“Not this again,” complained Zinzi.
“Don’t tell me, tell Mama,” said
Ntombi.“If she’s ever here to tell.”
As they ate, on Bold, a soapie star
reclined on a lounging chair beside
a pool somewhere in America –
somewhere hot and lush with lots
of money. A butler handed her an
ice cold cocktail… she didn’t have a
care in the world. Her nanny was
looking after her kids, and Ntombi
knew that her fridge would be
brimming with food. Just then
there was a sizzling sound and a
bang from the back of the TV. The
smell of burned plastic filled the
“No!” screamed Zinzi. “Not the TV!
My life has ended.” And she buried
her face under a cushion.
“Don’t be such a drama queen!”
yelled Ntombi. She went into the
bedroom to get away from her
sister, before she exploded like the
TV. She lay on the bed she shared
with Zinzi and started paging
through a magazine. But she
wasn’t reading the words. She kept
thinking of Asanda and Lettie
standing on the stage of the school
hall, learning the words of that
new song, and them all laughing
and having fun as they got one
step closer to the finals, while she
was stuck in this dump with a
younger sister who was driving
her crazy and not helping one bit
around the house.
She looked down at the glamorous
pop stars in the mag. Who did she
think she was, trying to compete
with girls like this? Maybe she was
dreaming after all. Maybe Zakes
was right. Maybe she didn’t have
what it took to be a Teen Voice
star. “Why bother entering the
competition,” he had said. “These
days you have to have the whole
package: the looks, the sex appeal
and the voice. You’ll only be
setting yourself up to be taken
Her dad would never have said
those hurtful words. He had told
her that he was so proud of her
when she had got into the choir at
Harmony High. And when he had
his employer’s car for a few days
he had taken her to practices
himself. Once when she wanted to
go and get her ears pierced he had
said, “Why spoil something so
Now she didn’t even know where
he was, or who he was with.
Maybe he had a whole other family
somewhere, another daughter,
whom he loved now, more than
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