Mzansi Stories : Diary of a rural girl
Showing posts with label Diary of a rural girl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diary of a rural girl. Show all posts

Monday, July 20


Diary of a rural girl chapter 55

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse’s divine calling

 Chapter 55

I woke up from a nightmare in the early hours of Sunday morning. When I looked at the clock on my cellphone, it was 02h55. I went to the kitchen to have a glass of cold water because even when the temperature was about 2 degrees Celsius that night, I was sweating. I went back to bed however I tossed and turned as I had a hard time falling back to sleep. I thought about my bad dream and prayed that what I had just dreamt about never happens to me in real life. In my dream, I dreamt that I was back at Brooklyn Mall. The scene of the previous day unfolded as it did in my dream. The young thief grabbed the white woman’s hand bag and ran away with it. All the people in the mall chased after the young man including Kholo and I. When we got to the entrance of the mall, the cab drivers had already grabbed the young thief. When I got there, the young thief saw me and said, “Here is my partner in crime; her name is Mahlatse and I work with her. She goes to busy places, mostly malls, where she spots out victims for me. When get to these places, I steal whatever I can get my hands on from the ‘marked victims’ and later on, we sell them to pawn shops and share the money”.

Without any hesitation, the cab drivers grabbed me too. I started crying and told them that the young thief was lying as I had never met him before. I looked at Kholo and asked her to tell the cab drivers that I did not know the young thief. “I am sorry, Mahlatse”, Kholo said, “I don’t know which new friends you made whilst I was away for those two weeks I was in rehab. Besides, the guy even called you by name; how did he come to know your name?” As I was crying, surprised that my first and true friend, Kholo, who had taken me in when I first arrived in Pretoria, was selling me out. I began to cry hysterically and when I tried to plead with the cab drivers that they were making a mistake, one of them quietened me up with a slap across the face. “SILENCE!” he angrily snapped, as he slapped me, “WE’LL TEACH YOU A LESSON YOU’LL NEVER FORGET, YOU LYING BITCH”. He took out his sjambok and began to whip me. The other cab drivers took out their sjamboks too and joined-in in whipping me and the young thief up.

We were rescued by a gunshot fired in the air. “DROP YOUR WEAPONS AND STEP AWAY FROM THOSE PEOPLE NOW!” a man’s voice called out through a loudspeaker microphone. When I looked towards the direction where the gunshot was coming from, it was the Brooklyn police. The crowd dispersed and we were handcuffed by the police and thrown in behind their van. Both our faces were covered in blood. On our way to the Brooklyn Police Station, I looked at the young thief and said, “How could you? How could you put my life in danger like that by claiming to know me when you really don’t?” The young thief looked at me and said, “You’re right, I don’t know you. Your name mysteriously came to my head when I was saying a silent prayer, praying to God that He save my life. A voice replied, in my head, and said, ‘Call out for the name, Mahlatse, she is the salvation you need today’. So, Mahlatse, it was God who chose you to save my life. You are my savior”.

I passed out again just before 4 a.m. and was only woken up at 7 o’clock by the alarm. I got up and prepared for church. After breakfast, I went to church and the first thing I did, was to go to my pastor. I told him about my dream. My pastor put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Mahlatse, you did not go to Brooklyn Mall by mistake yesterday, God wanted you to so that you can salvage a soul that’s in serious need of salvation. I am releasing you today; don’t attend the sermon. God will guide you through the journey, so go out there and find out where the young thief is. Yes, it won’t be easy; the young thief might be in hospital or in prison somewhere however God will get you to him and He will give you the wisdom to save this young man’s soul. So, go now, my child”. I was shocked with how the pastor had just interpreted my dream. I didn’t know where I was going to start however, like Moses when God sent him to free the Israelites from Egypt I knew that God was going to be with me throughout the whole journey leading to the young thief’s salvation.  
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Sunday, July 19


Diary of a rural girl chapter 54

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

The young thief of Brooklyn

Chapter 54

On Saturday morning I woke up just after Tsakane left for work and cleaned up the whole apartment. Kholo only woke up after about 45 minutes, almost when I was about to finish up cleaning. “Hey Mahlatse”, Kholo greeted. “Morning Kholo. How are we doing this morning?” I greeted her back. “I am just feeling a bit under the weather. I’ve been feeling like shit lately; it must be this medication I am taking but other than that, I am fine”, Kholo replied. Kholo sat down on the couch and said, “Anyway, what’s the occasion? Why are you cleaning up so early in the morning; are you expecting some kind of company today?” “No, not really”, I replied, “I just woke up in high spirits, that’s all”.

Kholo went to brush her teeth while I finished cleaning up the rest of the apartment, except for her bedroom. When I was done, I made breakfast for the two of us. As we were having breakfast, I asked Kholo if she could accompany me to Brooklyn Mall to do a bit of eye shopping and later on catch a movie at Ster Kinekor. “Okay”, Kholo agreed, “That would make my day; I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with myself today; I was bored alone in the flat the whole of yesterday”. After breakfast, we both prepared ourselves and then made our way to Park Street, where we were going to catch a taxi to Brooklyn. We arrived at Brooklyn Mall at around 11 o’clock.

As to be expected, the mall was swarming with people who were there to shop, eat and do some other stuff people also do at malls on weekends. Since it was a bit too early to see some young people at the mall, the whole place was full of parents with their young ones, some in toy stores and many in restaurants having the so called, ‘kiddies’ happy meals’. When we were done with our eye shopping in many stores, such as Truworths, Edgars, Musica, and many others, we made our way to Ster Kinekor where we were going to buy movie tickets for the 12h15 movie showing time. I took out the money and bought two tickets and pop corns for the romantic movie, The Best of Me, with James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan in the leading role.

We made our way to the theatre to watch the movie—another first time experience for me. When the movie was done more than half of the movie’s audience, most of whom were girls and women, including me and Kholo, was in tears. The movie was just so romantic and its ending was heart-breaking to get us all in tears. When we walked out of the cinema, Kholo and I went to Wimpy to buy some lunch, as we were starving by now. As we were waiting on the queue in Wimpy to be place the order for our meals, we heard screams coming from the mall’s aisles. “Help! Help! Stop that thief!” a woman’s voice cried out. The voice sounded like that of a middle-aged white woman with their English accent heavily influenced by Afrikaans.

When we looked towards the direction from where the screams were coming from, we saw a young man running towards us, with a hand bag in his hand. A middle-aged white man gave chase even though it seemed obvious that there was no way he was going to catch the much younger and faster thief judging from the pace he was running in. Many people made no attempt to try to help stop the speeding thief as the poor white man single-handedly continued to give chase. Another man joined-in in the chase however, this time it was a security guard who was guarding on the entrance of Checkers. Kholo and I also followed the mob of people whom, one by one, had also joined-in in the chase.

When we got to one of the main entrances of Brooklyn, we found the young thief caught. He was surrounded by a group of about eight men who seemed like cab drivers. There was always a fleet of cars parked at the entrance into the mall next to Steers that belonged to these men. Kholo and I got to the encircled young thief together with victims of the crime, that is, the woman who had earlier screamed for help and the man who had given chase to the thief (probably the woman’s husband). The young thief was shaking in fear when he handed the hand bag back to its rightful owner. “I am sorry, madam”, the now tearful young thief said as he also pleaded for mercy, “Please call the police before they kill me”.

The woman’s husband took out his cellphone and dialed the Brooklyn Police’s number to report the crime. One of the cab drivers went to the trunk of his car and returned with a sjambok (whip). “Please sir”, the white woman said to the driver, “We thank you for your help but there really isn’t a need for that; the police will take it from here”. The woman’s plea fell onto deaf ears as the man whipped the young thief on the back with this sjambok. “Sir, please help him”, I cried out to the Checkers security guard, “They are going to kill him”. “Sorry lady, I can’t. You don’t know how these guys are like, do you want them to beat me too?” the security guard replied.

