caution: this blog contains some swearing / isixwayiso: kunenhlamba kuleli blog

I had my fighting shoes on. Tan brown hightops, white t-shirt and jeans. I strode in there demanding justice, and was met with four occupied attendants.

So I sat down, and waited, and surveyed the battlefield.

Yellow. Everything was yellow. The colour of ubuhlanzo. I felt nauseated just sitting there.

Four potential opponents. Would it be the isimomondiya and isidudla on the right? Or inkwishelana and insizw’emfushane on the left?

I waited patiently, sitting, hearing the joy in people’s voices as they were told of the wonders that were in store in-store once they put their signature on the dotted line and handed over their money.

“Be careful”, I wanted to shout – “Qaphelani!”

Not all that is yellow is gold. No matter how much it glitters.

So, I waited, until finally I was caller number zero in the queue. Ground zero. Insizw’emfushane. Protocol observed (he opted for Joji, so I went with it), we got down to business.

“I’m here because it’s been two weeks since my wife’s phone was stolen, and we still haven’t heard anything from you guys. I see that Paul isn’t here. That’s lucky for him, cos he’s in a lot of shit. He hasn’t been responding to emails or answering phone calls.”

“When did you guys send in the claim form?”

“About two weeks ago.”

“Ok, let me phone them.”

Five minutes pass, during which time insizw’emfushane multi-tasks – first with a mate, ngesiJozi, about phones, then taking out the trash, then helping someone with photocopying. Eventually, as he’s finishing his call, he comes back to sit down.

“You see, the problem is that they don’t have any record of the ID number or the Cell Number on the system.”

“How can that be? She’s been paying the insurance each month. Paul must have fucked up somehow. We are going to escalate this – give me the number of someone higher up.”

“There’s only this one number for the Insurance people.”

“And a Manager? Where is he today?”

“Ah, no, there’s no Manager.”

At this point I lost it. Completely.

“What? What the fuck? You know what? We are taking you to the Ombudsman, and to court if we have to, because this is bullshit. Fuck this shit.”

And as I left, I declared “Fuck you” over my shoulder.

Now, that would have been the end of it. Except that one cocky motherfucker laughed. So ngishay’ i-handbrake turn and I walked back in there. Time for the Zulu dub.

I berated them all, in my biggest and shoutiest isiZulu voice (channeling Mntwana kaMinya’s spirit).  Along with the necessary berating body language, I used tone and pause to great effect, and broke all the usual rules for eye contact. In short, I was an angry white man shouting isiZulu fluently and with vigour.

But afterwards, of course, as I made my way shakily to my care, adrenalin coursing through my veins, I thought of better, meatier things to say.

So {L’esprit d’escalier} is in the curly brackets.

“Nihlekani?” {Ngiyinhlekiso kinina?}

“Sikhokh’ imali la” {Sikhokhel’ iholo lenu}

“Kune-contract” {Kunesivumelwano ngaphakathi kwethu}

“Wumthetho” {Sizobonana enkantolo}

“Sukani!” {Tsek, bosathanina}

Needless to say that as I engaged in a translated version of my previous exit from the shop, there was no more laughter. There was a stunned silence.

As a conclusion, into this space here, I add a few other imprecations:

Tsek, MTN, and all your Insurance Agents.  You lie. Since you never read your HelloPeter page, I doubt you’ll ever read this. Ninamanga.

Tsek, Paul at MTN Killarney. You are a lying shit. And you are fraudulent in your business dealings. Tsek. Suka. Unamanga.