The Ndundulu Invasion – Chapter 5 – Memories

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mantzariscoverHe awoke up as the thunder assaulted the mountains around Ndundulu and its surrounding areas and the wind was trying to uncover the mysteries of the jacarandas that whispered prayers to the Lord begging for some sunbeams.
He did not even have a shower. He jumped into the car as the first glimpses of the morning light escaped the prison of the clouds.
He drove around endlessly, measuring distances, stopping here and there to take notes. He wrote down how many communal water taps were on the way, how many were vandalised. He greeted children walking bare feet to school and spoke to them. Lay people call this scoping the environment, others call it reconnaissance. He called it the first step. He passed Sexiwa and Qubuka, stopped in Bhonkolo for a HEINEKEN but ended with a CASTLE LIGHT and chatted with the school principal in Nomane. It was an easy game to con people. He was an mfundisi after all. Rural people love talking to people with a big title before their names.

Then he moved in the opposite direction from Memezi to Manawe and from Mabungu to Nogwaja, exotic names tarnished with poverty and deprivation, children built into the mountains, God having stolen the sea from them amongst other things.
Subconsciously he thought of the first time his father took him to the Durban beachfront when he was four. He was in awe when he saw   the sea for the first time .He felt like an angel, he almost felt the scent of Lord Jesus resurrection. Then he saw two White little boys swimming. He cried, to himself “this is the light, not the abyss”, this blue massive liquid looks like the abyss, it’s so distant, but it is the light, not the abyss.

But this light was too distant for him on January 1958, too distant.
He drove back to Ma Dlamini’s Bed and Breakfast and passed out.
There was no time for emotions. Time was of the essence. A job had to be done.

His dreamless sleep was uninterrupted from painful memories.

Next chapter: Chapter 6

©  Evan Mantzaris – The Ndundulu Invasion – Rozenberg Quarterly 2013 – ISBN 978 90 361 0201 8

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