The funeral (3/7)

By Drum Digital
15 July 2015

There’s bound to be trouble when you bury a man who has three wives.

Meanwhileat Qaqeni, the two Sibiya wives were in isolation – wrapped in blankets, sitting on a mattress in a bare, candle-lit room, waiting for the remains to arrive. A child peered round the door and said, “Mama, one of the aunties said to tell you both that the food is ready.” Zinhle nodded and moments later, the girl came back with a tray. The meal was an oxtail stew served with pap, and the appetising aroma filled the house.

Doris ate in silence, but her thoughts were in turmoil. She reflected that a woman of 18 years is good for a lot of things, but not for rotting her life away giving birth to children. Luckily, she’d been barren, perhaps because Sandile had spent so much time in the city with his nyatsi. And as the junior wife, she was forced to serve old Zinhle just like an errand boy.

The red Citi Golf rolled into Qaqeni, and Mkhulu Bheka got out. He was heard softly saying, “Sandile, my son, we have arrived home safely. The entire family has gathered to meet you before we take you to the final resting place next to your father. “It has been a long journey and I trust that you are thirsty, my boy. So let us go to your room and we will call for your sister to bring us umqombothi to drink.

Sit down and rest, my son.” When the clay pot was brought in, Bheka said, “Zinhle and Doris are here with the children.” He took off his blazer and rolled up his shirt sleeves.

To be continued...

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