3grunt: ‘ummh-ummh’, to suggest and remind him of the all important virtue of proprietyeverytime that his first girlfriend came home visiting. These shoes had been everywhere;they had seen everything and their print marks were all over his memory, all over his life.They were everything.They had been on hand to smack his backside when really got out of hand, like the timehe dismantled the family’s just-paid-off battery powered fifteen inch black and whitetelevision set to bits in an effort to get to the ever-jubilant cartoon characters of hischildhood afternoons that supposedly resided within it. It didn't help matters that the tellywas a Monarch deluxe in pure mahogany finish that was the pride and joy of his father onevery Sunday afternoon as he cheered the Chiefs on to victory over a frothy cup of coldand effervescent traditional beer. These shoes had provided leverage against the bareconcrete floor, playing their part in the frequently played out drama of hauling a
-inebriated husband to the parental bedroom. These shoes had been there for him always;they had been there for him when it was dark overhead and wet underfoot. These shoeswere his making. They had stepped onto the scene of each and every little trial andtribulation. Line by line, precept by precept they had lived the story that was the makingof the man he had grown to be. The graduation party, the wedding, every occasion, theyhad been there.A soft knock on the door jolted him back to thethen-and there. She stood there with alook of understanding. Was that a hint of a tear in the corner of her eye? Caught unawareshe slowly put down the shoe he was holding against his bosom. ‘Time to eat son', shemuttered uneasily, making clear the deeply emotive strength of the moment. She closedthe door carefully as she left. She was wearing brown shoes.
Nkosi Sikelel' Afrika
Fridays at Gamotshana Junior School were the best days of all, especially Fridaymornings. Friday morning was when we had we had school assembly in the great hall.With the weekend coming, everybody would be excited because that meant spending twowhole days at home. Except for the homework to be done on Friday night, there would beno pens, no rulers and erasers to talk and think about, life would be all fun. For a fewthere'd be just puppies, kittens, bicycles, Voltron™, Candy pops and most of all charminglittle sisters to think of, spoil at every turn and be with all the time. Some would for thenext two days tirelessly play tag and hop scotch in the dusty and potholed streets of thelocal townships. A few others would spend the weekend a bit further out of townalternating between the pursuit of unfettered childhood happiness, the search for wildfruit and fetching waterfrom the commune well. After all, all work and no play wouldmake us dull, wouldn't it?I particularly remember one beautiful Friday morning. We started assembly as usual bysinging the national anthem, Nkosi sikelel' Africa. The pretty brown skinned girls in thefront row with their neatly pressed and bright yolk-yellow frocks always started the song.