“STOP IT! You’re going to kill him”, the white woman pleaded for the young thief’s life. The young thief, who was now covered in his own blood tried to get up and escape the beating however he was kicked on the face by one of the cab drivers. As he fell to the ground, the cab drivers continued to mercilessly whip the young man with the sjamboks. Even though the young thief’s cries could be heard from a couple of blocks away, I could also hear the sirens of the police cars approaching. “Please Kholo”, I said, “Can we leave please! I can’t stand this any longer”. I was disturbed; I just could not bear witness to such savagery. My only form of consolation was that the police would arrive on time to save the young thief’s life. Yes, I admit it, it was wrong for him to steal in the first place however he did not deserve to be beaten up so mercilessly by those full grown but stupid men.

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Saturday, July 11


Diary of a rural girl chapter 53

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse joins a gym: Part 2

Chapter 53

There is a famous saying that goes, “When you look good, you feel good”. This was particularly true in my case because my mood and improved seemed to have improved drastically ever since I had joined the gym. For the next few days after my joining the gym, I always went to bed exhausted however with a big smile on my face; I must add though that I would be as tired as a dog too. The exercises that Thamsanqa had given to me to do on my own as well as those I did with him at the gym were effective because I began to slip comfortably into my once ‘too tight’ jeans, which implied that I was really losing weight. I also noticed that my skin complexion had also improved because, as I had been told, when one sweats the skin flushes out all the other bad oils, mostly the fat found in junk food, that darkens the skin.

My days were so exciting that I even forgot to regularly check up on Tokollo; it had been a few days since he went on his business trip to Cape Town. Whilst I was preparing myself for gym, my cellphone rang. “Hello stranger”, Tokollo greeted, on the other end of the line, “I thought you had quit your job at McDonald’s”. “Of course, I did”, I replied, laughingly so, “Why did you think I went back to McDonald’s?” “You’ve been so hard to reach lately, you know! I even thought that maybe you had taken back that job because you never used to pick up your cellphone when you were still there”, Tokollo said. “No baby”, I said, “I have joined a gym because I have gained so much weight now. I took the decision to join the gym when, two days ago, I could not fit into my size 34 jeans”. I could hear Tokollo giggling over the phone; when he was done laughing, he said, “You do know that with us, black men, the bigger your ass and curves are, the better. I just love those big beautiful curves of yours, you do know that, right? Anyway, I was just checking up on you; I miss you and still love you, hey”. I told Tokollo that I missed him and before I could tell him that I loved him too, he hung up the phone. That did not bother me because I knew that Tokollo was a busy man and that he would never hung up his phone on me, except when maybe he had things to attend to, such as business meetings.

As I was busy packing my gym bag, my cellphone rang again. For a moment there, I even thought that it was Tokollo calling to tell me something that he had forgotten to mention when we were conversing earlier. When I picked up the call, it was Thamsanqa on the other end of the line. “Hey”, Thamsanqa greeted, “Do you mind coming down to open for me?” I was surprised because as far as I knew, I had never invited Thamsanqa to come over to my place let alone tell him where I stayed. I went to the door and opened for him nonetheless. When Thamsanqa got into the flat, he was wearing his casual clothes and in his hands, carrying his gym bag and his cellphone. “So, this is where you hide out”, he asked, without even first greeting me. “Yes Thamsanqa, I live here, but how did you find out where I stayed?” Thamsanqa folded his arms and said, “I got that information from your ‘application for gym membership’ forms, silly. Anyway, can this be our little secret? It’s against company policy for me to get a client’s personal information without their consent; I just want us to get a little privacy today, esapecially with the workout plan I have in mind.

“Okay then”, I said, “Let me go to my room to quickly change into my gym clothes”. I went to my bedroom and quickly changed into my gym clothes. When I went back to the living room, I found Thamsanqa already changed. When he saw me, Thamsanqa looked at me and said, “Wow, Mahlatse, you truly are a sexy and appetizing woman, you know”. “Thank you”, I replied, “Can we get started now”. I was having mixed feelings about this guy; yes, he was handsome, charming and sexy however he could’ve also been a rapist or a murderer and I didn’t even know about it. “Let us begin with our regular warm ups”, he said. When we began with Thamsanqa’s ‘planned workout programme’ for the day, he began to touch me in an uncomfortable way, as if trying to position my body better for the exercise we were doing. I remained quiet and hoped that he not do that again.

When we were doing one of the exercises, Thamsanqa came from behind me, as if trying to demonstrate to me how to perform the exercise effectively and then grabbed me by my behind. Shocked, I asked him, “Thamsanqa, what are you doing?” He looked at me and said, “My job; I am your personal trainer, am I not?” I told him that I appreciated all the help he was giving me however would also appreciate it if he kept his hands to himself. Being the ladies’ man that he was, Thamsanqa took offense in what I had just said to him. He left me in the middle of a set that we were doing together. When I asked him where he was going, he irritatingly replied, “Away from you!” I obviously asked him why he would do that and before I could finish my sentence; he turned around and came back to me. Do you know how many women would kill for an opportunity to sleep with me? I gave you that opportunity and you blew it all away”.

“Excuse me?” I said, with an angry and shaking voice, “Who do you think you are? You come to my place, uninvited, and you put your filthy hands on me, hoping that I’d sleep with you? Please get out of my flat NOW before I call the police”. Thamsanqa grabbed his gym bag, put his casual clothes in it and said, while making his way out, “I knew it was a mistake making a move on a fat pig like you;  you’re not even my type to begin with. Have a good life, fatty!” Thamsanqa then opened the door for himself and slammed it shut on his way out. I went to my bedroom, lied face-down on my bed and cried hysterically. I was crying not only that Thamsanqa had insulted me, but also because it seemed like he had just walked out with my only chance of getting back to shape.

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Wednesday, July 8


Diary of a rural girl chapter 52

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse joins a gym: Part 1

Chapter 52

I stepped out of the bath tub and stood in front of the mirror, staring at myself naked. I was looking at my body, wondering how I had gained so much weight in such a short space of time. Not that I wasn’t expecting it, I fully was, especially after the junk food that I had consumed whilst I was still working at McDonald’s. Furthermore, after I was attacked by that whore Ntswaki and had spent those few days at Tokollo’s house, I also lived a bit recklessly as far as my diet was concerned. I would have a soft drink, instead of good old tap water every time I wanted to quench my thirst. I immediately took a towel and covered my horrible fat body, feeling disappointed in myself. “How could Tokollo ever find me sexy now when I look like a pregnant blue whale”, I thought to myself.

I still had another full week before the schools opened and so, I could really do something to try and shed those extra kilos I had gained. That morning, I even had banana and black tea, instead of my normal creamy coffee, for breakfast. I switched on the TV and there were Verimark and Glomail infomercials showing on SABC 2. Much to my dismay, the infomercials were showing advertisements of weight loss products and home and/or gym equipment. I saw the men and women that were used to advertise these products and they all looked like well-sculpted statues of gods and goddesses, especially those found in Greek mythology.

I looked at those home and gym equipment and the cheapest of them was R2 500. I had some money left on me however I was not prepared to blow all that money on some fitness product or equipment. It then occurred to me, “What if I join a gym?” I then remembered that when I was first lost in Sunnyside, I remember passing a gym called Body Lab in Beatrix Street. I then took the decision to take whatever clothes I had that could be ‘fitting’ to gym standards, R500 from my money and my ID book, just in case they asked for some form of identification from me at the gym. When I was done, I made my way to this gym and arrived there 10 minutes later.

When I got to the gym, I was greeted by a young, Indian lady who worked as a receptionist for the gym. This lady was friendly throughout my whole joining process and even gave me a free gym water bottle as a new member’s gift. When we were done with all the paperwork, I headed into the main gym. Needless to say, Body Lab was just the way I had pictured it in my head. It had a lot, and I mean I lot, of gym equipment. From treadmills to weights and many other equipment that one could find in a decent gym. Oh, before I forget, the gym was also full of hunky men and sexy women, of all races, in tight clothing, with some men walking around without their tops, exposing their well-chiselled upper bodies with six packs.

