Going down the drain 2/3

By Drum Digital
12 November 2013

She’d been acting before he was even born.

She’d been famous and loved by millions of fans when he was still in primary school. Yet there he sat in his fancy producer’s office, threatening to take away what she’d worked and fought for all her life. And it had been a fight. There had been many obstacles in her way. But she’d always done whatever it took to get ahead. “I’m going to confront this Noah Ngcobo,” she told her agent. “I’m going to give him a piece of my mind. Right now.” Over the phone, PK sounded panicked.

“No, honey. I wouldn’t advise that. Ngcobo is the darling of the network bosses right now. He has pushed up the ratings by 20 per cent. He’s the studio’s boy wonder. Please, please, just sit tight for now. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t cause any upsets.” Lindiwe ended the call. Perhaps it was time to find a new agent, someone who  took her concerns seriously. She strode into the studio foyer with its gleaming marble floor and lush pot plants. Everyone she passed greeted her in hushed tones and gazed at her adoringly: the receptionists, extras, tea-lady, cleaners. Yes, she was the Queen of Soap Operas, the megastar of Fame and Fortune. It was her character that got the viewers watching the show every evening.

And no wet-behind the- ears young producer was going to make her life difficult. She was going to put a stop to it. Right now! She would show him who was in charge. Lindiwe stepped into the lift and pushed the button to the fourteenth floor where Noah Ngcobo had his office. Just as the doors were closing, another woman slipped into the lift and stood beside Lindiwe. She was about the same age as her – mid-fifties, although Lindiwe never, ever gave her age in magazine interviews. The woman also looked a fright with her untidy head-scarf, bulky jersey and shapeless skirt over a thickset body. Lindiwe shuddered. How could any  woman let herself go this way? And what was she doing in the studio’s main lift? Only the most important people were supposed to use this lift. The woman also had a terrible scar that ran all the way from her temple across her left cheek.

It made her face look deformed. And right now, this woman was staring at Lindiwe . But there was no adoration in her eyes. As the lift climbed to the fourteenth floor, Lindiwe felt a shiver of fear. Who was this woman? How had she managed to get past the tight security? Was she some crazy fan who didn’t understand that soap operas were just fiction and not real life? The woman spoke now, still staring at Lindiwe. “You don’t remember me, do you? I was at Sacred Heart College with you. My name is Gugu Sibisi.” Lindiwe was used to this. There were always fans telling her they knew her from school, from church, from walking past her  on some street in the days before she had her own chauffeur-driven car. So Lindiwe put on her best fake smile and said in her friendliest phony voice, “It’s good to see you again, Gugu.”

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