The Ndundulu Invasion – Chapter 16 – Teach Your Children Well

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mantzariscoverGapon filled the tall glass to the top.
“Take it easy, Nkosi”, Bongi begged.
“Mind your business, Bongi, it’s my money my J and B green label, my day off, right?”
“OK, Chief.”
“Don’t call me Chief, there is only one chief in the country, Mfundisi.”
“OK, sorry.”
“Now, tell me, Mfundisi, I need to ask you something but off the record, right? This means it remains only between the two of us.”
“So it won’t be taped, right?”
“Never, it’s too sensitive to be taped, Prof.”
“So sensitive?”
“Too sensitive, Prof. If my Chief knows I talked about it I would be in deep shit. Prof, you know all these things bosses tell you and do when they want you bombed, breaking of trust between employer and employee, bringing the Agency into disrepute, opening yourself to insubordination by talking and discussing things with a paid informer under your command and mentorship, you know what I mean? I don’t know these things, Nkosi.”
“OK, Mfundisi, tell me honestly what do you think of Julius?”
“Julius who?”
“Julius the maal (mad).”
“I haven’t heard of him, Gapon.”
“That Julius, Mfundisi.”
“Oh, OK, the young one.”
“That one, Mfundisi.”
“What about him?”
“What do you think?”
“What do you think, Gapon?”
“I can’t talk, Mfundisi.”
“Why is he a state secret? No, as far as I know.”
“No, not really, but we in the Agency have strict rules about these things. We cannot pass opinions to subordinate paid informers like you.”
“OK, I understand the point, now if I am a subordinate why do you ask for my opinion?”
“You have a Ph.D. from Chicago, the city of John Lee Hooker, Booker T Washington, Buddy Guy, the home of the Chicago Blues.”
“I don’t want this newspaper rubbish, Prof. I want a calculated, well thought out dialectical anthropo-psychological analysis of Julius the Maal, that’s what I want.”
“OK , for what its worth , I’ll tell you now, and it’s no secret. It’s on the record, and I have no problem if you pass it as your opinion to the chiefs in Pretoria , because it’s the correct opinion.”
“Dialectical, right?”
“Whatever you want to call it.”
“I call it dialectical.”
“Now Julius has been accused of failing woodwork at high school, right?”
“Now the question is, “Is he the rule or the exception amongst the young people of his generation?””
“I don’t know, I came back in 1992 from exile.”
“I’m telling you, Gapon, Julius is not the exception in his generation, and he is the rule.”
“What does it mean?”
“He carries the scars, Nkosi.”
“I carry enough scars I, mfundisi, what scars does he carry that I don’t?”

As he spoke Bongi could see him moving towards the whisky bottle, Gapon’s eyes fondling it with the tenderness of a one year baby and the greed of a Senior Advocate of the High Court. As his eyes hugged it, his hands moved decisively towards it, touched it and poured a triple into the tall glass. He moved it into his mouth and finished it with one gulp. He filled again, only this time he poured a double, filled the glass with water and three ice cubes and took a single sip. His eyes turned to Bongi, demanding an answer, fast.

“What were you saying, boss…”
“The scars of a failure that turned into a success, Gapon, from G in woodwork to a leader of a powerful youth organisation, a nice double storey house, a Merc, powerful friends, the best yet, Gapon, the scars of the past are there , haunting him in his luxuries, like a tokoloshe that pisses blood in his kitchen. They are mixing with the scars of the present, drunk unruly youth imprisoned into the mindless noise of deep house music, distant from the inner beauty of Mama Africa, Jonas Gwangwa, Leta  Mbuli, Dorothy Masuku, Busi Mhlongo, Hugh Masekela. Young people prefer DJ Cleo to the African Jazz Pioneers and Trompies to John Mahlatini and the Mohatella Queens. He carries the scars of his aggressive generation, no career prospects, no guidance, no career counselling, drawn into big acronyms invented by pseudo intellectual dwarfs, GIPSA, ASGISA, KHULA, SAA, VODACOM, MTN, broad band, SMMES. I can tell you, nkosi, Julius the Maal given his upbringing and history is really a careful, disciplined young man, uttering carefully weighted words, steeped in mature wisdom beyond his years, his words devoid of frustration, the so called frustration aggression hypothesis of these mindless creatures baptised as psychologists.  Julius the maal is the spokesman of his own generation, Nkosi. He was correct when he said that the youth do not need maths and physics but need to learn their history, because if they digest history they will realise why they have to learn Maths and Physics. So what do you think of my analysis?”
“I got you on tape, mfundisi, now I know you’re one of us, you’ll never betray the uninterrupted revolutionary process. I love you, Mfundisi, I love you to bits.”

Looking out of the window casually, he poured another triple into his glass, which he finished in a second and then re-filled. He was calm and collected, or so it seemed. He shook his head knowingly, poured another double with water and ice cubes. He turned towards Bongi and triumphantly switched on his cell phone. He put it over his head.

“You see, Mfundisi, I promised I’ll never tape you. I switched off the cell phone. You believed me, you trusted me. You see, Mfundisi, you forgot the words in page 39, paragraph 6, footnote 125 of our Bible, “By way of deception”. It says “never trust your handler”. You did not follow the Bible, Mfundisi, you trusted me. You never inspected my new devise NOKIA XX 32456, it tapes even when switched off. You never beat NOKIA, Mfundisi.

He passed out, and started snoring.
Bongi picked up the NOKIA, he checked the MENU. The tape recording was empty.
He shook his head.
He really loved Gapon’s inner innocence.

Next chapter: Chapter 17

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

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