Tuesday Shorts: Hem of Garment – Nkateko Masinga

Kwena arrived on a warm afternoon. The sun seemed to be lazing on the horizon, its streaks colouring the sky orange and red as a final act for the day, a curtain-call before the evening breeze ushered in the night. Our meeting seemed orchestrated, the fulfilment of an age-old prophecy. Her father placed one hand on my shoulder, moved his lips close to my ear and simply breathed. We had done it.

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Tuesday Shorts: Pool of Bethesda – Nkateko Masinga

‘I could fall asleep in those eyes, like a water-bed…’

I remember when I absentmindedly sang this song as we studied world politics and you collapsed into a fit of laughter, then saying,

‘Brown eyes would make a very murky water-bed, don’t you think?’

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Tuesday Shorts: Balm of Gilead – Nkateko Masinga

Nkele Tlhako steadied her pace as she approached the bus-stop, noting with a hint of amusement the clonking sound made by her new heels against the unforgiving surface. It was the same sound she had hated as a schoolgirl, watching with impassioned envy as the stylish and unnervingly well-groomed girls from Tshwane University graced the early morning bus with their presence. Now it’s my turn, she thought with a smile.

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Tuesday Shorts: Katleho Kano Shoro – Bosehla’s Sunflower Aches

The excitement of pressing her proboscis against one of the arriving foragers – tasting almost 100% fresh nectar – had turned into an embittering experience that affected their line of honey-making. For days now, Bosehla could not get the picture of the sunflower with the big laughing belly out her mind. Tselane had etched it on the wax walls and said it looked more yellow than Bosehla’s bottom as she recounted her adventures for her sisters. One sunrise, as Bosehla saw the wax walls melt into themselves, erasing the remainder of the only image of a sunflower she had, she decided: “I want to see the big laughing belly for myself!’’

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Tuesday Shorts: Stillness is not august – Katleho Kano Shoro

When I was eight years old my childhood friend abandoned our union on the bum-poking carpet floor of Auntie’s home. In a piercing wail, she accused me of keeping an invisible companion as a best friend. My stillness told her that my companion would be around for my lifetime but our span was uncertain. Her lament made me hurriedly vacate myself – terrified that she would turn herself into shards if she didn’t escape to take refuge in my emptied shell. I believed this is how you protect those you adore; by running out on your own skin to make space for them or covering them with your breathless spirit so when they explode, they only scatter into you. Mine was too tiny; pieces of her flew over my head and under my armpits. Eventually she gathered her fragments from the roof, curtains and carpeted floor. She left my bedroom door ajar as if meaning she was coming back after fetching translations for the looks and emotions she charged at me during our playdate. It was only when Auntie called me to wipe the plates before she dished out on them that I realised that I had remained in the exact same position with a mouth glued with spit since the beginning of our playdate.

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Friday Magic: Selves – Sibongile Fisher

I certainly have my Naane le Moya faves, one of them being Sibongile Fisher, who has been regular here. From interview to residency, never mincing her words and serving top quality stories always. Narratives that hold your hand as you look deeply within yourself or your surroundings.

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