As usual on a Thursday, I popped in to the Caltex in Cyrildene to buy Isolezwe on my way back from my lesson in Yeoville. It was beautiful driving down the avenues, with plain trees and liquid ambers scattering themselves over the road in the tentative autumn morning light. With the headlines staring at me full of intrigue and accusation all the way home, I unfolded the paper and began to read:
Front page: Amanyala ebhildini likahulumeni elihlala abangakhokhi < Disgraceful filth in a government building sitting with unpaying residents
Front page picture: Uthathelwe isoka ngudadewabo < She had her steady boyfriend stolen by her sister.
Page 3: Bagane unwabu ngesenzo sothisha < They ‘marry the chameleon’ over the teacher’s deed.
Page 3: Uzocela ibheyili ‘odlwengule’ ona-13 < Man who ‘raped’ a 13-yr-old will request bail
Page 3: Ubanjiwe ‘umdlwenguli’ obefunwa < Long-sought ‘rapist’ caught
Page 4: Inkombane ngebhilidi elihlala abakahulumeni bhusende < Poisonous-finger-pointing about a building housing government people being in a parlous state
Page 5: ‘Sidinga imizi hhayi izindlu zangasese’ < “We need homes, not toilets”
Page 6: ‘Uphazamisekile emqondweni’ < ‘He’s mentally disturbed’
Page 6: Kushone 20 wabafana abebeyosoka < Death of 20 boys who were going to be circumcised / be intitiated
Page 6: Sishayelwe ihlombe isinqumo sikaKolisile < Decision of Kolisile applauded (has its should patted)
Page 7: Iwumqemane intombazanyana eyasha < Tiny little girl who burnt is a hero
Page 7: Bazogomela umdlavuza ezikoleni < They will innoculate against cancer at schools
Page 8: Usaqhuba kahle ona-12 ongenazingalo < 12-year-old without arms making good progress
Page 10: Babuyile othisha abebesaba isibhaxu < The teachers who feared the whip have returned
Page 10: Sebehlaselana emakhaya ababangayo < Rivals at home are attacking each other.
Page 12: Zicasukile izitshudeni ‘ngembuzi’ < Students nauseated ‘because of a goat’
Page 13: Abanikwanga amanzi ngoba ebiza: ummeli < They haven’t been given water because it’s expensive: lawyer.
Page 14: Akube nokubambisana ezinhlakeni zikahulumeni (editorial) < Let there be cooperation between sections of government.
Page 14: Buyephi ubuntu kwabesilisa? (Cartoon by Qaps Mngadi) < Where did the ubuntu of men go to?
Page 14: Bantu besifazane asizikhethe izinto esizigqoka emphakathini (column by Nondumiso Mbuyazi, called ‘isibhuda samanje’) < Women, let us choose what we wear in the community
Page 15: ISilo asigxekanga izigqebhezana (letter from Mtwana Thulani Zulu eZibindini Zamadoda) < The Beast doesn’t run down the gossips
Page 15: Kuseyindelelo ukuthi uNjinji ukhulele entabeni (letter from Mxolisi Manyathi eNquthu) < It’s contemptuous saying that Njinji grew up in the mountains
Page 16: Uyalishaya ibhodwe ophekela awasemanzini < Cook for the water-based-regiments really strikes the pot
Page 17: Abakhangisi bengqephu bacija intsha yasemakhaya < Fashion-marketers urge on the homeland youth
Page 17: Bahlalele ovalweni abazali ngezingane zabo < Parents live in fear for their children
Page 20: I-NFP neqhinga ngobudlelwano ne-ANC < The NFP and the craft involved in making a relationship with the ANC.
And after glancing through them, running the metaphors and idioms in front of my eyes a few times before they made any sense, I had to run to my next lesson. But here they are – if you’re curious about something, or if my five-minute glance missed something, please comment and let me know!