I was confused; I didn’t know which machine to go to first. I ended up going to the treadmill for five minutes, then to do some minor weight-lifting for another five minuted, and lastly, to the swimming pool, even though I did not swim as I had not brought any swimming outfit. As I was wandering around the gym, I felt someone touching me on my shoulder, as though trying to get my attention. “Hi”, greeted the stranger, “My name is Thamsanqa Xulu and I am a personal trainer here”. I was dumbstruck; I only stared at this handsome Xhosa man blinded by his beauty. Thamsanqa was of moderate height, neither short nor tall; I’d say he was about 1,73 metres tall. He was of fair skin complexion and had pitch-black afro for hair with a well-trimmed moustache. I said nothing; I only stared at him, mesmerised by his handsome looks. As for his body, I could’ve melted there where I stood had he chosen to take off his sweater for me. Thamsanqa had the body of an American action movie star, the type that, as a woman, you’d never ever feel unsafe when you were ever with him.

“So”, Thamsanqa said, “Do you have a name?” “Mahlatse”, I said, still mesmerised by this man’s looks, “My name is Mahlatse Mokwena”. “Oh wow, what a beautiful name”, Thamsanqa said, “I am not Pedi however I once dated a Pedi woman from Seshego and I think Mahlatse means ‘luck’, am I right?” I looked at him and nodded, with a smile. “Okay, Mahlatse”, Thamsanqa said, “This is your lucky day; I am willing to help you achieve your fitness goals at a record-low fee of R250 for the whole week. That’s only if you’re interested in utilising my services”. “Okay”, I said, without even asking him any questions such as, how much he charges on a normal day or what exactly is it that a personal trainer does. I was swept off my feet and for a moment, I even forgot that I had a man who loved me out there.

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Sunday, July 5


Diary of a rural girl chapter 51

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse and the mad man

Chapter 51

After receiving the good news about Tsakane’s stepfather’s imprisonment, coupled with the fact that all my friends were back in the flat, I had a good night’s sleep. I slept so peacefully that night that I didn’t even wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. This is the reason why I felt like my bladder was about to explode in the morning when I woke up. I got up and quickly ran to the bathroom to relief myself. I thought that I would run onto Tsakane that time however realised that she was long gone for work as it was now 07h20. Kholo was also sleeping peacefully in her bedroom and so, I decided not to wake her up.

I had grown used to either waking up early for work or school that on a morning like this, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself that whole day. I then realised that I still had money on me and therefore nothing was stopping me from going to the mall to spoil myself with a bit of shopping. I took a bath and decided to stroll down to Sunnypark Mall. My planned shopping spree was derailed when I got there to find the whole mall not operating as a result of a power failure in the area. I then decided to go to Burger’s Park to get a bit of fresh air because it had been a while since I had last done so. I got into the park and sat down on a bench next to a small fountain. As I was busy on my cellphone, checking my Facebook account, I was surprised to find a middle-aged homeless man, who looked as though he could be in his early 50s, standing next to me. “Hello”, I greeted him with a friendly smile, “Can I help you with something, sir?” The man said nothing; he thereafter began to rub his crotch.

The man then took out his penis and began to masturbate in front of me. Shocked, I tried to ignore him by standing up from my bench and walking away however he kept on following me until I got to the entry gates of the park. A few guys were sitting in the park and they, for some strange reason, found what this man was doing amusing and therefore did not see any reason to help me by stopping him. I ran out of the park as fast as I could and this man gave chase. There were not many pedestrians on the streets that time of the day since that part of the city was less busy during the day—only down town was busy during the day; that is, from Schoeman Street right down to Boom Street, which is Pretoria’s main CBD. The few passers-by, who saw the incident, just pretended not to notice anything strange as this man was chasing me with his hand on his penis. “How less remorseful people are in big cities in South Africa”, the thought went through my mind as I was being chased by the mad man, finding it hard to believe how people were just turning a blind eye to my cries for help.

As I ran down the street, with this man still chasing after me with his erect penis sticking out of his dirty pants, I saw two Tshwane Metro Police vans parked on the roadside next to the park. I ran towards these two police cars and began to scream. “HELP! HELP!” I screamed, “He’s trying to rape me”. Two Metro police officers emerged from these cars—one from each van. These police men began to laugh as one of them grabbed the mad man to prevent him from coming to me. “Officers”, I said, almost out of breath, “Please arrest this man; he was trying to rape me”. The police officers continued to laugh until I asked them what the joke was with my situation. “Ma’am”, one of them said, “this is Reuben and he is a mentally handicapped, homeless man residing in the streets of Pretoria. We know him because he has been arrested a number of times before in the past. The magistrate, who handled his last few cases, referred him to a government shrink, who confirmed that Reuben was not ‘full shillings’ in the head. What Reuben would have done is that he was going to play with himself until he reached a climax and thereafter he was going to walk away, as he always does. His only crime is that he likes playing with himself whilst he’s being watched by women and not even once has one of his ‘victims’ ever mention that he made any physical contact with them”.

As the police officer was talking to me, Reuben, the crazy masturbator, was busy with his business. Being middle-aged, as he looked, Reuben’s penis wasn’t even of an attractive size. One of the police officers grabbed him by the collar of his torn, dirty old jacket and said, “Come on, Ru; let’s go! You can finish your business at the station; you’ve traumatised this young girl enough as it is”. The mad man was put in the back of one of the vans and one of the police officers, before driving off with him, said, “Miss, this is just to get him away from you; it’s pointless taking him in; he’ll just be released a few minutes later. Reuben’s mental condition exempts him from being arrested and/or tried for public indecent exposure”. “Just don’t be surprised to see him back here in Burger’s Park later this afternoon or tomorrow”, the police officer concluded, “We just can’t charge him”. The police van then drove away with Reuben staring obliviously out through the window. 
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Tuesday, June 30


Diary of a rural girl chapter 50

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Tsakane returns to Sunnyside

Chapter 50

The next morning Kholo was already awake when I got up for work. I found her sitting in a chilly living room, going through the photos of her as a small child in her album. “Kholo, why are you up so early in the morning?” I asked. “I am just thinking”, Kholo replied. “What exactly is it that you’re thinking about so early in the morning?” I asked. Kholo wiped tears from her eyes and said, “I am thinking about my life in general. I am fortunate; I have two loving parents who love me and sacrifice a lot so that they can provide a good life for me, and yet, I always find a way to screw it all up”. I went to her, took the photo album from her and told her that everything was going to be alright. “You are human, after all”, I said to Kholo, “It’s only human to make mistakes and more importantly, to learn from them”.

Even though I wanted to spend some more time with Kholo, I could not because I had work to go to. I was running late as it was and therefore wasted no time in jumping into the bath tub. When I was done bathing, I prepared myself and ran as fast as I could to work. As usual, I made it just in time for breakfast. On this day, I had a few slices of carrot cake with caramel latte. Like the previous day, McDonald’s Sunnyside was busy on this icy Friday morning with customers flocking into the restaurant for McDonald’s famous coffees, cappuccinos and lattes. I was busy in one of the tables when I was called into the office by Vincent. “Miss Mokwena, please take a seat”, Mr Pillay offered me a seat. This was particularly strange, yet funny, to me as it recalled my first day when I began working for McDonald’s. I had an idea of what this meeting was all about. “They called me into the office to tell me that my services were no longer required as Tsakane is probably on her way back to work one of these days”, I thought to myself. Mr Pillay was busy on his computer, as Victor and I sat quietly waiting for him to finish whatever it was that he was doing.

“Mahlatse”, Mr Pillay said, “I received a phone call from Miss Maluleke to tell me that she is coming back to Pretoria this afternoon. Since she has been away for so long, in which a policy of ‘no work, no pay’ was applied, she insisted that she start working again from tomorrow morning”. When Mr Pillay told me this, I had mixed feelings; I wasn’t sure whether I was relieved or disappointed about the news. Yes, I knew that this was only a temporary arrangement and that I also hated waking up in the morning, especially on such icy cold mornings however I had grown used to working with these people—I just enjoyed my time there, period. I had become part of the family and we all knew that. As for financial reasons, Tokollo had made it so hard for me to really need McDonald’s salary—the money he gave me dwarfed what Mr Pillay was paying to me on a fortnightly basis.

