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uMagqadaza

Kude kufuphi neentaba zaMamolo, kwakukho lali ithile ekwakusithiwa kuseZimfeneni. Le lali yayibizwa ngeli gama ngenxa yobuninzi beemfene ezazihlala kwihlathi elalikufutshane nelali leyo. Wawungazibona zisihla zinyuka izitalatwana naphakathi kwemizi apha elalini. Abantu baseZimfeneni babe sele beziqhelile ezimfene, nazo ngokunjalo, ungekho woyika wumbi, kuhlelwe ngobambiswano. Kwathi ngaminazana ithile kwavela ityendyana le mfene eyayimhlophe ngebala, ingafani nezinye (zona zimbala umdaka-bumnyama). Kwakungentseni, ngomsobomvu, ilanga lisaphuma. Kwakucaca ukuba ilanga lalizophuma lihlasele, likhuph’ iintlaz’ emanzini. Isibhaka-bhaka sasicwenge ngolona hlobo, kungekho mafu, kwaye nomoya uzolile, ushushu. Bakhwankqiswa ke abahlali belali, neemfene ezo, kukuva ukuba kukho uthile umtsha othe wafika phakathi kwabo. “Kunoba ngubani yena lowo?” babuzana ngelitshoyo. Kaloku zonke iimfene zazinamagama azo, zisaziwa nangubani na. Kwaye kwakungafane kuthiwe kukho bani ufiileyo elalini leyo. Izinto zeema ngxingxilili elalini, abantu beshiya imisebenzi yangentseni emizini yabo, abantwana bephuma besanxibe ezokulala, iimfene zisothuleka okwemvula emithini ezazilele kuyo, wonke ubani eleqa ezantsi emlanjeni owuwangase mpuma, besabela ilizwi elalikhwaza lisithi, “Yizani nizobona! Kukho uthile ufikileyo!” Kwathi ke bakufika bonke abemi baseZimfeneni emlanjeni, bama, bajonga, bexakwe ngulombono ungaqhelekanga. Kaloku babeqala ukubona imfene embala umhlophe. Bama bengqongile, yona imfene emhlophe ime qelele phayaa, kubonakala ukuba ixakiwe ukuba mayithini na. Kwathi kusenjalo, kwavakala ilizwi lenkosi yeemfene, egama linguSomfene, lisithi, “Ungubani igama lakho?” Bema bonke ababelapho, bebaze iindlebe. Yaajonga-jonga imfene emhlophe, ilaqaza. “Thetha kaloku, ilanga liyaphuma, asifuni kutshela apha,” waangqokola esitsho uSomfene. “NdinguMagqadaza, Mhlekazi,” yaphendula isitsho imfene emhlophe. “Ke ubekwa yintoni apha, usuka phi?” Waaphendula ke uMagqadaza, echaza ukuba uvela ngaphaya kwezantaba zaMamolo, kwihlathi elikufutshane nelali ekuthiwa kuseNtembisweni. Apha ke ufika kuba ebedlula ngendlela, ekhangela indawo yokuhlala ngoba kaloku ugxothiwe kokwabo, apho wazalelwa khona ngenxa yebala lakhe elimhlophe. Kuba wayengafani nezinye iimfene, inkosi yalapho wayevela khona yathi akanakukwazi ukuhlala nabo. Wahamba njalo ke uMagqadaza, abazali bakhe bengafuni benjalo. “Awu!” baavakala besitsho abemi bonke, belusizana. USomfene ke waguquka njalo wacela indlebe kunye neNkosi yaBantu ukuze baxoxe lo mba kaMagqadaza. Emva kwemizuzwana engephi waabuya uSomfene kunye neNkosi yaBantu. Waabhekisa kuMagqadaza wenjenje: “Uyabona ke, uyimfene ufana nathi aba, ngaphandle nje kwebala lakho elimhlophe. Kodwa loo nto ayithethi ukuba awunguye omnye wethu. Ngoko ke ungahlala nathi apha eZimfeneni.” Waavuya ke uMagqadaza exhuma-xhuma, kubonakala ukuba uchwayitile kukuba efumene indawo amkeleke kuyo kwaye anokuyibiza ikhaya. Kwaathi kufika intlazane yangaloo mini wabe uMagqadaza sele engomnye wabo, futhi sele enabo nabahlobo ababezimfenana ezincinane kuba naye wayemncinci ngokweminyaka. Kwahlalwa kumnandi kunjeyaa. Kwathi ngaminazana ithile, emzini wenkosikazi egama