Lion of Soweto

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

Bandele made several efforts to withdraw from the lady, but no luck. The more he tried to pull away, the more the lady wept in pain.

Molefi didn’t want to move close to them. Since he didn’t know what the problem was, he wouldn’t want to get close to what might be a contagious disease. He’d been issuing instructions to Akida from a distance.

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Chapter 9

Submitted: April 21, 2017

Reads: 43

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Submitted: April 21, 2017

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Margaret was very close to Sheline’s mum. They were the only siblings of their parents, and that strengthened their bond. They grew up in Harare and enjoyed many family moments together.

Sheline’s mum was the senior and practically had to look after her younger sister when their parents died in a ghastly motor accident. She was twenty while Margaret was eight years old at the time.

Since then, they had to learn to live on their own. When their paternal uncle, Jude, heard the news, he invited the two girls to live with him. He was separated from his wife at the time, and so cherished the opportunity to help raise his brother’s kids. He didn’t have a child of his own.

Uncle Jude cared for the girls to the best of his capacity. The old man wasn’t wealthy. He was only a railway technician who managed to get on with life. He, however, ensured that the girls attended high school and did his bit to prepare them for the future.

Though the sisters were close, Sheline’s mum was the simple, emotional and cool-headed type. The young lady liked to live her life by the injunctions of the Bible. She attended church services every other Sunday while at home in Harare. Even when she got to college, she joined the Scripture Union on campus.  

She tried to carry her younger sister along with her religious activities, but Margaret always grudgingly followed her. She would complain that the gatherings were boring and offered her nothing.

When Margaret turned fifteen, she started revolting against her sister. She would refuse to attend church services, and she once boldly declared to her sister that her future ‘didn’t belong in the church’. She would rather visit the brothels and nightclubs.

Being at the college studying Social Work, Sheline’s mum had little time to adequately monitor her reckless sister. Their uncle was getting old and couldn’t be much of the disciplinarian that he once was. He let the girls express their choices in life as he lacked the energy to chase after young girls. He had provided them with education to make sure they fit into the society. He, therefore, couldn’t be seen as being negligent.

At seventeen, Margaret had perfected the habit of living off men. She dated multiple men at the same time without caring whether they were blood brothers or friends. All that mattered to her was whether they had money to give to her and the weapon to fulfil her carnal needs.

When she got pregnant, she didn’t discuss it with her sister and didn’t let anyone at home know about it. She eventually aborted the pregnancy when she couldn’t determine which of her many bedmates was responsible.

The abortion episode was painful, but the pains were for a short while. The wayward girl resumed life on the street and became a street warrior. For two or more days, she would stay away from home. When Uncle Jude lamented about her ways, she would calm down, but only for a while. Once she got reconnected with her friends again, boozing and smoking of weeds would be the order of the day.

Margaret continued in that manner until she completed high school. By then, Sheline’s mum was already married. She was 29 and was done with her studies at the college.

She met her husband, Patrick, at one of the seminars organised for graduating students. He had graduated earlier from the same school and was love-struck the very first time he set his eyes on her. He’d been working for ten years and was ready to live with a woman.

Patrick was a flight attendant whose dedication to duty was peerless. He was a stickler for perfection in all that he did. He worked with the Zimbabwean Air as a Technical Superintendent. When Sheline’s mum joined him at home after marriage, they were happy to be together. Their wedding was a small gathering with only a few family members and relatives in attendance.

The preparations for her sister’s wedding and how quickly she got married after college made Margaret sit up. She got closer to her sister, wanting to learn more from her.

“Did you meet him at the college or how was it that you two got along so easily?” Margaret had asked her sister.

“It was just the grace of God. He was once a student at the school, but that was long before I got in. He and others were invited to our graduation party as members of the school alumni association. He saw me and came straight towards me to say that he liked me. He stated right there that he had found his future companion.”

“Just like that?” Margaret asked.

“Yes, just like that.”

“And you accepted to date him?”

“Of course I looked away when he made the statement, but he didn’t mind. He stood there asking from my colleagues. They gave him details about me and surprisingly, he got my address from them.”

“So how did you two reconnect?”

“He came looking for me at the college again, forgetting that I had graduated. Then he traced me home to meet Uncle Jude. I didn’t know where you were then. Uncle Jude welcomed him into the house, and the two men got talking. They were still chatting when I arrived.”

“Were you happy to see him with Uncle Jude?”

“I was shocked. Then Patrick did something that I wasn’t expecting.”

“Yes…yes, what did he do?”

“He rose to his feet and announced to Uncle Jude that he wanted my hand in marriage. I was so shy that I wished the ground would open and swallow me.”

“Just like that? Without asking you first?”