“Yes Mr Pillay”, I said, “I do understand and will be happy to vacate Tsakane’s position back to her”. As I was thanking Mr Pillay and Victor about the wonderful working experience I got at McDonald’s, Victor, with his big, baritone voice said, “Mahlatse, I don’t think Mr Pillay is done talking; you interrupted him before he could finish”. “Oh, sorry”, I said shamefully, “I apologise”. Victor and Mr Pillay only smiled as I was busy scratching my head. “Miss Mokwena”, Mr Pillay continued, “I have another McDonald’s restaurant at Hamilton Street in Arcadia that is managed by my eldest son; if you are interested, I would like you to join his team. You will, of course, still be under me, technically-speaking, as the restaurant also belongs to me”. Mr Pillay gave me until 2 o’clock in the afternoon when I knock off to get back to him with an answer. Since it was already 12 o’clock when we had the meeting, I felt that I didn’t have to keep him in suspense for those two remaining hours and so, I made my decision right there on the spot. “I appreciate the offer, Mr Pillay”, I said to him, “However I have to decline it due to my studies and other commitments”. Mr Pillay and Victor stood up and shook my hand, both thanking me for my positive contribution to the restaurant.

When I knocked off at 2, many of my colleagues were in tears, mostly females, when I broke the news of my departure to them. I exchanged cellphone numbers with them and also promised to pay them a visit in future. When I was done saying my farewells to them, I strolled alone to the flat, while listening to music on my Smartphone. When I got to the flat, I found Kholo and Tsakane. Even though I was expecting her to arrive a bit later that afternoon, I jumped with joy when I saw Tsakane. “Oh my God, Tsakane”, I said in a joy-filled voice, “I am so happy to see you, my friend”.  I hugged her and sat down on the couch, next to Kholo, who was also looking much better than she did when I left her that morning. Tsakane was glowing; there was just some positive glow in her overall self. “Girls, I am proud to tell you that I am back to Sunnyside for good this time because my stepfather has been arrested, prosecuted and was given ten years imprisonment term for all the abuse that he subjected my poor mother and siblings to”, Tsakane announced with a big smile on her face. I hugged her and also shed a tear of joy from the good news she had just given to me. I was also happy that justice was finally done, which meant that another woman-beater was off the streets.

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Monday, June 29


Diary of a rural girl chapter 49

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Should I or should I not

Chapter 49

Even though they did not want me to come along, I forced myself into the ambulance to ride along with the paramedics. “Miss”, one of the paramedics said, “It’s against company policy to let a person in here, you’ll only get on our way. We want to resuscitate your friend and we’ll need as much space as we can to do so”. I was too stubborn and too worried about Kholo to listen to the paramedic’s plea for me to get out of the ambulance. Realising that I was never going to get out of the ambulance, one paramedic banged on the side of the ambulance to signal the driver to drive off. The ambulance driver switched on a deafening siren to try and get other cars on the road to give it way—it is universally known that when any emergency vehicle, whether it’s a police car, an ambulance, or an official government vehicle with a siren, is on the road, it must be given the opportunity to pass every time it has its siren and/or emergency lights on. In Kholo’s case, her life depended on the ambulance’s quick arrival at the hospital.

We arrived at Netcare Jakaranda Hospital some five minutes later because the ambulance sped through the roads like there were no other cars or traffic lights. When we got to casualty, I tried to follow Kholo to the emergency room however I was stopped and restrained by a security officer, who was much bigger and stronger than the paramedic. I was caught between a rock and a hard place when I could not decide whether to call and inform Kholo’s parents about the incident—I knew that Kholo, even though she was unconscious, would not appreciate it if I contacted her parents. Furthermore, I also knew that should Kholo (and I prayed to God that that never happens) dies, her parents would not be able to forgive me for keeping such information from them.

I then decided that, even if she would hate me for it, I would contact Kholo’s parents. I took out my cellphone and while I was scrolling down my phonebook to look for Mrs Monareng’s number, a nurse came to the ward, calling my name. “Mahlatse! Is there a Mahlatse here?” the nurse called out. I raised my hand and she came to me and told me that Kholo was now conscious and was asking for me. I followed her to the ward and we got to Ward 26B where Kholo was. When I got into the ward, Kholo’s face was swollen and pale, with her lips having turned to ash grey in colour—the swelling must have been caused by when she fell face-first to the ground when she collapsed. Upon seeing me, Kholo burst into tears and began crying hysterically. I gave her my shoulder for her to cry on.

The nurse came back to the ward to tell us that there was no need for Kholo to spend the night at the hospital and that she was therefore free to go. We went to the front desk to do some paperwork and we were shocked to learn that Kholo’s hospital bill came up to R6 210 for those few hours she was lying in that ward. “It must include the ambulance fee as well”, I said to Kholo as she was busy filling out a form. “I don’t have this money on me though, hey”, Kholo said, worriedly. Realising that it was late and that he could also help with the bill, I took out my cellphone and called Tokollo. He got to the hospital in about 20 minutes. Tokollo did not hesitate; he took out his cheque book and wrote out a cheque to settle the bill. When we were done, we all went to Tokollo’s car so that he could take us to our flat. It took us less than ten minutes to get to the flat because it was now late—it was exactly 23h20 when we got there. I helped Kholo out of the car—I didn’t know what they had given her at the hospital but Kholo was so weak she couldn’t walk straight all by herself.

When we go to the flat, Kholo asked me if I had contacted her parents whilst she was at the hospital. “No”, I said to her, “I didn’t want to stress your parents out because I know that they would’ve forced to drive from Limpopo to here tonight for something as small as this”. “Oh, thank you, Mahlatse, you’re a good friend”, Kholo said, “Besides the fact that I didn’t want them to find out about this, I also didn’t want them to drive here tonight; the roads are a dangerous place, especially at night, hey”.  I nodded in agreement. “That was the last time I ever do something like that, I promise you, Mahlatse”, Kholo said as we entered her room, “I will never ever use drugs again in my life. When I was unconscious, I realised just how much I loved my parents and how much I did not want them to lose me”.

Kholo went to her bag and came back with a brown envelope. She opened it and pulled out a big stash of money. Shocked, I asked her a question, “Oh my God, Kholo, where did you get all that money from?” “There was a kiosk at the rehabilitation centre and mom and dad had been sending me money for me to buy whatever I wanted from it. The kiosk’s food was terrible so I decided to save the money instead”, Kholo replied. She counted the money and it amounted to R3 750. She asked me to call Tokollo to her bedroom, where we were now. When Tokollo entered the room, Kholo thanked him for all his help and handed him the money. Kholo also told Tokollo that she would give me the rest of the money for me to give to him the next day.

Tokollo took the money and stood up to leave. I got up to walk him out and when we got to his car, he told me that he would be going to Cape Town the next day for a week-long business conference. Tokollo handed me a spare key to his house and told me that I was welcome to drop in and sleep there every time I felt like it whilst he was away. “Thank you, Tokollo”, I said, “I appreciate it”. Tokollo leaned over and kissed me on the forehead and opened his car’s door. He climbed in and before he could leave, he said, “Oh, before I forget, keep the money that your friend will give to you tomorrow. I trust it will be enough for you for this week that I’ll be away”. Before I could answer him, Tokollo drove away.

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Friday, June 26


Diary of a rural girl chapter 48

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Kholo pays the price for using drugs

Chapter 48

I poured two cups of hot chocolate for me and Kholo to sit and catch-up; it had been a while since we last saw each other. I wanted to know how it was at the rehabilitation centre as well as to tell her about all the things that had happened to me whilst she was away. I was telling Kholo about how I was attacked by Ntswaki until I was interrupted by her, “So, this Ntswaki bitch gave you that nasty scar at the back of your head, huh? She can just thank her lucky stars that I wasn’t there because I would’ve given her a good hiding”. Since I had been the only one doing all the talking all these time, I took the opportunity to take a sip out of my hot chocolate and said, “Yes girlfriend, I know that you always have my back”.

As we were talking, Kholo was busy on her cellphone; she looked as though she was busy having a conversation with someone on WhatsApp or Facebook. “Kholo, who are you chatting to, there?” I asked her, seeing that she was giggling alone. “No one, just some old friends of mine”, Kholo answered. As I was busy telling her how I lost my virginity to Tokollo the very next day after the attack, we heard a knock on the door. I stood up to go and see who it was at the door however I was beaten to it by Kholo. She ran as fast as she could for the door and opened it without even asking who it was―clearly she was expecting this visitor.

