Lion of Soweto

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: African Romance Stories

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: March 22, 2017

Reads: 625

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Submitted: March 22, 2017



 He glanced through the window as she walked through the gate, nodding his head several times in approval. He had peeped more than seventy times already that month since he got married. His nodding was a reminder of the personal goal he’d set for himself in his younger days. The fantasy had been to marry a beautiful lady that he would love with every bit of his heart — a woman that would be a source of joy each time he looked at her. And yes, every time Moyo looked at Sheline, she always reminded him of that promise. In fact, she was a promise fulfilled.

Sheline didn’t just possess a beautiful face; her entire body was one to die for: Slender and long neck, artistic shoulders, slim waist, bulky hips, curvy and long legs, were some of the features a first-time looker would have to resist. When she walked, it was with grace and a certain air of royalty.  But the raving beauty didn’t belong to a royal bloodline. She just happened to be a jewel from a noble family.

She wasn’t just beautiful on the outside; she had much more interesting traits locked up within her.  Sheline was an embodiment of virtues and morality. She was soft and mild mannered; not the type that interrupted when someone was talking. The young lady would listen attentively, almost giving a reticent impression. When she spoke, one would be amazed at the torrent of words that flowed from her bright lips.

Moyo sometimes missed her points during discussions. He would be confused whether to listen to the meaning of what she was saying or the sweetness of her voice. At times, he would tease her to no end just to hear her speak. Her Bulawayo-laden accent was a delight to him, even more than a Mediterranean delicacy.

2015 was the year he met his wife. It took six months only for him to get her to exchange marital vows. The shortness of the courtship was because of his impatience to get married. Aside from being ready for marriage and hoping to find a suitable companion, he couldn’t shoulder the thought of any other man settling down with her.

Sheline came as a perfect match for Moyo at the time, and he couldn’t look any further. He’d deemed himself lucky to have bumped into a lady so pleasing, so fulfilling. Right there at the window where he stood looking at her, he began to recall how they met.

That beautiful Thursday evening, he was driving casually around town on the fringes of central Bulawayo, when he noticed the presence of a fairly old woman by the roadside. She was waiting for a taxi and had with her three heavy-looking bags. Since he wasn’t busy, he decided to assist.

The old lady had been standing there for a while. The high cost of boarding a taxi, and the difficulty of getting one, had prevented her from returning home on time. The economy was harsh, and most people struggled for cash in economically troubled Zimbabwe.

He stopped in front of her and asked,

“Where are you going ma’am?”

“Morningside,” the old lady replied, looking hopeful that she would be lifted.

 Her destination was a familiar neighbourhood to Moyo, and he offered to take her there. She’d been surprised that he didn’t negotiate the taxi fare with her, despite her insisting so.  

“Please, let’s talk about the fare. Many cab drivers have turned me down already, and I don’t want an argument when I get home.”

“Don’t worry, madam. It’s getting late already. Your safety comes first. This part of Bulawayo is dangerous at night. When we get to your place, you can give me any amount you have.”

He hurriedly placed the bags in the boot of his car and urged the woman to enter the vehicle.

“May the good God bless you, my son,” she prayed and then got into the car.

As they drove on, Moyo explained that he was not a cab driver. He just didn’t like how she stood alone, looking tired, by the roadside. The old woman narrated how hard it had been getting a taxicab around town. She had been at the bus stop for more than two hours with no luck.

Moyo was not surprised by her story. Most taxicabs preferred the highest bidders. The crippling economic situation was making life difficult for most commuters and taxi operators. He felt pleased to have been of help to the woman.

He wasn’t a very rich dude or something of the sort. Being in his late twenties, he was just a bachelor who had learned to manage his income well. He was one of the lucky few, and he considered himself so.

It was his off-day at work that Thursday and he’d decided to explore Bulawayo. He was to pick up a friend, Richard, and then go to the cinema. Their plan was to go fishing for ladies. Richard wasn’t his closest friend, though. He was just one of the few of them still searching for a permanent partner. 

They soon got to the old woman’s house. It was in the suburb of Morningside area of the city. The house was a small three-bedroom bungalow apartment. But it looked decent and had a playground in front. All the buildings on the street were similar in structure, with each demarcated from the other by a brick wall and a front gate.