“Uncle looked at me and asked me what I had to say to his proposal.”

“And you told him yes?”

“I thought for a while. Our condition at home didn’t allow for a long courtship. I liked the man and the nature of his job. He was also an open-minded person. I told uncle that I loved him and would want to be with him for the rest of my life.”

“I wish I can have such an easy proposal. I always meet rascals and touts.”

“There is always a special person for you, Margaret. You just have to be patient.”

The love between Sheline’s mum and Patrick was deep. They supported each other and went everywhere together. As lovely as their marriage was, it took about nine years before she got pregnant. Even after that first experience, there was a miscarriage. But the couple were not deterred.

She fell pregnant again when she was over forty years. That time, fortune smiled on her, and she had Sheline— her only daughter.

Patrick died in a plane crash when Sheline was four. He willed a lot of money to his wife and daughter.

Sensing that Harare was very expensive to live in for a widow, she bought a house in Morningside, Bulawayo and moved there with her daughter. She had since lived there.

Margaret, on the other hand, wasn’t lucky with men. When she left high school, she struggled around the city with different men, until she met a Zulu man, Dumisani.

Dumisani worked for Transnnet - a construction firm. A dredging and building contract was awarded to the company in Harare, and their staffs were to be deployed from South Africa to execute the project. Dumisani was one of those selected. He met Margaret in Harare and took her for his offsite companion. 

Having never met a guy that worked for a big company before, she thought her lucky moment had arrived and took to him quickly. He promised her heaven on earth, and she gullibly fell for all the lies that he told her.

The swiftness of his proposal had got Margaret carried away. She thought it was one of those lucky moments when a guy finds a lady he loves— just like it happened to her older sister. She got hooked to the man and returned with him to South Africa after the project ended.

As soon as they got to Mamelodi where Dumisani was based, he lodged Margaret in a friend’s house. His friend was a bachelor who lived alone. Margaret was suspicious of being kept with another man, and she voiced her concern.

“Why don’t you take me to your house?”

“I’m always travelling around. Would you want to follow me up and down to different places? Some of the accommodations they provide on-site are not convenient for ladies.  You can be here and stay safe. Anytime I return from my trips, I’ll meet you here.”

“Okay, I hope your friend is a gentleman?”

“I trust him. He is relaxed and gentle in many ways.”

She had to remain with the bachelor after his pleas.

Whenever Dumisani was away during the week, Mr Bachelor took Sheline to be his bedmate. Initially, she refused to sleep with him. He threatened to throw her out in the middle of the night. Knowing that Dumisani was far away and would not pick her phone calls, she gave in.

 During weekends, Dumisani would come and meet her there and take her out to have some good time. It became a routine that he only showed up to meet Margaret on Fridays. By Sunday, he would return to his base.

They continued in that manner for close to two years. Margaret befriended her neighbours, especially the female ones.

She then fell pregnant, again. Hot exchange of words erupted between Mr Bachelor and Dumisani about who was responsible for the pregnancy. When the men could not decide on how to handle the matter, Mr Bachelor spilled the beans. He called on Margaret and sat her down for a heart-to-heart talk.

“Dumisani is a family man with four kids. He lives with his wife some streets away and doesn’t want her to know about you. She is troublesome, dangerous and can kill anyone that tries to steal her husband. That was why he put you here at my place to be his mistress. Apart from his wife, he has three other women in this area that are also his mistresses. He doesn’t travel during the week as he told you. That is a big lie. He sleeps at home only to come to meet you here during weekends. He doesn’t have any plans to marry you. I hope you will wake up from your slumber and see things clearly.”

Margaret was devastated. She had been deceived to leave her country by a man she thought loved her.

Her friends advised her to run away from the place since the guys didn’t want her. She might be putting her life at risk if she didn’t leave.

Margaret returned to street life again like she used to do way back in Harare. But at the time, it was on the streets of Mamelodi. She had to abort that pregnancy. There was no way she would cope with bringing up a baby in a homeless condition.

Sheline’s mum asked her to return to Zimbabwe, but she would not bother to do so. With their uncle having passed on, where would she stay in Harare? The wayward life she lived would not suit her older sister. Margaret decided to forge ahead with life in South Africa. She had friends amongst the people - locals, Shona and Ndebele.

Wobbling and fumbling through hard life on the street, luck soon smiled on her. She met a man who lived in Soweto. He was in Mamelodi for the weekend. They met at the joint where they both smoked weeds. The man proposed, but Margaret wasn’t too keen on him. When he insisted many times over, they became friends.  He looked well into his fifties while she was in her early thirties.

“Are you sure that you are not married with kids?”  

“I’m single, but I have three children from different women. They are with their mothers.”

“It’s fine. Since you are not married, we can get to know each other better.”