Kholo opened the door and when I saw who it was, I was disgusted to discover that it was Bongani. Bongani was the dagga-smoking grandson of a traditional healer from Mpumalanga, who was responsible for getting Kholo hooked into drugs in the first place. He was not alone this time; he had brought a friend with him. This friend of Bongani’s was tall, dark and had a terrible breath. His breath was probably caused by a combination of his smoking dagga and obvious bad oral hygiene. Kholo jumped and hugged both guys and when she tried to signal me to go greet them, I chose to go to my room instead. A couple of minutes later, Kholo came and knocked on my door. “Who is it?” I asked. “It’s me, Mahlatse. Please come and join us, they won’t be here for long. Bongani says they were just in the neighbourhood and therefore felt the need to come and see me since I had been away for so long”.

“I am sorry, Kholo”, I said, “I can’t; you know how I feel about that guy”. “Please girlfriend, I will ask them to leave after five minutes or so, just come and sit with us for those few minutes, that’s all I am asking from you, my friend”, Kholo pleaded. I thought about it for a while and then opened the door. It must have been about five minutes that I locked myself in my bedroom however after only that small period of time the whole house was under a cloud of dagga smoke when I got to the living room. Upon inhaling this smoke, I started to cough terribly. All of them began laughing and making rude remarks about how I liked making myself ‘a little Miss goody two shoes’. I ignored their remarks and sat down on the couch, next to Kholo. Bongani’s friend looked at me and then at Kholo and thereafter said, “Kholo, are you not going to introduce me to your sexy friend?”

Kholo looked at me and said, “Mahlatse, this is Bongani’s friend…” Before she could finish her sentence, I interrupted her and said, “Not interested!” The guy looked at me with his red, bloodshot eyes and said nothing. Bongani then took a few puffs of his dagga and tried to pass it on to Kholo. When I saw Kholo reaching for it, I slapped it to the ground and warned, “Do you know how long Kholo had to stay in rehab because of your stinking dagga?” Bongani picked up the dagga from the ground and put it back in his mouth; he took a few puffs of smoke out of it and passed it to his friend. He looked at me and said, “If you ever do that again, I promise you, you’ll be sorry”.

As Bongani was rolling the German skunk for Kholo, I warned her how big a mistake she was making. “Kholo, think about your mom and dad; if you go back to drugs, all their efforts and money to get you all cleaned up would all have been in vain”, I warned. All my warnings fell onto deaf ears because Kholo kept on begging Bongani to hurry on up with the dagga. “Mahlatse, it’s only going to be this once, I promise you, my friend”, Kholo said to me, unconvincingly so. When Bongani was done rolling this dagga for Kholo, she jumped at it the same way thirsty man would upon seeing water for the first time in a long time. I tried to take this dagga away from her however Kholo pulled her hand away to prevent me from reaching it. She took only one puff out of this dagga and immediately thereafter her eyes rolled to the back of her head. She collapsed face first to the floor and began to kick uncontrollably. Bongani and his friend began to clap hands and laugh with Bongani’s friend complimenting, “Bongz, where did you get this one? This is some strong shit, dog!”

For a moment there, I also thought that Kholo was just high however also realised that she was having an epileptic seizure. White foam began to come out of Kholo mouth and she was vibrating violently. I rushed to her help and yelled, “YOU IDIOTS, CALL AN AMBULANCE! KHOLO’S HAVING A FIT”. The joke was over because Bongani and his friend had stopped laughing. Bongani looked at me and said, threateningly, “If she dies, I don’t want any part of this, do you hear me!” Bongani and his friend then stormed out of the flat. I took out my cellphone to try and call an ambulance. A lady picked up and I informed her that Kholo had just had an epileptic seizure from taking drugs. The call centre lady took my contact details and the address to our flat and assured me that an ambulance would be despatched to us in a few minutes’ time. “Before I hang up, whatever you do, try to keep your friend from biting her own tongue”, the lady advised. I reached for a magazine that was on the coffee table, rolled it to a small size and put it in Kholo’s mouth to try and keep her from biting her tongue, as the lady had advised. After I hung up the call, I could already hear the sounds of sirens of the ambulance, which meant that help was definitely on the way.

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Tuesday, June 23


Diary of a rural girl chapter 47

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Kholo returns from rehab

Chapter 47

The weatherman announced on the news that we would be experiencing a cold front that would make its way inland from the cold Benguela current. That night, my bedroom was freezing cold. It was so cold that I even remember the warmth of my beloved province of Limpopo. I was busy downloading gospel songs on my new smartphone through Tshwane Free WiFi, City of Tshwane’s free WiFi service to its residents, when I got a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. “Hi Mahlatse”, the message read, “I see you have WhatsApp now. I suppose it was only a matter of time, hey”. “Who is this?” I asked. The person from the unknown number took a few seconds to reply and then finally sent their message; “So, you’ve forgotten about me that you didn’t even hesitate to delete my numbers”. Judging from that message, I immediately knew that the person from the unknown number was somebody that I knew. I had my suspicions about who it could have been however I still had to make sure before I could draw any conclusions.

“I am sorry”, I said in my message, “this is a new cellphone and I don’t have everyone’s contacts in my SIM card, some people’s numbers were saved in my old cellphone; so, who am I chatting to now?” “Mahlatse, it’s me, baby, Thabang”, the message said. Of course I knew it was Thabang, who else could it have been. Thabang was just one of those people who woke up on WhatsApp, spent their day on it, and even feel asleep with the cellphones in their hands all because of WhatsApp. When I met him in that bus to TUT, he was on his cellphone, sometimes even smiling alone. “Oh, hello Thabang and bye”, I replied to his message. “Oh, come on, don’t be so mean!” Thabang’s reply message said, “Don’t tell me you’re still angry at me over that little incident”, Thabang said. I didn’t say anything and only decided to carry on with my gospel music downloads. “Mahlatse, are you still there?” Thabang’s next message said however I ignored it too.

Since it was used by more than a million City of Tshwane residents, the WiFi connectivity downloads were horrendously slow. I ended up dozing off and was woken up the next morning at 05h30 by my alarm. I could hear the wind whistling outside but, unfortunately for me, I had to be up for work. My bedroom was freezing cold, I literally felt like I was in an icebox. It was in times like this when I missed being in Tokollo’s house because he had always gotten up before me and prepared a warm bubbly bath for me. After a few minutes of tossing and turning, I got up, made my bed and went to bath. When I was done, I put on the warmest clothes I could find and walked to McDonald’s. On this day, the busy Sunnyside streets were reduced to a few people walking on the sidewalk; even the street vendors were nowhere to be found—obviously the low temperatures were the cause thereof. The weatherman had said the minimum temperature would be 1 degrees celcius however if felt like it was a minus 10.

When I got into the restaurant, everyone, even the so called, ‘tea non-drinkers’ had steaming hot cups of tea, coffee, or cappuccino on them. I joined in and poured myself a hot cup of Milo hot chocolate and had it with two big muffins for breakfast. As soon as the restaurant opened, some three white women from a charity organisation came into McDonald’s and placed an order for 185 breakfast meals. This order, they said, was for homeless people who resided on the streets of Sunnyside, Arcadia, Marabastad and Pretoria Central. We happened to be one of the restaurants, together with the others, that they had chosen to prepare these meals for them. Mr Pillay was smiling because to him, Christmas had just come early; this organisation was going to leave a few thousand rands in his restaurant after only half an hour of having just opened. We, obviously, would have to serve the public as well.

Normally McDonald’s serves breakfast until 10h30 however, on this day, McDonald’s Sunnyside stopped serving breakfast at 11h30. I was so busy, I literally found myself hot and sweating on one of the coldest days of the year. When our shift was done, Mr Pillay asked me and four other colleagues to stay behind and help out, at least until 6 in the evening. He promised to pay us double our normal hourly rate if we agreed to stay behind and help. We all agreed except for one lady who had to pick up, and thereafter babysit, a child from crèche. When it reached 6 pm, the restaurant was still busy, with Mr Pillay himself still in an apron washing the dishes whilst everyone else served customers.  Only God knows how much money Mr Pillay made on this freezing day—and you wonder why people sometimes make stereotypical remarks about Indians’ love for money; now I knew and understood why people always said that.

