We make friends from all walks of life. Outside our family structures, friends play a central role in moulding how we view life in general. Some of our friends introduce us to practices and cultures we grew up not habituated with. Keletso was not just a friend to me, she was someone I got to informally adopt as a sister. In years that I had known her, she had the happiest and emotionally gratifying marriage. Her marriage was one of those that made people wish to be married. They were the Shona and Connie of our circles. The fact that she hailed from Botswana even made us think that to be in a happy marriage, one must be from Botswana. I never believed for a second that the perfect marriage that we all well-regarded was a product of nightshift science. I ran out of words for a second. “Sorry sangoma, before you continue with your vumanis, I need to know what exactly Keletso did to her husband. What are the side effects,” I said looking at Kele who sat there like a daughter in-law waiting to be given orders by uncivil in-laws. The sangoma got annoyed and yelled at me. He told me he had many patients to attend to and that if I was undecided I should leave his doctor’s rooms. I almost laughed when he said doctor’s rooms because that container looked like a scene from Lesilo Rula. Keletso whispered “chomi, I won’t force you to do anything, but if you want happiness and stability in your marriage, this is your shortcut. If you are happy with Lesley going around dancing for every skirt, that too is okay. But do not come to me crying that girls are dismantling your marriage. The ball is in your court, and it is up to you to decide what you want.”
My thoughts were racing all over. I couldn’t help it but laugh when I thought of Keletso carrying her husband’s poo to the sangoma. There was no way I was going to wait for my husband to poep and hope for him not to flush it so I could take it to Kwa Mai Mai. How do normal people even do that? I stood up and headed to the door. The sangoma started barking like a dog and said “your womb has been tied by someone close to you. They don’t want you to give birth so that your husband can leave you and marry them. You can give it to your husband with bicycle style and everything, but you will never conceive. Your womb is a stone.” Those words made me stop and look back. Infertility is everyone woman’s fear, especially married ones. I knew the Mpofu family expected me to give them a son to continue with the family’s legacy. I sat down and asked the sangoma who that close person was. He told me he was not allowed to mention people’s name. I rendered his prophecy worthless because he refused to give me the name. I wanted to know who I was dealing with. I told Keletso that she’d find me by the car. I left for real that time around. Keletso followed me a minute or two later. She seemed discomfited by the whole thing. I wanted to ask her how she harvested her husband’s poo but decided not to. I asked her to drop me at my place because I was not driving my own car. She apologised and told me she was only trying to help. I did not even know how to respond but I had never viewed her as someone who would cast a spell on her husband. All along I thought their love was natural and authentic.
She dropped me at the gate and left. Lesley was at home watching news on channel 405 when I got in the house. I sat next to him and changed the channel to 135. Lesley always found my habit irksome but he let me get away with it. He massaged my belly and told me that he was looking forward to welcoming our first born. I felt like someone poured cold water on my back. I regretted telling him that I was expecting. He told me he was going to name his son Rooibos, after his father. I was faking the pregnancy but one thing I was confident about was that I had no intentions of naming anything from my womb Rooibos, not even my menstrual blood. He wanted to make love but I told him I was not in a mood. I was actually stressed about what the sangoma said about my womb and also the fact that I lied to my husband that I was pregnant. I told Lesley that we should save the energy for later because I had a surprise for him. Luckily he understood. His phone rang and he told whoever he was talking to that we would be there in 10 minutes. I asked him who he was talking to and he told me it was a surprise. I don’t know why but the first thing that came to my mind was a car. I got so excited that I even started to believe my thought without Lesley confirming it. We used his car because he said he wanted to blindfold me. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life. He stopped the car and told me to be patient. With me still blindfolded, he opened the door and helped me to walk to wherever he was taking me to. I was getting a bit impatient because I was eager to see my surprise. A minute later I could feel we were entering a building. A few seconds later he helped me to lie on what felt like a bed. “Babe, you could have said you wanted to make love away from home. There was no need for this drama. I love you still ha ha ha ha” I said jokingly. He removed the blindfold and in front of me stood our family doctor.
“Surprissssssssseeeee!!!!!!!!! The doctor is about to do our baby’s very first ultrasound scan”