Margaret moved in with him. The man was a pensioner and had bought the flat where he lived. She was happy to have found a place to call home. She introduced herself as a wife to the neighbours. Even if they doubted her claims, they didn’t show it. They’d seen many ladies come and go at the flat.

For three years, Margaret lived with her new lover. She bore him a son and named him Jude. She wrote to her sister in Bulawayo to inform her of the baby. Sheline’s mum sent a reply congratulating her. Sheline was then nine years old.

Margaret was soon left alone as her partner was caught in a riot. She saw his name in the newspapers as one of those that got shot in a Mamelodi township riot.

The single mum continued to live in the flat since no one chased her away. She later discovered that the man had bought the place. Since she had a son for him, she could stay there permanently.

With a place to live no longer a problem, she sought for a job and got one as an admin officer in a retail store. She’d since been with them.

The absence of a man in her life was a cause for concern. She invited different guys to her flat during weekends.  

For the umpteenth time, Margaret fell pregnant. She, however, didn’t know the man to give. At the time, she had three regular boyfriends and two part-time ones. She pointed at Zikala, the one she loved the most, and told him that she was expecting a baby with him.

Surprisingly, Zikala was happy that he was going to be a father. He sang and danced the day he was given the news. He even shared fantasies with Margaret about how he would dedicate his time to make sure the baby got a balanced life.

 But in actual fact, he was happy that he would be allowed to live under her roof permanently – without paying rents. He neither worked nor had any business of his own. He was used to sleeping at home attending to Margaret’s carnal pleasures.

Margaret took time off from work and went on maternity leave. She would ask Zikala for money, but he always had nothing to give. During the pregnancy’s final trimester, the guy stayed away from the house and went to other women. Since Margaret was heavy, she wasn’t considered to be ‘user-friendly’. He only returned once in a week to see how she fared.

 Margaret coped with him until delivery time. She had the baby - a girl. She informed Sheline’s mum again about the bundle of joy.

Her live-in-lover couldn’t provide for the baby and the mum. He was a playboy who lived off women. Margaret had hoped that with the baby, he would turn a new leaf; but he got worse.  

After six months, she observed that Zikala was more of a liability than a companion. She however still loved him and allowed him to stay. He was a smooth talker who knew how to take care of a lady on the bed. She resumed work and still continued to cater for Zikala and her children.

On a certain afternoon, she returned from work earlier than usual to find Zikala with another girl on her bed. She couldn’t bear the sight as she chased him away. That was the last she saw of him.

Sometimes, life could be tough for her. Looking after her two kids alone was tough. She wished she could have a wealthy man to cater for all her needs. The desire for a man of her own still held strong in her mind.

An encounter with a Jehovah Witness lady brought Margaret closer to God. She preached to her that the kingdom of God was at hand. Her speech touched Margaret, and she decided to attend their Kingdom Hall.

 When she realised that their worship pattern was different from what she was used to at the Presbyterian Church back in Harare, she stopped going to the Kingdom Hall. The pretentious religious zealot soon discovered that there was a Presbyterian Church parish at the Jabulani area of Soweto. She went for a visit and then a service. She worshipped there regularly.

She focused on raising her children, worked for their upkeep, and attending church service. Sometimes, she communicated with her sister in Bulawayo to ask about her well-being.

When Sheline was getting married to Moyo, Margaret couldn’t make the trip to Bulawayo as office demands held her back. She apologised to her sister about not being able to make the journey. Sheline’s mum accepted her apologies, believing that there would always be events to celebrate in future.

Soon after, Sheline gained admission to study at the University of Johannesburg; it was expected that she stayed with Margaret in Soweto.

Sheline’s mum was initially doubtful of the idea of sending her daughter to live with Margaret. When she recalled that the mother of two was no longer the wild girl she once was and that Margaret had been talking more keenly about church-related issues on the phone, she softened her stance. Moreover, Sheline was then twenty years old and could take care of herself.

Margaret welcomed Sheline with open arms. She was going to pamper her niece and guard her to the best of her abilities. She’d been through difficult times in South Africa and would not want her niece to go through the same experiences.

The first few weeks after she arrived in Soweto, she took Sheline for a walk around the area for familiarity.

“You must always return home early from school,” she warned. “Face your studies and don’t get distracted by the things men would dangle at you. If you work hard, you could always be the woman you wish to be. Since you’re married, you must be careful how you do things.” Such golden words of wisdom from the mouth of Margaret!

She showed Sheline around the streets of Soweto. She introduced her to a few people and took her to the places where she could fix her hair. It was when they were returning home from one of their casual evening walks that they met Bandele. He was on a hunting rove with his boys looking for ladies to add to his LCP list.

 


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