zibonakala ziqinile. Ngizokweluka imiqhino ukuze ngenze ibalazwe ezinweleni zakho. Ibalazwe lizonisiza ukufika kwaNtuli.”

 

UGogo wahlala esihlalweni sakhe esibomvu asikhonzile, uZinhle wayesehlala ecansini phambi kwakhe. UGogo wayeseluka izinwele zikaZinhle. Amanye amantombazane abuka ngokulangazelela. Ngenkathi uGogo ekama ebuye eluka amaphethini ahlukahlukene, uZongi noSindi bamangaliswa wubude bezinwele zikaZinhle.

“Hawu! Umama wakho uqinisile,” kwasho uSindi. “Izinwele zakho IMPELA ziwumlingo! Zibukeka zimfishane ngempela, kodwa zinde kunalokhu okucabangayo!”

“Yiqiniso,” kwasho uZongi. “Yinto engalindelekile le!”

UZinhle wamoyizela ngenjabulo lapho ebabheka. Lapho uGogo eseqedile ukweluka izincwele zikaZinhle, imigqa yayibukeka nje njengebalazwe eliqondisa izingane kwaNtuli! Ngesikhathi behamba ezigwaqaneni eziyimincingo esigangeni, uZongi noSindi babelokhu bema bebheka izinwele zikaZinhle ukwenza isiqiniseko sokuthi basahamba ngendlela efanele. Ngenkathi behamba, babecula ingoma abaziqambele yona:

 

“UGog’ akaphilile kahle,

UGog’ akaphilile kahle. Siya kwaNtuli, siyoland’ amakhathakhathana – amakhathakhathan’ okuphilis’ uGogo!”

Ekugcineni izingane zafika kwaNtuli. Lapho-ke uBaba uNtuli wazinikeza amaphakeshana amabili emithi kaGogo. Endleleni ebuyela ekhaya, amantombazane asebenzisa ibalazwe lemigqa yemiqhino esekhanda likaZinhle ukuwaqondisa. Athi uma esefika ephephile emzini kaGogo, amnikeza umuthi.

Ngakusasa ekuseni, uZinhle, uZongi kanye noSindi bahamba baya emzini kaGogo ukuze bayobona ukuthi wayesengcono yini. Lapho befika khona, bamthola enisela isivande sakhe.

“Sanibonani, zingane zami,” kwasho uGogo emoyizela kakhulu. “Ngizizwa ngingcono kakhulu namuhla, konke ukubonga ngikwedlulisa kini!”

Amantombazane ajabula ukuzwa ukuthi ayemsizile uGogo, kodwa ayecabanga ngokunye futhi.

“Gogo, ngingacela yini ukuba ungeluke izinwele zami ngendlela efanayo nalena owenza ngayo izinwele zikaZinhle?” kucela uSindi.

“Nezami futhi, ngiyacela!” kwasho uZongi.

“Nakanjani,” kwasho uGogo. “Ngenani ngaphakathi.”

 

Ngesikhathi sezindaba esikoleni ngakusasa ekuseni, abangani abathathu batshela ikilasi labo ngezitayela zabo zezinwele eziwumlingo. Ngesikhathi sekhefu, base beqala nje ukweqa ingqathu ngenkathi ezinye izingane zicela ukubona imiqhino eyayenza ibalazwe eliya kwaNtuli. “Kungumlingo ngempela,” kwasho othile, bonke abanye bavuma.