Khetha

Ngakhetha ukungena ngesango elincane, nokuhamba ngendlela eyingcingo.

Emva koKhetho, nasemva kokuba kwaphinda kwacweba iziziba, ngizithola ngihlukile. Izwe lethu libukeka sengathi nalo lihlukile – kunenhlasana yethemba, kungaqhutshekwa emva kweminyaka yenkohlakalo. Kodwa sengiqala ukuwuzwa umehluko kimina.

Kusengathi ngaba yisiphungumangathi esalenga iminyaka emoyeni, kwaqhamuka esinye isilwane kunalesiya esangena kusona. Kodwa abakwaziyo bathi isiphungumangathi singathatha iminyaka ukuze okungaphakathi kwaso kuphenduke kube ngokunye. Ngakho, emva kweminyaka, sengiphendukile.

Eqinisweni, kade ngakhetha ukuphila impilo ehlukile.  

Ngisemncane ngakhetha ukungacwasi nganoma yini, ngaphinda ngakhetha ukuba ngumuntu woxolo nokuxolisa. Ukukhetha kwami kwasekelwe kulokho engakufunda emndenini – kubazali, ikakhulukazi.

Ngakhetha ukuba yindoda engejwayelekile – vele, ngakhetha ukuba ngumuntu kuqala, hhayi umlungu ovamile. Ngakhetha ukufunda kubantu abasondelene nami, nokungachithi isikhathi sami ngokuba nomona. Kwaba yindlela eyingcingo ngempela leya.

Ngakhetha ukuthanda engibathandayo ngenhliziyo yami yonke. Ngakhetha uKhethiwe wami, olugqozi lwami mihla namalanga.

Ngakhetha indlela yempilo enobuhle nobuciko – edwetshwe ngemibala ehlukahlukene, egcwele izingoma ezimnandi, ephekwe ngezithako ezikhethekile, ebhalwe ngamazwi anogqozi noliminyoninco.

Kodwa ngisanda ukukhetha indlela eyingcingo kakhulu. Le ncwadi oyifundayo yisinyathelo esisodwa kulolo hambo.

Esokuqala saba ngukuhumusha kwami kwencwadi ephelele yesiZinda samaFa lapho kwabanjwa khona owayengumongameli wokuqala wentando yabantu, uNelson Mandela. Lowo msebenzi wangivusa ebuthongweni.

Esesibili saba ngukubhala inganekwane yami engajwayela ukuyitshela abantwana bami – uSikhulumi kaHlokohloko. Ngangena emncintiswaneni wezindatshana zesiZulu ezohlobo lwe’Speculative Fiction’, ngaba ngomunye wabayisikhombisa ababhali abakhethelwe ukuba izindatshana zabo zingene encwadini ye-Izinkanyezi ezintsha eshicilelwe nguKwasukela Books. Kwaba injabulo yodwa kimi ukunconywa ngale ndlela.

Kodwa ngangingenisa izindatshana ezimbili. Eyesibili, ukuThintana, yabukeka sengathi yayingathandeki kakhulu. Bengidumele, ngoba kwakuyindatshana yohlobo lwe’Science Fiction’, okulona engiluthanda kakhulu. Kodwa emva kwenyanga eyodwa ngashayelwa lucingo ngumHleli omuhle waKwasukela Books, uWade, ethi “Ngempela, sasingafuni ukushicilela ukuThintana njengendatshana – kungcono ibe inoveli ephelele”. Inhliziyo yami cishe yaphela lapho.

Ngakho, ngakhetha ukubhala inoveli yami yokuqala ngalolu limi olufundayo, olungulimi lukababa nomndeni wonke – hhayi ukungena ngesango elibanzi lapho baningi abangena khona. Lolu hambo lusaqhubeka. Ngithemba ukuba ngingakutshela okunye ngalo kwesinye isikhathi. Kodwa ngizokushiyela umbuzo owodwa: ukhetha ukungena ngaliphi isango?

  • Mfundi omuhle, ungabahumushela abangakhulumi isiZulu
  • Ungabhala ngokuthi nawe ukhetheni
Advertisements

The Meaning of You

The first language I connected with you was English. I walked over to you, picking you out from among all the others there, and interrupted your reading. Knowing you now, I realise that I was running a real risk. At least my first observation was one grounded in literature – a comment on Ian McEwan – and not just idle chit-chat.

When I found out your name, I connected another language with you. The Latin root of your name was and still is so apt for you, standing out utterly beautiful there in that drab government-school staffroom. Clara. Clarissima. Bright, shining, and clear. 

When I discovered your ancestry, I connected two other languages to you. Chiara is an antithesis to represent the two halves of you – in Italian, you are Light, whereas in Irish Gaelic you are the Dark. I have known you for almost five years now, and in that time we have dwelled in the brightest heights of happiness and love and delved into the depths of despair and depression and pain. With you I have lived the bitter and the sweet, and now I know why those paradoxes are so necessary. They are the necessities of day and night. Cold and hot. Sorrow and Joy. Without pain and sorrow, there is no peace or joy. We move through the darkness in order to love the light even more. 

My father gave you a name in our language, on the day that we stood under the trees in your parents’ garden and made our vows to each other. On that day he said out loud what I had felt from the moment I first met you – that you were Khethiwe, the one picked out, the specially chosen one. More than that, you are My Khethiwe. 

In every language that I know, ma chérie, to me your name means love – real, total, complex and intense. I have spoken to you and with you and of you in the tongues of men and of angels, and have given you all the love that I can express in words and actions – all the different interpretations of you. Love may not be enough to heal our wounds, or to put food on our table, or to fix all the brokenness that makes up our lives – but it fills me up when I think of you. That is what you mean to me. 

Ideophones

My wife’s sms comes through mid-morning:

how would you define an ideophone?

I imagine the conversation diverging from the task at hand, the English teachers (supposed to be) discussing next term’s syllabus and sharing out the work for it, and the sudden foray into isiZulu linguistics. I try to figure out what the best approach would be, knowing the people around the table.

A word which mimics a sound descriptively associated with an action or state in which an object, animal or person is. A sound effect, much like the ones used in graphic novels or cartoons – though more extensive in application. Kind of a sound effect mixture of adverb, adjective and verb.

And I leave out so much – that they are one of the most wonderful characteristics of the language of heaven. That there is an ideophone for the breaking of a heart, and one for mass-production. That there are two different ideophones for silence, and countless ones for the way that people walk or talk or are. That there is an ideophone for each different kind of touch, from a caress to a slap.