Unja

Author

Kai Tuomi

Illustrator

Jiggs Snaddon-Wood

Translator

Dumisani Sibiya

Ngesikhathi umhlaba usemncane, uNja kwakuyinto yasendle. Wayechitha izinsuku zakhe ezulazula ezweni yedwa. Ebusuku wayelalisa ikhanda lakhe phezu kwezidladlana zakhe ezehlukile bese ehlola umgede wakhe.

UNobantu, owesifazane wokuqala, wayehlala eqhugwaneni elincane eduze komhume kaNja. Ngobunye ubusuku ngesikhathi ehamba eqonde ekhaya, uNobantu wabona uNja nezidladla zakhe ezehlukile nje, elele evule iso elilodwa, wamdabukela.

“Angazi ukuthi yini engingayenza ukuze ngisize uNja?” ecabanga. “Ubukeka enesizungu.”Ngesikhathi uNobantu ecabanga ngecebo, uNja wavuka wase emkhonkotha.“We Nja,” kumemeza yena, “ungumqaphi omuhle kakhulu.”

“Yebo,” kugwavuma uNja, “Ngingumqaphi omuhle kunabo bonke kulo lonke ihlanze. Amadlebe ami abukhali kakhulu ngangokuthi ngingezwa ngisho umsindo omncane kakhulu, amehlo ami akwazi ukubona ebumnyameni, futhi ngihlala ngilala ngivule iso elilodwa.”

“Kuyamangalisa,” kwasho uNobantu. “Ungangifundisa ukuthi ngingaba kanjani wumqaphi omuhle ngiyacela bandla? Woza eqhugwaneni lami kusasa ngokushona kwelanga. Uma wenza lokho, ngiyokunikeza ukudla okufudumele ukuze udle.”

UNja wayengakaze akudle ukudla okushisayo ngaphambilini, kodwa kwakuzwakala kukuhle.

Ngokushona kwelanga ngosuku olulandelayo, uNja weza ephuphutheka esikhotheni eqonde eqhugwaneni likaNobantu. Wambingelela wase egwavuma, “Manje kufanele ubheke engikwenzayo. Ngizokufundisa ukuba wumqaphi omuhle.”

Emva kwalokho uNja walala phansi ngaphandle kweqhugwane likaNobantu, nekhanda lakhe liphezu kwezidladla zakhe ezehlukile. Walala neso elilodwa livuliwe.Ngalobo busuku waxosha izilwane zasendle ezimbalwa. Ekuseni uNobantu wamlethela ukudla okushisayo ngesitsha sethini esidala.

“Nakho-ke,” kusho uNobantu.UNja wakugwinya wakuqeda ukudla.“Ngabe ngikufundisile ukuthi ube wumqaphi omuhle?” ekhonkotha.

“Ngicabanga ukuthi ngicishe ngakwazi,” kuphendula uNobantu ngokumamatheka, “kodwa mhlawumbe ungangikhombisa futhi namuhla ebusuku. Uma ukwenza lokho, ngizokunika isidlo esishisayo FUTHI ngizokwakhela umbhejana ukuze ukwazi ukulala kuwo.”

UNja wakhotha izindebe zakhe. Isidlo esishisayo sasikade simnandi, futhi wayengakaze alale embhedeni omncane ngaphambilini.

Ngokushona kwelanga, uNja weza ephuphutheka ehlanzeni ebheke ngaseqhugwaneni likaNobantu. Njengalokhu ayethembisile, kwakukhona umbhejana owawulindele uNja. Wawuthambile futhi unethezekile – unethezeke ngaphezudlwana kwephansi lomhume – uNja wazunywa ubuthongo ngokushesha evule iso elilodwa.

Ngalobo busuku waxosha izilwane zasendle ezimbalwa. Ekuseni uNobantu wamlethela isidlo esishisayo ngesitsha sethini esidala.“Nakho-ke,” kwasho uNobantu.UNja wakugwinya wakuqeda ukudla.

“Ngabe ngikufundisile yini ukuba wumqaphi omuhle?” ekhonkotha.

“Ngicabanga ukuthi ngicishe ngakuthola,” kuphendula uNobantu emamatheka, “kodwa mhlawumbe ungangikhombisa futhi namuhla ebusuku. Uma ukwenza lokho, ngizokunika ukudla okushisayo, ubuye ukwazi ukulala embhejaneni futhi, FUTHI ngizokwenwaya emhlane.”

UNja wakhotha izindebe zomlomo wakhe. Ukudla okushisayo bekungeve kumnandi, umbhejana ubunethezekile – unethezeke kakhudlwana kunephansi lomhume – futhi akakaze nje enwaywe emhlane phambilini.

Ngokushona kwelanga, uNja weza ephaphatheka echusha ehlanzeni ebheke ngaseqhugwaneni likaNobantu. Walala phansi embhedeni omncane. UNobantu wahlala eduze kwakhe wayesemenwaya emhlane wakhe. Kwaze kwamnandi bo!

UNja wakhonkotha ngenjabulo, emva kwalokho wazumeka embhedeni omncane neso elilodwa libhekile. Ngalobo busuku waxosha izilwane zasendle ezimbalwa. Ekuseni, uNobantu wamlethela ukudla okushisayo ngesitsha sethini esidala. UNja wakugwinya wakuqeda ukudla.

“Uyazi Nobantu,” kukhonkotha uNja, “ubusuku obuthathu izinsuku zilandelana, ngizame konke okusemandleni ukukufundisa ukuba wumqaphi omuhle, kodwa kubonakala sengathi akukho nhlobo okufundayo. Angicabangi ukuthi uyoke ufunde ukuthi kwenziwa kanjani.”“Ngeke ngikwazi?” kubuza uNobantu emoyizela.

“Cha, angicabangi kanjalo,” kuphendula uNja. “Inkinga wukuthi ulala ngaphakathi, izindlebe zakho zincane kakhulu, futhi awukwazi ukubona ebumnyameni. Ngakho, nginesu elingcono. Esikhundleni sokuthi mina ngifundise WENA ukuthi ube wumqaphi omuhle, ngingavele ngikuqaphelele iqhugwane lakho. Ukukhokhela lokho ungangondla, unginike umbhede wokulala bese ungenwaya umhlane.”

“Manje uthini-ke mayelana nokudlala?” kubuza Nobantu.“Ukudlala?” kuhwaqa uNja.UNobantu wakhombisa uNja ukuthi kudlalwa kanjani ngenduku. Kwakuyisimangaliso!

Ngenkathi sebeqedile, bavumelana ngokuthi uNja uzohlala abe yinja engumqaphi kaNobantu.Ngenkathi ilanga lishona ngalelo langa, uNja wazumeka embhedeni omncane egcwele ukumamatheka ebusweni bakhe, futhi wawavala womabili amehlo.

Futhi kwenzeka kanjalo ukuthi yena kanye nezingane zakhe, nezingane zezingane zakhe zihlale kanye nabantu, futhi yingakho izinja zingasezona nje izinto zasendle ezizulazula ehlanzeni nezihlala zodwa emihumeni.