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Umncane kakhulu

Author

Ibhalwe nguDorothy Dyer

Illustrator

Imidwebo nguMagriet Brink noLeo Daly

UMama Tau wayesebuyela ekhaya! Wayekade engekho isikhathi eside esayofunda, kanti umndeni wakhe wawumkhumbule. Wonke umuntu wayethakase kakhulu. Kodwa uThapelo, omncane kunazo zonke izingane, wayethakase ngokwedlulele.

Ngosuku lokufika kukaMama Tau, umndeni wachitha isikhathi sasekuseni ulungiselela. Ilanga lalibalele phandle. UThapelo wayekhahlela ibhola lakhe liya le nale otshanini. Wayefuna ukuthi unina abone ukuthi ikhono lakhe lokudlala ibhola selingcono kangakanani kusukela agcina ukumbona. “Bamba leli, Bless,” esho ememeza inja. Kodwa-ke uBless wavele walibuka nje ibhola maqede wangena endlini.

UThapelo wayilandela inja wayeseyocinga udadewabo omdala, uRefilwe. URefilwe wayengudijeyi. Wayezizwa ekahle ngangokuthi izibuko zakhe zelanga wayezifake ngisho engaphakathi endlini. URefilwe wayesekamelweni lakhe ehlanganisa umculo azowudlala ngenkathi uMama engena emnyango ongaphambili. “Angeke ngiwudlale lo mculo werephu ahlale ekhononda ngawo,” kwasho uRefilwe. “Namuhla sizozwa umculo wejezi kuphela. Uzoba ngendlela nje ethandwa nguMama.” Wayesekhipha izibuko zakhe zelanga qede wacifela uThapelo iso. “Mhlawumbe wena ungadansa noMama.”

Emva kwalokho uRefilwe wabe esefaka izilalelisi zakhe ezindlebeni maqede waqala ukunqekuzisa ikhanda enanela umculo.

“Ngingakusiza?” kwabuza uThapelo.

“Ini?” kwabuza uRefilwe, esusa izilalelisi ezindlebeni. “Ubuthini?”

“Ngingakusiza na?” kumemeza uThapelo.

“Asikho isidingo sokumemeza,” kwasho uRefilwe. “Ngikuzwa kahle kakhulu.” Emva kwalokho wayesenikina ikhanda. “Konke lokhu kusekhompiyutheni, Thapelo. Ngakho-ke, angeke ukwazi ukusiza. Umncane kakhulu.”

UThapelo wahamba wayocinga umfowabo, uSaul. Wayesekhishini, ebhaka elinye lamakhekhe akhe ekhethelo. Noma nini uma kukhona umcimbi okhethekile, uSau1 wayenza ikhekhe. Ngosuku lokuzalwa lukaThapelo lwakamuva, wayenze ikhekhe likashokoledi elinamaSmatisi phezulu.

USaul wayegqoke iphinifo elinemithende egovuza inhlama yekhekhe esitsheni esikhulu. “Leli yikhekhe likalamula,” kwasho uThapelo. “Ngelithandwa kakhulu nguMama.”

“Ngingakusiza?” kwabuza uThapelo.

“Cha,” kwasho yena. “Ngenkathi ugcina ukungisiza wawisa iqanda. Ngiyaxolisa, Thapelo. Umncane kakhulu.”

Wahamba wayocinga omunye udadewabo, uMampotoko, owayefaka imihlobiso egunjini lokuphumula. Kwakukhona amaketango enziwe ngamaphepha kanye namabhaluni. “Ngingakusiza?” kwabuza yena.

“Nakhu, bheka ukuthi uzokwazi yini ukuwafutha,” kwasho yena, enikeza uThapela amabhaluni ambalwa. Wakhetha elibomvu wayeseqala ukufutha. Wazama wazama kodwa wehluleka ukufutha umoya owanele kulo.

“Hawu cha,” kwasho yena ngokudangala. “Ngimncane kakhulu.”

Ngakho uThapelo wahamba wayocinga uBaba. Wamthola ehleli ngasetafuleni, egoqela uMama umgexo wobuhlalu. “Lo mgexo unemibala yakhe ayithandayo,” kusho yena. “Obukhwebezane noluhlaza okotshani. Kuhle lokhu, angithi?”

UThapelo wabona iphepha lokugoqa elinezinkanyezi.

“Ngingakusiza ukuthi ugoqe umgexo?” kwabuza uThapelo.

“Cha, phephisa, Thapelo, umncane kakhulu,” kwasho uyise.

UThapelo wazizwa edangele. Wabuka inja yakubo, uBless, ihlezi eduze kukaBaba. “Woza, Bless,” washo ememeza. Kodwa-ke uBless wamane wazihlalela laphaya. “Ngisho noBless ucabanga ukuthi ngimncane kakhulu,” kucabanga uThapelo.

UThapelo waphumela phandle wahlala esitubhini esingaphambili. “Ngifisa sengathi ngingakhula ngibe mude njengesiqhwaga,” kucabanga yena. “Lapho-ke bonke bayongesaba futhi akekho namunye oyothi, ‘Umncane kakhulu.’”

Ngaleso sikhathi nje wayesezwa ukumemeza okukhulu kuphuma ngaphakathi endlini. “Bless! Bless, buya!”

UBless wagijima wedlula ngakuThapela nasekhoneni lendlu. Ngemuva kukaBless kwakugijima uBaba. Emva kwakhe kwaba nguSaul. Kwalandela uRefilwe. Kwase kuphinda kulandela uMampotoko. “Le nja isintshontshe isipho sikaMama!” kuthetha uBaba ngenkathi edlula ngakuThapelo. NoThaphelo wahlanganyela nabo naye esejaha uBless.

UBless wagxuma wangena ngembobo othangweni, wangena egcekeni lakwamakhelwane. “Buya, Bless!” basho bememeza. Kwathi ngemuva kwesikhashana uBless wabuya ... kodwa engasasiphethe isipho!

“Hhayi bo, usishiye kwamakhelwane!” kubhavumulala uBaba. “Kanti nabakwaSithole abekho kuyoze kube kusasa. Ngakho, isipho sizobambeka ngaleya kocingo bayoze babuye!”

“Ngingachusha ngingene embotsheni ngisilande isipho,” kwaphakamisa uThapelo.

“Cha,” besho bonke kanyekanye. “Umkhu- ...” Bama ngqi. Babuka uThapelo.

“Ungakwazi ukwenela lapha?” kwabuza uRefilwe.

“Ngabe umncane ngokwanele?” kwabuza uSaul.

UThapelo waguqa phansi wayesezimpintshela emgodini. Wavele walingana.

Ngaleya, otshanini begceke lakwaSithole, kwakukhona isipho esigoqiwe, sinendawana encane nje edabukile ephepheni lokugoqa. Wasicosha isipho emva kwalokho wayesechusha futhi ebuyela ohlangothini olungapha kocingo.

“Hha, Thapelo,” kwasho uBaba. “Uyisimanga uqobo!”

“Ihlombe malishaywe kathathu kwenzelwe uThapelo!” kwasho uSandile, bonke base bemsingatha.

Kamuva ngaleyo ntambama kwezwakala ukungqongqoza emnyango. Kwabe kunguMama! UThapelo wagijima eya ezingalweni zikanina.

“Awuve usukhulile, mfana wami,” kwasho yena. “Awuzibuke ukuthi usumude kangakanani manje.”

“Kodwa ngisemncane kakhulu, Mama,” kwasho yena.

“Cha bo!” bamemeza bonke.

“Cha, awumncane!” kwasho uBaba, “Unobukhulu obufanele nje!”