I started the year with a writing team of five writers, but due to unforeseen circumstances three have pulled out of the team. I’m sad to compile this collection but I’m so proud of the work that the writers produced during their stay here at Naane le Moya. I continue to wish them only the best as far as their writing and their creative careers go.
It was on a late afternoon in summer that an old lady sat with her granddaughter sifting beads according to size, age and make. The old lady and her granddaughter sat there in silence, a happy sort of silence. Even though they were not saying anything to each other, every now and again they would simultaneously glance at each other with laughing eyes and peaceful smiles. The relationship of the old lady and her granddaughter, the daughter of her young son, had matured with every sitting of beads sifting. They had grown to be best friends even though they barely spoke.
My machete wielding white neighbor absolutely makes me sick.
We got to Johannesburg and we drove to every single student accommodation there was on the internet, and few of them actually looked like the pictures they put up online.
Some had caretakers who were old enough to be needing to be taken care of themselves, the irony. Some communes had holes in the kitchen ceilings, blood stains on bathroom walls, champagne splattered all over some bedrooms! Christ! What do the people here get up to?
We had heard about what they had done to the other villages, these demon possessed men that killed without any conscious. Those who managed to escape came to tell us how they tore open the bellies of pregnant women, how they set their shrines alight and how they gave the village a new name every time they moved on. We lived in fear for we knew that they were coming to our village, Battlemount.
There is no judgment here, just trees, trees that stretch infinitely to the sky in hope to reach for the sun, so to filter its rays and appease the birds with shelter during the humid conditions in the heat of Mphaname village. These trees have heard the howling of wolves that hunger for the blood of a shepherd’s fattest.
They say there was once a widowed Old Man popularly known as Motho wa Batho because of his humility. He lived in the village of Thaba Phatswa with his seven children. The Old Man and his sons and daughter worked together daily as a unit; planning, organizing, and directing their household and its affairs. Every member of the family had a role they played. One was responsible for handling cattle, another the family portion of the village fields, others the trading of the family produce such as milk, eggs, vegetables and so on. Even though everyone would be immersed in their duties during the day – theirs was a five to five working day – in the evening, they had a tradition whereby they would all come together at the fire place outside to discuss the events of the day. Here they would eat, drink and sometimes they would sit watching the stars and the moon and listening to the sounds of night life.
Its the 31st of December 2016, I’m alone and I’m planning to be alone for some days. I want to get into the new year sober. My plans are to get into the new year alone, to gather my thoughts and to spend time with God, to present my year plan to Him and to not be blinded by anything. Closer to 00h00 I start to write the plans I have for the new year and one of the plans is to NOT BUY BOOKS. When you walk into my bedroom its books everywhere, some I’ve read, some I have not read, just books everywhere and as much as I’m a bit of a readaholic whose dream job is to be paid for reading, the sight makes my eyes a bit sore.
My aunt tells me that my father left me three weeks before my fourth birthday. He knocked at her door and handed me over to her like a parcel, he could not handle it anymore he said. My mother left ten days after my birth, leaving my father with their first child. My aunt tells me my parents relationship had always been toxic. They met on the 21st of December in downtown Johannesburg. My aunt and my mother were doing the last Christmas shopping before going to my grandmothers place for the festive season.
The Dino and the Doll – Kim Peter Kovac
in the courtyard of lost toys,
a blue stuffed dinosaur
stands on a birdcage nailed
to a wall, just over a shelf,
the resting place for a doll
with red hair, raggedy clothes
and a broken neck, staring
sightlessly to her right.