During her upbringing she was so soft and smooth like velvet. Her manners were so delectable like the mixture of fruits that gallop down the throat without upsetting the stomach. As everybody knows, it takes the whole community to raise a child and charity begins at home. With no doubt the community participated in her upbringing very well and she also listened and showed some veneration to the words of her parents, teachers from her all school levels and towards the community elders. Not specifically the greys but also her peers, sisters and brothers and everyone in the street. That‘s what elders say, if a child listens to her parents she will grow very well with good manners and behaviour and show respect to everyone, young or old. I’m not toadying her; I’m just divulging what I know about her!
Her name is Nthabiseng, meaning makes me happy. But at home we call her Nthabi in short. The last chapter of our mother’s baby’s ideal. She has done very well at her school level. She was always studying very hard like any child determined to pass and show a good result from primary school till high school. Most teachers favoured her. Do you know why they favoured her? She had good manners, well behaving and delivering a good work in her school work and dresses a proper uniform. She was not the tip top of the school that scoops any awards presented at the school. There were those tip tops at her school.
During her last lap at high school, this is matric in 2012. She got involved in the study group were they have spent plenty of time studying, practising, revising and involved in some dispute of ideas regarding their school works or what they have studied. And since from her schooling inception, she never fails classes because she worked hard to pass all of them, simply because she knew that hard work pays. Exams time arrived like criminals and those who did not study well, were scratching their heads for answers but unfortunately, for every game or fight you have to prepare yourself for everything that could come your way. And fortunately for her, she benefit from the group study she was involved in and time spent in there didn’t go dawn as a vain. She got results in the year 2013 January and got university entrance, and nominated as one of the best leaners from the district schools. And she won her self a goodies sponsored by local municipality and certificates of good achievements in some subjects.
Former South African President; Nelson Mandela said ‘Education is the powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. That is a flawless truth. It wasn’t palpable that Nthabi will scoop those awards and pass her matric class with her pass rate she got. Education was always important to her and she works hard for it. She was already accepted at the reputable university in the Free State Province. Clock tick and ticks like a bomb for the school reopening. And the time to take her to Bloemfontein arrived and it was during the week. We defeat birds and woke up before them to pack her stuff in the car. All along she was excited about the fact that she will start a new life at the varsity and meet new friends. In that morning she was so sad like someone she loves had last straw of his/her life.
Tears dressed her eyes. The mother is the always one to feel the pain first before anyone could when their child is sick or not happy. Mother felt that sting when she saw her little one’s marbles cascading water of the feeling that she will stay alone in the bizarre place and leave her loved ones behind. She never stays alone before that is the reason why she was soaking tears. It was little throbbing to see her in that condition. But anyway, we get into the road to head Bloem, it was me and her and her luggage. A trip of four hours and when arrived at the campus. We took out her belongings and comes a time for me to bit a goodbye to her. I can reminisce the time and place vividly. It was noon and the sun was left with only three hours to be hugged by ground.
I remember leaving her alone standing; and she looked at me with frayed heart, with no friends. She has to start a life in a new and eccentric place. She felt like she was a lion in a desert. My heart snivelled blood to left her alone. Remember I’m a tiger and tigers don’t cry. I shocked my agony and swallow it though it was not easy to go down. She survived a day, a week, and three months before head to home for the holidays of the first quarter. Her heart and love was always back at home longing for home and dearly ones.
When she arrived at home for the holidays, she broke into tears when she saw our mother and father and my brothers daughter. She cried out loud and makes them sad. But they consoled her till she show a beam in her face again. She loves to be home in our company. But as time elapsed she grew in strength and no longer weeping when we leave her in the campus and when she comes home for holidays. She is a big girl now and just left with six months to crown her first degree and planning to obtain the next one with no pause or getting a job.
· Mr Thiba, poet, essayist and fiction writer, lives in Kimberley, South Africa