I then took my bag and made my way to the flat in that icy-cold wind. I got to the flat some 15 minutes later because I was exhausted by now; I had just worked an eleven and a half shift and all I needed was a long hot bath. When I tried to unlock the burglar door with my key, I found it already unlocked. “Oh my God!” I thought to myself as I was quietly making my way into the dark kitchen, “Could there have been a break-in? Please Lord, don’t let it be, this is the last thing I need right now; I am cold and tired”. I reached for one of the pans that we hung on the kitchen walls and made my way into other rooms of the apartment. I was walking quietly, on my toes, trying to sneak up on the robbers; maybe “I can be lucky and get to hit one of them unconscious with this steel pan on the head a few times”, I thought to myself. I was startled when I heard movements in Kholo’s bedroom. The rest of the apartment was dark and only Kholo’s bedroom light was on. Knowing that Kholo was still at rehab, I didn’t want to call-out for her name because I knew that I would scare off the robbers if I did, or worse yet, get them to prepare to attack with whatever dangerous weapon they might have in their possession. I quickly opened the door to Kholo’s bedroom and yelled, “DON’T MOVE THIEF OR I’LL BASH YOUR HEAD WIDE OPEN WITH THIS PAN!”

Kholo screamed and dropped the box of shoes she had in her hands on the floor. “Oh, Kholo, is that you, girl”. “Yes, Mahlatse”, Kholo answered with relief in her face, “the last time I checked, I also lived here”. I then lowered the pan and went to give her a hug. My hair was beginning to grow back up now and I showed Kholo the scar on the back of my head and said, “There’s a lot I have tell you, girlfriend”. Kholo looked at the pan and then looked at me and said, laughingly, “If I was a real robber and I had a real gun, what would you have done with that?” I said nothing and only shook my shoulders to signal that I didn’t know. We only laughed and laughed at this situation.

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Sunday, June 21


Diary of a rural girl chapter 46

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse is asked to testify in court

Chapter 46

The next few days that I stayed at Tokollo’s house were very harmonious. He would wake up earlier than usual, wake me up as well so that we could have our morning sex. Thereafter, he would prepare himself for work while I slept until late. At night, after we have had dinner, we would both take a bath or a shower together and then carry on with our in lots sex—I must say, I never suspected that I would be living this life I was living now, given the fact that hardly a week ago, I was still an untouched virgin. During the day, Tokollo would call to check up on me and other days, when he assumed that I would be tired of home-prepared food, I would be surprised to get deliveries, that I never asked for, from Roman’s Pizza, Debonairs Pizza, Maxi’s, and other restaurants. Getting pampered didn’t even begin to describe what Tokollo was doing to me.

Finally, on Tuesday morning, I told Tokollo that I had to go back to the flat as my sick leave was over. “No baby”, he said, “I don’t want you to go”. I told him that I also didn’t want to go however I had to check up on the apartment as well since Mr Monareng had entrusted the responsibility to me in Kholo’s absence. “Okay baby”, Tokollo said, “I understand”. When we were done with breakfast, we got into his car and he dropped me off at the flat. When I was about to get off his car, Tokollo reached for his wallet and pulled out R400, in two R200 banknotes. He handed the money to me, kissed me and said, “If you’re not feeling well, don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll take you to my doctor; he can always book you off some more if you want”. I looked at him and said, “I am fine, baby, I promise you”.

I opened the door to our apartment and I was greeted with a smell of stuffed air—the door and the windows hadn’t been opened in more than a week, which explains why the whole apartment was so stuffy. Since it was now 06h10, I had about 10 minutes to inspect the apartment, looking for any signs of forced entry or burglary, and then make my way to McDonald’s. Luckily, the apartment was still in one piece, which meant that nobody had tried to rob us. Thereafter, I immediately changed to my work uniform and rushed to the restaurant. I got there approximately 10 minutes later, at 06h30.

“Mahlatse, my child”, Mr Pillay greeted me as I walked into the restaurant, “How are you feeling this morning?” I smiled and said, “I am fine, sir”. I went into the kitchen where everyone was busy dishing up on some breakfast; I greeted them. My colleagues were coming to me one at a time, each asking me how I was feeling after Ntswaki’s attack on me. I was patient enough to tell each and every one of them that I was fine without feeling irritated because deep down, I knew that they cared and that all meant well. I didn’t have breakfast because I had had it already with Tokollo back at his house. As usual, the restaurant opened at 06h45 and customers began flocking in immediately afterwards for their regular fix of McDonald’s famous breakfast. When the morning rush was over, a certain young man from a courier company walked into the restaurant with a box. “Good morning sir”, he greeted my supervisor, Victor, “I have a package here for Miss Mahlatse Mokwena”.

Victor called out my name, with his big, masculine voice and said, “Mahlatse, this gentleman is looking for you”. I went to them and the courier company man handed me the box and asked me to sign on a document he had with him. I did just as he asked and he left the restaurant. When I opened the box, I saw that it was a new smartphone and there was a note that came with it. “I hope this can improve our communication”, the note read, “The smartphone comes preloaded with WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media that we can use to communicate. LOVE: Tokollo”. Even though I was excited, I didn’t want to get carried away by it and only went to put the box in my locker. I was busy clearing tables when Victor called me to Mr Pillay’s office. I went there, clueless as to why they had called me to the office so suddenly—I even suspected that maybe my having the package delivered at work was against company policy and maybe they wanted to bring that under my attention.

When I got into Mr Pillay’s office, I found Mr Pillay already on a call. Victor signalled for me to sit down and I did. After Mr Pillay put down the phone, he looked at me and said, “That was Detective Khudu; those criminals who robbed the store at gunpoint have been arrested; they have been in the police holding cells for almost a week now. The detective called me to inform me that the court case is today at 2 pm and that it is imperative that we, especially you, be there, otherwise these guys can walk free due to the State’s insufficient evidence against them. I know it’s a bit too much for you to handle, especially on your first day back at work, but we don’t want these guys to have to come back and rob us again because we failed to send them to prison when we had the chance, do we?” I looked at Mr Pillay and began to cry, I then agreed. “Thank you, Mahlatse”, Mr Pillay said, “We’ll leave at 1 o’clock sharp”.

The thought of having to face those criminals again was overwhelming—it was just too much for me to handle. Contrary to the other busy days when time seems to stand still, on this day, time was flying. One moment it was 10h15 and the next, it was 12h40. Finally, at 1 o’clock, Justice, Josephine, Matlakala and I got into Mr Pillay’s car. We were making our way to the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in Schubart Street, Pretoria Central, where the case was going to be held. When we got into the courtroom, as to be expected, the place was no place for children—it was full of many serious-looking adults and a much more serious and no-nonsense-taking judge. The judge wasted no time with the case and introduced himself as Judge Ronald Nkitseng. There was also a State prosecutor who wasted no time in calling me to the ‘box’. He asked me for my name and thereafter asked me to identify my attackers. When I identified the defendants as my attackers, the prosecutor asked them how they pleaded. “Not guilty”, they all said. The prosecutor then thanked me for testifying against the defendants and sent me back to my chair. He thereafter handed the court proceeding back to Judge Nkitseng.

“Miss Mokwena”, Judge Nkitseng said, “On behalf of the judicial system and the City of Tshwane, I would like to thank you for taking this brave step in testifying against these defendants. As you have heard, they have all pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to the case that has been opened against them. In the light of your first-hand account with them and your testifying statement, I hereby rule in your favour”. By now, tears were streaming down my cheeks and Mr Pillay had his hand on my shoulder, supporting me the same way he always had been throughout this case. Judge Nkitseng then faced all three of the accused, opened a piece of paper that was handed to him by a gentleman from the jury. He looked at them and said, “The State, together with the jury, finds you all guilty of armed robbery and assault. Therefore, with the power vested in me by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, I hereby sentence you all to five years in prison each plus six months of community service which will be carried out by yourselves upon your release”.

