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UNgwenya nenkwenkwe elahlekileyo

Author

Ann Walton

Illustrator

Natalie kunye noTamsin Hinrichsen 

Translator

Welekazi Ngece 

Kudaladala, inkwenkwana yayihleli ilila phantsi komthi wamafiya asendle ngakudonga lomlambo omkhulu. Yayilahlekile.  

 

Kude kufuphi nenkwenkwana, uNgwenya wayezibhuqabhuqa emanzini kwinyele yomlambo ebukele inkwenkwana. UNgwenya wayelambile.  

 

“Ndakuyitya njani inkwenkwe engonwabanga? Sakundiqaqambela kakubi isisu,” watsho uNgwenya. “Amanzi yeyonanto inokwenza la nkwenkwe yonwabe kwakhona. Mandimfundise ukuqubha, xa onwabile ndakukwazi ukumtya!”  

 

UNgwenya wawujija-jija umsila wakhe omkhulu, waze wawutyibilikisa ngaphandle komlambo ngakudonga olwaluhleli inkwenkwe.  

 

“Nkwedini equmbileyo,” watsho uNgwenya, “uyalila kuba ulahlekile? Ndiza kukufundisa ukuqubha. Amanzi aza kukwenza wonwabe kwakhona, emva koko uza kuyifumana indlela egodukayo. Yiza, khwela apha kum emqolo.”  

 

Inkwenkwe yakhwela emqolo kuNgwenya baze batyibilikela kumanzi apholileyo, baze badadela embindini womlambo.  

 

“Bambelela!” wakhwaza uNgwenya, waze wantywila phantsi kwamanzi apho iintlanzi ziqubha khona, nezityalo zishukunyiswa ngumsinga. Emva koko uNgwenya wantywila esehlisa umlambo inkwenkwe ikuye emqolo. UNgwenya wawujija-jija umsila wakhe waze wakhwitsha inkwenkwe ngamanzi apholileyo. Wawuguqula umzimba wakhe, ukuze inkwenkwe igaqe ijikeleze isisu sakhe ukuze ingawi. Wawelela ngaphesheya komlambo ekhawulezile, inkwenkwe ibambelele emsileni wakhe.  

 

Badlala apho emanzini imini yonke. UNgwenya wayihlekisa inkwenkwe, emva kwethuba elide, inkwenkwe yayiziva yonwabile kwakhona.  

 

UNgwenya wayibona ukuba inkwenkwe iyahleka kwaye yonwabile. “Lixesha lokuba ohlike emqolweni wam ngoku aziqubhele emlanjeni, ukuze ndimnqakule ndimtye,” wacinga uNgwenya. “Njengokuba eyekile ukukhala uyakungcamleka kamnandi, kodwa andinakukwazi ukusuka ndimehlise emqolo, ndisuke ndimjikele ndimtye ngaphandle kokumlumkisa. Ayilunganga loo nto. Mandimlandele apha emanzini ndize ndimnqakule!”  

 

Ngoko ke uNgwenya waqubhela enyeleni yomlambo nenkwenkwe. “Lixesha lokuba wohlike ngoku emqolweni wam uziqubhele ngokwakho,” watsho.  

 

“Kuba kutheni?” yabuza inkwenkwe. “Ndiyakuthanda ukuqubha nawe. Ungumhlobo wam wenene, Ngwenya!”  

 

“Intoni? Ndingumhlobo wakho wenene?” wabuza uNgwenya emangalisekile.  

 

“Ewe, unguye,” yatsho inkwenkwe. “Undifundise ukuqubha waze wandonwabisa kwakhona.”  

 

UNgwenya wayinika inkwenkwe olukhulu, olunosizi, nolugoso lona uncumo.  

 

“Yhoo! Kanti maninzi kangaka amazinyo akho, Ngwenya! Khange ndiwaqaphele kuqala,” yatsho inkwenkwe.  

 

“Sukuwahoya amazinyo am, ndinawo ukuze ndilume izinto ndizitye, nkwenkwe egezayo! Yiza ngoku, masiqubhele ngaphesheya komlambo, ukuze ndiqinisekise ukuba uyakwazi ukuziqubhela ngokwakho,” watsho uNgwenya.  

 

Inkwenkwe yazihambela yaziyela emanzini ngokwayo, waze uNgwenya wayilandela. Inkwenkwe yayikuthanda ukuba semanzini, yaqubha okwentlanzi.  

