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EXCERPT | ’A Family Affair’ by Sue Nyathi

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Although the Mafus always present a united front, their personal lives unravel, devastating secrets are revealed that threaten to tear the family apart. In this excerpt the family attends a lobola negotiation. (Photo by Khaya Ngwenya/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Although the Mafus always present a united front, their personal lives unravel, devastating secrets are revealed that threaten to tear the family apart. In this excerpt the family attends a lobola negotiation. (Photo by Khaya Ngwenya/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Written by Sue Nyathi and published by Pan Macmillan, A Family Affair revolves around the Mafus, a close-knit traditional family with three daughters. As leaders of their church, The Kingdom of God, Pastor Abraham and his wife Phumla are guiding the community of Bulawayo in faith, while trying to keep the different branches of their family intact.

Although the Mafus always present a united front, their personal lives unravel, devastating secrets are revealed that threaten to tear the family apart. For how long will they be able to hide behind the façade of a picture-perfect family?

No women are allowed to sit around the lobola-negotiating table and the discussion is held by the men in the family. They are all dressed for the occasion in imibhaco, traditional Xhosa regalia, replete with elaborate beadwork and headscarves. However, the splendour of their regalia can’t detract from Yandisa’s nervousness and the lump in her throat threatens to choke her. She’s on the verge of disappointing her family yet again and it’ll only take something small to trigger an avalanche of tears. 

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