As Mr Pillay and others were cheering, welcoming the sentence that was given to the perpetrators, Judge Nkitseng slammed his hammer and yelled, “SILENCE IN COURT! This court session is adjourned”. The young men were taken by police back to their cells where they would be taken to Kgosi Mampuru Maximum Security Prison where they will begin to serve their five-year sentences. I was glad that justice was done and that the criminals who had violated us were finally paying for their wrong deeds. 

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Wednesday, June 17


Diary of a rural girl chapter 45

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Tokollo removes all doubt from Mahlatse 

Chapter 45 

“That’s it; I’ve had it with Tokollo and his endless lies. How could he keep something as serious as his HIV status from me? Was he going to disclose his status to me after he had also infected me with HIV? I mean that’s always been his plan all along—to get me into bed”, I thought to myself as I was putting on my clothes as well as packing all my other belongings into my hand bag. My thoughts were interrupted by the second phone call ring that I heard coming from the sitting room. I went to pick it up and there was a woman’s voice at the other end of the line, only this time, it wasn’t Ntswaki. This woman was very professional and she asked for me by name, unlike Ntswaki.

It was Tokollo’s PA, just as he had promised, his PA had called me so that she could get my shoe and clothes sizes. “Tell your boss not to bother”, I said to the PA, “I am no longer staying in his house, I am going back to my place now”. The lady made no attempt to talk me out of the idea because she did not know what was going on; she was merely a messenger. When I went back to the bedroom to carry on with the packing, my cellphone rang and when I check, it was Tokollo. I picked up the phone and he said, “Baby, what’s going on now? My PA tells me that you’ve refused to give her your shoe and clothes sizes as I had asked her to get them from you”. I said nothing and only began crying.

“Mahlatse, what is the matter, baby? Why are you crying? Are you in pain?” Tokollo worriedly asked. I wiped the tears from my eyes and said, “Tokollo, do you want to tell me something—something that you think I deserve to know now that we’ve slept together?” Tokollo paused for a few minutes and then said, “Mahlatse! Baby, what are you talking about?” I snapped at him and said, “Stop pretending like you don’t know what I am talking about. You’re HIV positive and you kept quiet about it all this time. When were you planning on telling me about this?” I could hear Tokollo, over the phone, let out a silly laugh, expressing disbelief in what I had just told him. “Mahlatse, what did you just say?” he asked. “You heard me!” I replied, harshly so.

“Mahlatse, I am not HIV positive; where did you get that information from, baby?” Tokollo asked. “Your girlfriend, or should I say mistress, Ntswaki, called me from the police station and told me the truth”. Tokollo let out that silly laugh of disbelief again and said, “So, you took her word for it; after she attacked you so ruthlessly?” I wasted no time in asking Tokollo about the ARVs in his wardrobe, “And how do you explain the velvety box in your wardrobe as well as the pills in it?” “I suppose it was Ntswaki who had told you about the box, right?” Tokollo asked. “I have never told you what my business, have I? Anyway, let me not keep you in the dark any longer; I have a contract with the Gauteng Department of Health. I have been contracted to supply medications and other medical supplies to pharmacies in clinics and hospitals in the province. Those ARVs are for me to prove to my business partners that my business is legitimate and that I am supplying real antiretrovirals and not the counterfeit ones that some backdoor doctors have been found to possess”, Tokollo explained.

I was left dumbstruck; I didn’t even know what to say to Tokollo. “Ntswaki is a liar, a thief and a violent girl whom I should never have allowed in my house in the first place”, Tokollo continued, “She found the ARVs because she had been ransacking the house looking for money; unfortunately for her, I had stopped keeping money in the house after my house was broken into a year ago. When she found those ARVs, she took pictures of them and posted them on Facebook to try and damage my reputation when our relationship was not working out. She literally posted on every social media platform that I am HIV positive and that women should not fall for my lies as I would infect them with the virus the same way I had infected her”. Tokollo told me that he had a meeting with his marketing department staff in a few minutes’ time however promised that he would drive straight home right after it. When Tokollo hung up the phonecall, I went back to the bedroom to unpack whatever little items I had packed. 

Around 17h10, I heard Tokollo’s BMW X3 pull over in front of the garage. When he opened the door to his kitchen, he found me waiting for him. Before he could say anything, I looked at Tokollo deep in the eyes and said, “Baby, I am so sorry, I never should’ve listened to that sl*t, Ntswaki. She is a bitter and conniving person who delights in ruining people’s lives”. Tokollo, who was also crying together with me this time, promised me that he would never keep in touch with Ntswaki ever again. “Yes baby, I admit it, I might be some kind of a sex addict but I promise you, I will get help for this problem. I want to stick to only one woman and in you; I think I’ve finally found what I have long been searching for. This addiction has already caused me my marriage and I’ll be damned if I let it split us up”. 

“Finally”, Tokollo concluded, “I will go, with you if you prefer, to any hospital or clinic of your choice for HIV tests. I want to confirm to you my HIV status; I just don’t want you to take my word for it. I am HIV negative however I would like you to see that with your own two eyes”. “Okay baby”, I said. We then hugged and walked together to the living room, holding hands. When Tokollo was seated on the couch, I went to his bedroom and returned with a foot spa machine that was still in its box—it seemed like someone had given to Tokollo as a gift however he had not yet found time to use it himself. I poured luke warm water into this machine as well as other massaging oils in this water. Like a king, I took off his shoes and put his feet inside this water for a couple of minutes. Thereafter, I gave Tokollo a foot massage; it was the least I could do for having ruined his day by listening to and believing Ntswaki’s lies.  
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Tuesday, June 16


Diary of a rural girl chapter 44

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Ntswaki’s frightening phone call to Mahlatse 

Chapter 44 

The night I spent with Tokollo was a bittersweet one. I didn’t know that sex could feel so good and at the same time, painful too. “I want you, Mahlatse; I love you, baby; I can’t get enough of you…” Tokollo kept on saying as he was making love to me throughout the night. I can’t recall the number of times he stopped to change condoms. He must have tried every sex position with me that night. For a moment there, I even regretted having insulted him one day about the (small) size of his manhood. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to handle him had he been a little bigger than he was. The only breaks we got were when he or I had to go use the bathroom. Finally, I think it must have been after 2, we went to sleep. The sex had kept me so busy that I had even forgotten to take the medication that was given to me at the hospital.

I only managed to get only three hours of sleep until the alarm went off—I had set it for 05h30. Tokollo got out of bed before I could and went to take a shower before me. He was the one going to work not me as I had been booked off for the whole week. “But baby, you’re the boss, why do you go to work this early?” I asked him. Tokollo looked at me, climbed out of bed naked and said, “I have a company to run and so, unlike many bosses, I prefer to oversee many things in the morning. I find that going through the company’s balance sheet and other financial statements, is more manageable in the morning when the mind is still fresh than during the day or in the afternoon when the mind is beginning to pick up on some exhaustion”. 

I dozed off for those few minutes whilst Tokollo was still taking a shower but woke up a couple of minutes later when he gently shook me by my shoulder. “Baby, your water is ready; make haste before it gets cold”, he said to me. I climbed out of the bed naked whilst covering my private area and breasts with my hands. Tokollo looked at me, let out a silly laugh and said, “I understand, baby, you’re still a bit shy around me; you just lost your virginity and are not yet comfortable in being seen nude, especially by a man”. I went to Tokollo’s en suite bathroom and found a beautiful bubble-bath waiting for me. I don’t know which bath foam or salt he put in the water however it smelled so good, and expensive too. I got into the water and its temperature was just perfect—I felt like a queen in her very own castle. 

I got out of the bath a couple of minutes later and went back to Tokollo’s bedroom. He wasn’t there. “I am in here, baby”, Tokollo called out from the kitchen. I strolled to the kitchen wearing only his white cotton gown. Tokollo’s kitchen, like the rest of his house, was fit for a successful businessman like him. It was beautifully furnished and his house, both inside and outside, qualified to earn a feature in an episode of Top Billing. Tokollo had prepared the most beautiful and exotic breakfast for me—I worked at McDonald’s however I had never seen any on the foods that he had prepared on any of our menus. The breakfast that Tokollo had prepared for me consisted of a croissant, salmon, feta cheese, garlic sausage and imported duck, not chicken eggs, which are white in colour and are more expensive. The taste of this breakfast was so ‘out-of-this-world’, it was just so delicious and magical.