 

Ngalo lonke ixesha inkwenkwe iqubhela kufutshane kuye, uNgwenya wayezixelela, “Ngoku lixesha lokuba mandimtye, uyakungcamleka kamnandi kuba wonwabile!” Ngalo lonke ixesha ecinga ngokutya inkwenkwe, wayeye aqaqanjelwe sisisu kakubi. UNgwenya wadadela kudonga lomlambo, waze waziphosa ezantsi esantini.  

 

“Ngalo lonke ixesha ndicinga ngokutya la nkwenkwe ndiva iintlungu ezimbi, ezimbi kakhulu zesisu,” walila uNgwenya.  

 

UBhobhoyi wayehleli phezulu emithini wamafiya asendle. Wabhabhela ezantsi wachopha kwisebe lomthi elalikufutshane noNgwenya. “Yintoni ingxaki yakho?” wadanduluka.  

 

“Makube ndiyagula kuba andirhaleli kuyitya tu la nkwenkwe,” waphendula uNgwenya.  

 

“Nangoku awufanelanga,” watsho uBhobhoyi. “Ngumhlobo wakho! Umfundise ukuqubha ngoku wonwabile kwakhona.”  

 

“Hayi! Asingomhlobo wam! Ndimfundise ukuqubha ukuze nditye umntu owonwabileyo. Asoze nditye inkwenkwe engonwabanga. Uya kungcamleka kakubi njengenyembezi zakhe,” watsho uNgwenya ejija-jija umsila wakhe eqwalasele kuBhobhoyi.  

 

UBhobhoyi wakhukhumalisa iintsiba zakhe wabhabhela kumasebe omthi aphezulu. Wayecinga ukuba asinto ilungileyo ukusondela kuNgwenya. Waphakamisa intloko yakhe wajonga kwelinye icala wathi, “Njengoko inkwenkwe yonwabile kwakhona, lixesha lokuba igoduke iye kusapho lwayo, Ngwenya. Awusokuze uyitye nanini na, kuba ngoku inguye umhlobo wakho.”  

 

“Ndicinga ukuba unyanisile,” watsho ngesingqala uNgwenya, watyilibika ebuyela emanzini. Waqubhela ngakwinkwenkwe eyayidada ngomqolo emanzini, yonwabele ilanga elifudumele kamnandi laseAfrika.  

 

“Njengokuba wonwabile ngoku kwakhona, phuma emanzini ugoduke uye kusapho lwakho,” watsho uNgwenya. “Wakufika kudonga lomlambo, uze ujonge ngasemthini wamafiya asendle apho ubuhleli khona ulila. Kukho umntu okulindileyo.”  

 

“Ngubani?” yabuza inkwenkwe.  

 

“Uza kumazi xa umbona,” watsho uNgwenya ngoncumo olugoso, eveze loo mazinyo wakhe makhulu atsolo. Bobabini, uNgwenya kunye nenkwenkwe baqubhela kwicala lomlambo apho kwakumi khona umthi wamafiya asendle. UNgwenya wahlala emanzini, ngeli xesha inkwenkwe ikhwela kudonga lomlambo.  

 

Inkwenkwe yajonga ngaphaya komthi wamafiya asendle, yabona utata wayo ehleli emthunzini. Yabaleka yaya kuye, “Indlela endonwabe ngayo ndikufumene, tata,” yatsho inkwenkwe.  

 

“Nyana wam! Ndiyavuya ukukubona!” watsho utata wakhe. “Kodwa ndibona uNgwenya phaya emanzini apho ubuqubha khona. Uyingozi kakhulu, kwaye angayitya inkwenkwe encinane njengawe ukuba angakubamba!” Wamanga unyana wakhe. “Kuhle ke kuba ukhuselekile ngoku!”  

 

Inkwenkwe yajonga ngasemva kuNgwenya. Wayelele emanzini ngasenyeleni yomlambo. Wayephantse ukuba ngathi sisiqobo somthi, wayengashukumi konke konke. Wayebukele inkwenkwe ngaloo mehlo alambileyo evele phezulu kwamanzi. Inkwenkwe yayingcangcazela. “Ndiyagodola, Tata. Masincede sigoduke ngoku.”  

 

Inkwenkwe yaphakamisa ingalo yayiwangawangisa ibulisa apho kuNgwenya. UNgwenya naye wawujija-jija umsila wakhe ezama ukubulisa inkwenkwe, wadada ngokuzolileyo wawela umlambo.