Always an answer (1/5)

By Drum Digital
30 March 2015

Gogo Johanna was the family problem-solver.

Thandi wailed over the phone. “It’s driving me crazy, Mama. What can I do?” My daughter-in-law does this often. This time the problem was my three grandchildren. They were stressing her out, squabbling non-stop. I went through that myself, back when Andile and his brothers were young, so I could sympathise. “Especially at mealtimes, Mama,” Thandi wailed on. “I try to have a happy family time round the table, the way Andile would like it to be. But then Olona and Emmanuel start an argument about something silly. And then Jacob starts annoying Olona and then Emmanuel starts teasing Jacob. “It’s like a vicious circle and the dining room turns into a war zone.”

“I’m so sorry, dear,” I murmured patiently, knowing this conversation might go on for some time. Once Thandi is in full flight, she doesn’t stop till she’s got it all out of her system.

While she wailed on, I looked in the mirror and tidied my hair. From the lounge, my husband called out. “Is that Nomthandazo again? I don’t know why you put up with it, Johanna. It’s not your problem.” I rolled my eyes at my reflection in the mirror. My husband has no patience with Thandi and her tribulations. But of course my grandchildren are my problem! I want them to be.

My son, Andile, is away working on contract in Botswana for weeks at a time. And Thandi is left to cope with three feisty teenagers. She needs all the help she can get! “Have you got any ideas, Mama?” Thandi

asked at last. “Let me have a little think, my dear,” I told her. “There’s always an answer.We just need to find it.”

To be continued...

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