After breakfast, Tokollo went to his bedroom and returned a few minutes later with a jacket in his hand—the night and morning cold was beginning to pick up because winter was now upon us. “Baby, I woke you up this early because I wasn’t sure whether you wanted me to drive you back to Sunnyside or not. I don’t want you to go; I want you to stay behind please, at least until such a time when you’ve fully recovered”, Tokollo said to me. I thought for a moment about what he had just said and then told him that I would stay. I had no reason to go back to Sunnyside, Kholo and Tsakane were not at the flat and I was not going to work, at least for a few days. Besides, I didn’t even have classes so I had no reason not to stay in Tokollo’s house for a few more days. My only concern was that I desperately needed clean and fresh clothes. “I’ll call you during the day to your sizes so that I can send my PA to buy you some clothes at Irene Village Mall, okay?” Tokollo said just when he leaned over to kiss me goodbye.

After Tokollo left, I wasted no time in exploring the house. I went from room to room admiring how beautiful they all were—all these rooms were beautifully designed and furnished. In one room, on top of a coffee table, I found an old shoebox with a message on the side, ‘MY MEMORIES’. Inside this box were old toys and a photo album. The album contained photographs of a younger and much cute Tokollo with his family and friends. I enjoyed seeing Tokollo in every single photograph he appeared in because he was completely different from how he was now. Whilst I was enjoying looking at Tokollo’s photos, my little fun was cut short when I heard the telephone ringing at the sitting room. I quickly ran to the sitting room and when I picked up the phone, it was Ntswaki on the other end of the line.

Ntswaki did not even greet me; she only rudely said, “Where’s Tokollo, I want to speak to him NOW!” “Tokollo isn’t here and besides, even if he was, I wouldn’t give him the phone with that stinking attitude of yours”, I said angrily at her. She paused for a few minutes and I heard her voice changing, for the better this time; she said, “So, you’re already feeling at home in that beautiful house of his are you not? Join the club, dear! I felt that way too, same as the many other girlfriends of Tokollo. Listen here, Miss Waitress, has Tokollo told you yet?” “Told me what?” I asked. “That he is HIV positive”, Ntswaki answered. “You’re lying, you’re just bitter because he chose me over you as well as for the fact that you’re sitting in prison now because of him”, I said to her. “I am now HIV positive because of that bastard and I want to make him pay for what he did to me”, Ntswaki said.

“I don’t believe you”, I said to Ntswaki. She let out a devilish laugh and said, “Did you take a good look at me yesterday at McDonald’s? You could never compete with me even in your wildest dreams. There’s no way Tokollo, or any other man for that matter, can leave me for someone like you. Anyway, I had threatened Tokollo about going to the newspapers to expose him for what he truly was. Realising that my threats could ruin his life as well as thinking that I could use them to extort money from him; he tried many ways to get rid of me, but failed. Yes, I blackmailed Tokollo but I was going to use the money to take care of myself because it had not been easy ever since I found out that I am HIV positive”. For a moment there, I began to believe and sympathise with Ntswaki but later realised that she nearly killed me the previous day by attacking me with a coarse salt grinder. “Listen”, Ntswaki continued, “If you don’t believe me, it’s fine, I understand. You might also want to go to Tokollo’s wardrobe and in the bottom drawer, there’s a maroon velvet box, which is where he puts his HIV medication in. Inside this velvet box, there will be a box of antiretrovirals or ARVs as they are commonly known which he takes every morning just after he has had his breakfast”. Ntswaki then hung up the call. I, on the other hand, was left speechless with what I had just heard.

I was curious; as much as I didn’t want to snoop around in Tokollo’s private business, I also wanted to find out if what Ntswaki was telling me was the truth. I opened Tokollo’s wardrobe and just as Ntswaki had described, there was a small maroon velvety box. I pulled it out and sat on the bed with it. When I opened the box, I was shocked with what I had just seen: Alas! There, I found an open box of ARVs.     

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Friday, June 12


Diary of a rural girl chapter 43

The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Mahlatse makes a big decision

Chapter 43

“Mahlatse, are you okay?”
“Maybe she’s dead. Look at the blood coming out from her head”
“Mommy, is she going to heaven now that she’s dead?”
“Somebody please call an ambulance”
I was unconscious however I could hear, vaguely, as people were talking in the background, trying to get help for me.

The people’s voices began to fade away and I could’ve sworn I was dying. I began to hear sweet melodies playing in the background. “Could those sweet melodies be coming from the harps played by angels? So, is this how people feel like when they are dead? If I could hear those people that means granny could hear us when we were talking and crying to her whilst she was lying in that coffin? But wait, I can’t die, not now; who’s going to take care of my little brother, Matome, if I am dead?” all these thoughts went through my mind. Then I felt my body getting lifted from the ground and I thought, “So, this is it. Jesus has come to carry me home to heaven where granny and both my parents are waiting for me. As for Matome, if God you’re taking my soul today, surely You have a plan to take good care of him better than I ever can”. A couple of minutes later, I saw a big, bright light shining before my eyes. “So, those must be the gates of heaven opening up for me to go take my rightful place beside my Creator”, I thought to myself.

A few minutes later, I felt a painful sensation on my finger. “Ouch!” I screamed, waking up in the process. I found myself in an emergency room, lying on a stretcher, with two nurses on both sides of the stretcher. One of them was holding a syringe in her hand and she had just used it to prick me on my index finger. The other nurse had a thin beam electric torch in her hand. “What happened, where am I?” I asked them. “Relax Miss Mokwena, you’re in Jakaranda Hospital; you were brought here half an hour ago unconscious, with a gash behind your head”, one of the nurses replied. “Hospital? Am I not in heaven”, I asked. They looked at me and both let out a silly laugh. One of them looked at me and said, “We’re here to make sure that young girls like you do not go to heaven before their time”. “But…”, I said, “I heard sweet harp melodies being played by angels and saw a big white light as the gates of heaven were being opened for me”. The two nurses tried to contain themselves not to laugh this time around.

The other nurse looked at me and said, “Look Miss Mokwena, you lost a lot of blood and as a result, you hallucinated, It completely normal for patients to hallucinate when they’re in that state”. She pointed the thin beam electric torch that her colleague had in her hand and said, “After we were done stitching your wound up, she used that apparatus to check your pupil size so that she could see how far you were from regaining back your consciousness. So, there was no big white light from heaven, but only the beam of that torch shining into your eye”. “Oh”, I said, feeling stupid after she explained all of those things to me. I mean, what else could I say? When they were done with me, the nurses asked me to sit on a wheelchair so that they could push me to back to the casualty ward.

At the casualty ward, I found Tokollo waiting for me. “Before you say anything, Mahlatse I would like to apologise for what that bitch did you. You’ll be glad to know that Ntswaki has been arrested and is sitting in some holding cell at Sunnyside Police Station”. I had no words to Tokollo, I didn’t know what to say to him. “Oh, by the way”, he continued, “Mr Pillay was here with me the whole time. He is a good manager; he was worried sick about you however I asked him to go back to work. I assured him that I’ll make sure that you’re taken good care of”. Tokollo then helped me to my feet. I went to fill out a few forms so that I could be discharged. As we made our way to the parking lot, I could not see Tokollo’s Mercedes Benz C63 AMG anywhere. “Where’s your car?” I asked. He pointed me a white BMW X3 and said laughingly, “Didn’t you know that I owned a Beemer as well?”

He opened the door for me and I climbed in at the back seat so that I could lie down at the back seat. “Do you have the keys to your flat with you?” he asked. “Yes, I do”, I answered, “but I’d rather spend the night at Brooklyn with you tonight”. Tokollo looked at me through the mirror and said, “Are you sure about this, Mahlatse? Especially after all that has happened today”. I said nothing and only nodded. As we drove into his house, I looked at Tokollo and said, “Realising how easy life can be taken away, I’ve come to realise that there’s no point in holding back from beautiful things such as love and sex. I love you, Tokollo, and have therefore come to the conclusion that I want you to be my first”.

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