linguNosiphiwo, abantu babehleli, bonwabile kuba kaloku kwakukho itheko. UMagqadaza yena wayehleli phantsi komthi weepesika qelele phaya ebantwini, edlala nosana luka Nosiphiwo. Wathi esakhwele emthini lowo, kwafika inyoka emntwaneni, yamluma. Akukho bani owabona esisehlo ngaphandle kukaMagqadaza, naye owayibona sele ihamba inyoka, inyubeleza ibaleka. Wagxidika ngokukhawuleza okukhulu emthini, wathi ngomothuko walufuqula usana olo, walubeleka, wabaleka kakhulu nalo ebhekisa ngasemlanjeni ongasempuma. Wahamba njalo ke nosana, emana eluteketisa esithi, “Kuzolunga mntwanana omncinci. Ndizokukhelela umhlonyane oza kukunceda.” Ukanti abantu bona baphaphama sele usana olo bengaluboni, kwaye noMagqadaza ephel’ emhlweni. Baphakama ke bekhathazeke kakhulu kukulahlekelwa lusana, baleqa njalo. Abanye baphuma besiya ngasentshonalanga, abanye besingise ezintabeni zaMamolo apho uMagqadaza wayezalwa khona, ukanti uninzi lwabo lwasingisa ngasempuma, behamba endleleni eya ngasemlanjeni. UNosiphiwo wayekweliqela lokugqibela. Wayeyinkosikazi enamendu ngolona hlobo lumangalisayo, ebadlula bonke endleleni. Esinye isizathu sokuba abaleke ngokugqithisileyo kukuba wayebanjwe lixhala lokulahlekelwa ngumntwana wakhe, engamazi nokuba ukhuselekile na apho akhoyo. Yamphatha kakubi kakhulu uNosiphiwo le ndaba, wabaleka kakhulu, ebashiya bonke ngasemva, ekhala, emana ukuthi, “O, kazi usana lwam luye ngaphi na? Uphi uMagqadaza nomntwana wam?” Ekukhaleni kwakhe njalo kwakukho themba lithile lokuba noko uMagqadaza akanako ukumonzakalisa umntwana wakhe kuba kaloku wayebathanda abantwana, futhi ikwanguye owazicelela ukudlala nosana olo lo gama abantu besahleli ethekweni. Mihla ithile wayemana kufika emzini kaNosiphiwo adlale nosana lwakhe. Lelithemba ke elamenza ukuba emana ecula, ekhala, ekhathazekile enjalo. Wathi esabaleka njalo uNosiphiwo, wafika ngasemthini omkhulu owawungasecaleni kwendlela apho khona kwakuthe thontololo iqwelekejana leemfene lizikhusele elangeni, zimana ukucobana iintwala. Wema uNosiphiwo, wajonga phezulu kuzo, ecula-ebuza esithi, “Zimfenen’ ezintle akukhange nimbon’ uMagqadaza?” Zaphendula ke iimfene ngaxesha-nye zijonge kuye, nazo zicula, zathi, “Simbonile! Ebegqith’ apha, epheth’ umntwana, esithi ngowakhe, ehamb’ emteketisa. Hammm! Hammm!” Loo ntsholo yeemfene yaahlokoma yavakala nakwabanye ababelandela emveni kuka Nosiphiwo, nto leyo eyanceda ukuba bamazi ukuba ukweliphi na icala. Wathathisa njalo uNosiphiwo. Waphinda wadlula kwakhona mthi wumbi ufana nalowa ungasemva, nakuwo kuhleli iimfene zizikhusele elangeni. Wema, wabuza, ecula njalo: “Zimfenen’ ezintle akukhange nimbon’ uMagqadaza?” Nazo iimfene zamphendula ngengoma zisithi: “Simbonile! Ebegqith’ apha, epheth’ umntwana, esithi ngowakhe, ehamb’ emteketisa. Hammm! Hammm!” Waphinda wathathela phambili unina womntwana, ebaleka. Ukanti ke wayesele ekufuphi nomlambo ngoku. Waabona uNosiphiwo kukho ntshukumo ithile engceni phayaa, kunye nento engathi ngumsila imana kujika-jika, kubonakala ukuba lowo msila umde wayexakekile. Ekusondeleni kwakhe kule ndawo, uNosiphiwo waqaphela umzimba oboya bumhlophe, uthobile, waqonda ukuba ekugqibeleni ude wamfumana uMagqadaza, owayemana ukuphakamisa intloko. Wambona ngoko uNosiphiwo uMagqadaza, waphakamisa isandla