Ntombi watched as her friends ran
down the road to catch the taxi.
They were laughing and chatting.
She went back inside and shut the
door. The girls were right to call
her ‘Mama’ – that’s what she was
at the moment, and she was only
fifteen. It was like her mother and
her had swopped roles. The other
girls used to complain about their
strict mothers and tell Ntombi she
was lucky. But Ntombi had noticed
they didn’t say that anymore, not
since Zakes had arrived on the
scene. And Ntombi did not want to
be a mother. Not for a long time.
Not until she had finished studying
and definitely not with someone
she didn’t love and respect!
“I’m hungry,” complained Zinzi,
who was watching The Bold and
Ntombi wanted to just walk away
from the house. But she knew she
She put the last bit of mielie meal
into the pot. Sometimes she loved
porridge for supper. But she was
getting tired of it now. Before
Zakes, her mother had always
made sure that there was enough
food in the house for them. It was
a struggle on her salary, but she
would always cook them a good
meal in the evening and they
would sit together and chat about
the day. She had been sad a lot,
but then they also had good times
together. They went shopping in
town on Saturday at the end of the
month when her mother would
give them each pocket money to
spend. Now she didn’t have time
for them any more. Ntombi had
been telling her how the fridge
needed to be fixed (it kept going
on and off) and that the drain at
the back of the house was blocked
again. That’s when she really
missed her dad. He would have
fixed it by now. And where was
Zakes when something went
wrong in their house – out selling
She served the pap onto plates.
“Careful, it’s hot,” she warned.
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