“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings” – Anais Nin
Almost all deaths in black community are followed by drama. If your family member dies and there is dololo drama you must consider yourself very lucky. Some family members are so petty they will fight for the deceased’s Mr Price R79.99 heels before the poor person is buried. That’s how petty we are. Although I was hurt by what Mpho’s family put me through I was not surprised. It has become some sort of a culture for drama to germinate when someone dies, especially if that person had assets. I think most of Mpho’s family members thought they wouldn’t be able to scavenge on Mpho’s assets with me in the picture. That is one of the reasons I didn’t trust those delegates. In my mind I was thinking there were send to come finish me off. When he paused I asked him what he meant there has been a mistake. He took a deep breath and went “well, the family made a mistake by not allowing you to be part of the funeral arrangements. We sat down and reflected on everything. We regret listening to that crazy woman. All we want is for you to go with us and fulfill your duties as the widow. Your husband is getting buried tomorrow”. The words “husband is getting buried…” were like a needle in my heart. I found myself crying uncontrollably. I couldn’t listen to whatever they said afterwards. I cried out loud for more than 20 minutes. The anger in my mom’s eyes turned into caring. I landed in her arms and she told me all would be well. The lady that came with the uncles was also crying. You can try to be all strong but burying someone you love can swimmingly defeat your strength. Everytime I tried to stop crying I thought of all the good times I spent with Mpho. I thought of how he used to play guitar and sing for me. I thought of how we used to make love by the balcony. I thought of how he used to sing for me in the car. I thought of how he fought thugs when my life was in danger. I thought of how he saw the best in me when everyone saw a loose girl. I thought of how he turned me into a better person. I thought of all the orgasms he made me reach whenever we made love. If your man does not make you see heaven when you make love you do not have to wear black clothes when he dies.
Mpho was not perfect but the way he treated me came close to the word perfect. My mom, who had calmed at that stage, told Mpho’s people that she was not comfortable with me going to North West because she didn’t trust the family. I wanted to talk but my epiglottis had turned itself into a vocal handbrake. All my words didn’t have enough length to reach beyond my tongue. The family pleaded with my mom for over 30 minutes to release me. At some stage they pulled the culture card. They told my mom that I was not a Letsoalo anymore because I was married to Mpho. Marcus ended up convincing my mom that it would do me good to witness Mpho’s final farewell. Marcus was always the voice of reason. My mom told them that we could only go there only if they allowed us to have people accompanying us. In my mind I was already thinking about the Mamelodi sangoma and the Venda prophet. The family agreed without asking further questions. My mom took out her phone and made few calls. Marcus asked who she was calling and she didn’t answer. I think nigger was jealous. He probably thought she was calling her other boyfriends. Anything was possible with my mom. I think she was more streetwise than Marcus. Within 30 minutes a face I had not seen in ages rocked up at Marcus’ place. Dr Skhosana was with some three guys. It was difficult to lock eyes with him because of the things we used to do. I wondered why my mom invited him of all people. She went “thanks for coming at such short notice. I explained everything on the text I sent to you. Are you and your men ready?”. Skhosana nodded and said “you know I will never disappoint you. If they try any mangamanga business we will bury them instead of that boy that took my …..things”. I didn’t even know that Skhosana knew about Mpho. My mom probably told him during their hotel stays. It was so awkward to have that guy there knowing he slept with both of us. I felt sorry for poor Marcus. Imagine your girlfriend employing another man for something you should be doing.
With the pain still playing hide and seek with me, I packed my things and Marcus helped me to load them in his car. My mom reminded me to take a blanket. A black funeral can never be complete until we see some mourner covered with a blanket. My mom used Dr Skhosana’s car and I drove with Marcus. She wanted me to drive with them but I refused. I still had a fresh memory of how Skhosana slapped me hard when he thought I told his wife the shenanigans he was engaging in. He was lucky I was mourning, I would have went Black Coffee on him. The drive to North West was very quiet. I was stressing about the whole drama and Marcus was pissed at my mom for bringing another man in his house. At some stage he whispered “some people deserve polony”. I pretended as if I didn’t hear what he said. When we got to Mpho’s place I was shocked to see so many people. Then I remembered we were in a Tswana area. Batswana ba rata nama mrena. Tswana and Xhosas, same Whatsapp group in many ways….including good looks and lying. Marcus told me not to eat anything there because he knew I was a target. One of Skhosana’s men opened the door for me and we followed the men who came to fetch us. When we passed a group of people I heard some girl saying “that is the wife. Apparently she is the one who poisoned Mpho. I don’t understand why they are allowing her to be here. Mpho le yena aya kwini Limpopo when Bokone Bophirima has the most beautiful women in Africa?”. I couldn’t do a thing because I was the chief mourner. It was moments like that that made me wish I was still friends with Zee. She was gonna address that girl very fast. I almost fainted when I got to the room I was told to sit in. The girl that came to Phillip Nel with a baby was there with the very same kid. I asked what was going on and one of the ladies in the room said “here you don’t just ask questions. You are here to mourn, not to ask questions. Does this place look like The Weakest Link to you?”. From her tone I could tell I was not her favourite person. I decided to calm myself down because I didn’t want any drama.
I hardly slept that night. I didn’t want to die in my sleep. The bodyguards hired by Skhosana and my mom were not allowed in the room. I had to be my own bodyguard the entire night. My mom was supposed to be with me but she was nowhere to me seen. One of her Whatsapp statuses showed her having drinks in Sun City. She was behaving like a Slay Gogo. I pitied poor Marcus because he was so in love with her. I took a bath early in the morning and changed into a long black dress with matching wedges and shades. Girls from North West have a tendency of looking down on girls from Limpopo. I wanted to show them why Tswana men always shop in Limpopo for marriage. Seeing Mpho’s casket for the first time in the morning broke every piece of my soul. I felt like a dead woman walking. My mom was nowhere to support me. It was Marcus who helped me to walk. Those Tswanas didn’t give a damn about me. Their attention was given to the other girl and her kid. Nxa that girl wasn’t even crying. She was probably country the millions she was going to get from Mpho’s estate. I think I heard her saying “four …. five”. Maybe she was daydreaming about Mpho’s late dick. There was a huge marque erected by the street. By 6am it was fully packed. I almost screamed “please note that we will not serve food” but remembered my mother had a habit of skipping ‘society’ payments. I was surprised not to see Dick and his sister in the marque. I saw some of Mpho’s cousins but Dick and that witch were not there. One of the gospel singers they hired sang Jabu Hlongwane’s Wonderful God and the lyrics went straight to my heart.
“Exceptional God, you are to me
Exceptional God, you are to me
Everything I am, belongs to you; Exceptional God, you are to me
Everything I am, I release to you; Exceptional God, you are to me
There is nobody like you, In heaven and in all of the earth
You reign in power and majesty, You are God of everything
Yes you are everything to me Oh God.
A.. Oh comforting God, you are to me
A comforting God, you are to me
Everything I am, belongs to you; A comforting God, you are to me
Everything I am, I release to you; A comforting God, you are to me”
I couldn’t control my tears anymore. I cried so hard that they had to stop music to comfort me. To other people it was just a funeral. To me it was a day I was bidding my soul mate bye for good. It was heartbreaking. Period pains and labour pains combined have nothing on the pain of losing someone you love.
The next thing I heard sirens of police cars….