encumile, emkhweba ukuba asondele kufutshane. Wafika uNosiphiwo kuloo ndawo ekhefuzela phezulu kukudinwa, wabona usana lwakhe lulele phantsi phakathi kwengca, lujijelwe ngengutyana yalo, kwaye lonwabile, luhleka, kuba kaloku uMagqadaza wayemana ukuludlalisa, eluthuthuzela. Basele befika nabanye abantu, neemfene ezaye zalandela, zikhokelwe nguSomfene. “O, kodwa Magqadaza! Yini ukundothusa ngoluhlobo! Usana lwam uluthathele ntoni wahamba nalo, kwaye uhlelele ntoni nalo apha?” wabuza wenje njalo unina womntwana. Wathi engekaphenduli njalo uMagqadaza, kwavakala ilizwi le nye imfene lisithi, “Uxhwila umntwana womntu ekubeni sikwamkele ngeengalo ezinobubele thina! Uyimfene enjani kanti? Uyabona ukuba uzakunika iimfene zale ngingqi igama elibi?” Kwaabonakala ukuba le mfene yayinomsindo, ithethela phezulu. Bangqokola ke kananjalo nabo abantu, neemfene zihumzela, wonke ubani owayekhona ekhwankqiswe sesisenzo sikaMagqadaza. “Inzwi!” yavakala isitsho iNkosi yaBantu, kwatsho kwathuleka kwathi cwaka. “Wena Somfene uwubona njani lo mba?” “Ndithi mna gxa wam masimnike ithuba lokuba acacise ukuba kwenzeke ntoni na uMagqadaza lo,” waphendula watsho uSomfene. Wabuya wabhekisa kulowo uboya bumhlophe wathi, “Magqadaza, sizathu sini esenze ukuba uthathe usana lo mntu uhambe nalo?” Kwakunga loluyaa suku lokufika kwakhe eZimfeneni: uMagqadaza emele qelele, onke amehlo ejonge kuye, engqongiwe ngabemi bonke, kumntu, kumfene. Wacacisa ke uMagqadaza echaza ukuba ubone usana lusityiwa yinyoka ngelixa ebekhwele emthini, yaza yona yabaleka. Ngomothuko omkhulukazi, waxiphula usana olo esiya nalo emlanjeni apho kwakukhona mhlonyane uthile awaziyo ukuba uyanceda xa ubani ethe wehlelwa sisiganeko esikumila kunje. “Amayeza uwazela phi umncinane kangaka nje?” wabuza uSomfene. “Ndaafundiswa ngumama ngaphambi kokuba ndigxothwe ekhaya, Mhlekazi.” “Ke kutheni ungasichazelanga ukuba kwenzeke ntoni, wasuka wahamba nomntwana wam?” wabuza njalo uNosiphiwo ngesingqala, elugodlile usana olo. “Uyayazi ukuba ndothuke kangakanani xa ndibona usana lwam lungasekho?” “O, ndicela uxolo,” watsho uMagqadaza enyembezana. “Bendisithi ndiyanceda ngokulubalekisela apha usana ukuze lukhawuleze lufumane uncedo. Ewe, ndenze impazamo ngokungathethi nto kwasekuqaleni.” Wanqwala intloko uNosiphiwo wathetha wenjenje: “Kulungile ndiyakuxolela, kwaye ndiyabulela ngokusindisa usana lwam. Kodwa ukhumbule ukuba kungcono xa uxelela abemi ohleli nabo ukuba kukhona ingxaki ethe yehla ukuze sincedisane sonke ngokuyisombulula.” Kwavakala amahum-hum, wonke ubani evumelana kunye noNosiphiwo. Waqhubeka uNosiphiwo ebhekisa kuSomfene kunye neNkosi yaBantu esithi, “Zinkosi zam ndicela ukuba axolelwe uMagqadaza, wenze impazamo, kodwa ulusindisile usana lwam ebungozini benyoka.” Zavuma iinkosi zombini, zamvumela ukuba ahlale phakathi kwabo kwakhona, zimkhahlela zisithi uliqhawe ngokusindisa ubomi bemveku leyo ebungozini obungaka. Iinkosi zazivuyela nokwazi ukuba kukhona wumbi abangathi abemi babhenele kuye mhla bedinga uncedo ngamayeza, zamxelela kananjalo uMagqadaza. Wanqwala intloko naye evuma, echwayitile. Kwakucaca ke ukuba uMagqadaza lo uyabathanda abantu kakhulu, ebathanda nabahlobo bakhe kuba ngoku wayedlala nabo echulumancile, eziva esamkelwe ngowenyani ekhayeni lakhe elitsha.