As he parked in front of her house, she asked him to draw the attention of the person inside the house by honking. He did as told and a young lady stepped out of the house. It was Sheline. Moyo was instantly attracted to the young lady’s graceful walk. On looking at her more closely, he noticed a striking facial resemblance to the old woman. He guessed Sheline was her daughter. He was right.

Moyo quickly jumped out of the car, opened the boot and brought out the three bags. He put them on the pavement nearby.

Mauya,” Sheline greeted her mum in the local Shona dialect.

“Take the bags into the house, Sheline.” The old woman instructed.

Moyo found Sheline’s voice to be appealing. He looked at the young lady and was love-struck. The effect was so immediate that he began to fantasize. Sheline’s mum caught him looking at her daughter and gave a wry smile. The young man wondered if the smile was to encourage him or to warn him of impending danger.

She brought out her purse, counted some notes and offered to pay for the service rendered.

“Never mind ma’am. I’m so happy to have brought you home.”

“What? You mean you won’t ask for money with the high cost of fuel?”

“I have a mother like you at home. So, it’s as if I was helping her. Don’t bother, ma’am.”

Sheline’s mum looked at him again, slack-jawed, as creases formed on her forehead. She’d been touched by the young man’s act, and tears rolled down her cheeks.

He was shocked to see the old lady in tears. He didn’t know that he was stirring her heart in a special way. He stood there gazing at her.

Sheline watched him with close attention. She then put her face away when she realised Moyo was looking back at her. What was unfolding in her presence was pleasing to her.

“What is your name, my son?” The old woman found her voice.

“I’m Moyo Malvin”

“You don’t know what I went through trying to get a taxi there. You came out of your way and brought me home safely without asking for money. God will bless you and your work. May you never lack in your life.”

“Amen, mama.” The young man stretched out his hands in appreciation of the prayer.

As she was about going into the compound, Moyo’s attention shifted to Sheline. She was taking the bags into the house one after the other. It appeared she was the only one living there with her mum; otherwise, someone would have assisted her with the bags. The smitten fellow took his time to observe the young lady. Her beauty apart, there was something special about her. He waved at her, but she only managed a smile.

“Let me go, madam. I’ll come and check you again,” He heard himself say; half-heartedly, half-consciously.

Sheline’s mum was a bit surprised at the statement. What need was there to come and check on her? She then remembered that her daughter was there walking in and out of the house. His interest in her daughter might bring him back.  She kept quiet and maintained a composed face. She then quietly walked into the house, waving him goodbye. Sheline followed her mum and closed the door.

Moyo stood there outside the gate of the house for five minutes. He was assessing the neighbourhood and watching for landmarks in case he wanted to visit the area again. In fact, he was sure to come again. Once satisfied that he’d committed the map of the area to memory, he drove off.

On his way back, he reflected on the events of that evening. He wanted to be sure of what he felt for Sheline. He had been carried away by the girl’s beauty that he didn’t bother to ask her mum to pay for the trip.

What if the girl was married or engaged to someone, he thought. He would have wasted his time on a fruitless endeavour. What he did was risky. Beautiful girls sometimes made men act foolishly. But he wasn’t stupid by the act; he was just sowing a seed of love.

Since the old woman wept, it showed that she was impressed with his actions. She was likely to swing to his side should he decide to propose to her daughter.

But from all indications, it was evident that she wasn’t married, nor engaged. She was young and vivacious, even if calm outwardly. The lady was a pure and raw gold that needed to be explored. Meeting that beautiful girl at a time he wanted to go to the cinema to do the same meant that his lucky day was here. He would take his chances.

He changed his mind about visiting Richard as earlier planned. Going to the cinema was off the agenda.  He put a call through to him.

“No more cinema this evening, friend. I’m sorry; I found something good.”

“What! I’m dressed up and waiting for you already.”

“Go and dress down.”

“Why! That’s terrible. Why did you change your mind?”

“I found something that I’ve been looking for all these years.”

“You got a new job?”

“Something better than that. I found a girl that’s amazing to look at, nice to be with. If you see her, you won’t blame me for cancelling our cinema visit. She is pure gold.”

“She had better be a good catch. Otherwise, I won’t forgive you for keeping me waiting.”

“You won’t be disappointed. See you soon, Richard.”

Moyo dropped the call and started laughing noisily. He drove straight back home.

That evening, a certain missing puzzle appeared solved in his life. A voice was constantly ringing in his head, saying, ‘You’ve found a wife.’ 


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