The story of a young black man Chapter 3 - Mzansi Stories

Friday, January 8

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The story of a young black man Chapter 3

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Leeto: The story of a young black man

Monday blues

Chapter 3

I woke up Monday morning at 06h40 with a hammering headache—relax! before you jump to the conclusion that it was a hangover (or babalas), it wasn’t because I don’t drink alcohol.  I had gone to bed after 11 the previous night after watching the three-hour long epic movie on etv, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. My father had warned me that if I didn’t go to bed early on Sunday night, I was going to have a terrible Monday and boy, was he right! My answer to him was, “Dad, this is the final chapter in The Lord of the Rings trilogy; remember the past two Sundays I watched the first two movies of the series, namely The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers?”  “Yes, Leeto”, he had answered me, “however you were still on school holidays when those two movies were on TV at the time, now you have to wake up in the morning tomorrow as the schools are opening”. Of course he was right however I didn’t listen to him as two-thirds of my concentration was in the movie itself.

I got up and realised that my father had prepared warm water for me before he left for work at 04h45. The water was now lukewarm as it had boiled almost two hours ago. I switched the electric kettle back on whilst I went to brush my teeth. Fortunately, my school uniform was ironed-up and ready so I had one less thing to worry about this morning. Before I could take a bath, I noticed that it was now 06h50. Under normal circumstances, I wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning as I attend Hebron Technical and Commercial High School which is a good 40-minute walk from my house. Of course, the distance seems like nothing when I am with my crazy best friends, Samson and Tshepang. I decided to bath quickly so that by 7 o’clock, when my friends come to collect me, I can be all ready for my first day at school after the long December school holidays.

Samson and Tshepang showed up at around 07h10 and we had only half an hour to get to school as the bell rang at 07h40. “Shew”, Samson said, as we walked to school, “I wonder how many ‘freshers’ will be hot girls this year”. I looked at Tshepang and said, “There he goes again”. Tshepang said, “Sammy, you should be worrying about more important things, my friend”. “Important?” Samson asked, “What could be more important than hooking up with a hottie after school today?” Tshepang looked at me, then back at Samson and said, “Whether we will make it this year; you haven’t forgotten, have you? It’s our matric year, you idiot!” Samson looked at us and said, “Guys, I’ll start worrying about matric around March but for now, it’s all girls, girls, and more girls for me!” Tshepang and I laughed as Samson went on and on about how he’ll be kissing a new girl before the end of the day.

We got to school just before the bell rang; it was 07h35, I think. The whole school yard was swarming with learners, both old and new. “I’ll have that one before March, that slender one will be my Miss April, oh, and how can I forget my matric dance date”, Samson went on and on, pointing at every beautiful girl he saw. “Good morning, boys”, a man’s voice greeted us, coming from behind us. We turned around and it was Mr Maluleke, the Geography teacher. “How were the holidays, boys?” Mr Maluleke asked. Before we could answer him, he said, “I’ll be expecting A’s from you, boys, in Geography this year, okay!” “Yes sir”, we all replied in one, uniformed voice, as if we had expected the question and, thus, rehearsed our answer beforehand.

Mr Maluleke could have gone on with his monologue however was interrupted when the bell rang. “Okay boys”, he said, “Off you go; go and pick your seats in your new class”. Since we all did the same subjects, we went to the same class. Most of our old classmates were already in class which implied that many of us had passed Grade 11. There were about four learners missing; Phineas Khoza, whom we all knew was not going to make it to Grade 12 for being such a troublemaker in class last year; Lesego Moloi, who had passed Grade 11 however had changed schools after her parents relocated from Hebron to Atteridgeville; Amogelang Moabi, who was never going to pass Grade 11 for being plain stupid; and lastly, Sphiwe Ndala, who got mixed up with the wrong crowd during the December holidays and was arrested for his involvement in a street fight at a park in Mabopane. Other than those four, everyone was back in one piece, including Ofentse Tselane, the class clown, who was the surprise package as none of us expected that he would make it to Grade 12.

“Good morning, class”, the fat and depressing Ma’am Sefate greeted, “I’ll be your class teacher for this year”. “Shit!” I thought to myself, “there’s no way I am passing matric if she’ll be my teacher this year”.    


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