by S’bu Kheswa
Pointing at me “UBusi ka S’gara – this is Busi, S’gara’s daughter” said Sis Fiki, one of the aunties in my neighbourhood.
This is some thirty years ago, I don’t even know what they were talking about but at the time it didn’t matter as it was common of adults to talk about me.
All the attention was not about me, it was about my father.
I miss him. I think about him and even more lately.
When I am well dressed and smelling good I really wish he was around to witness my growth.
In my wildest dreams I can see him boasting to his friends about his oldest son. Other kids got toys and dolls and even school uniforms from their fathers. I got none of that but I know for sure my father loved me.
At any given day I would be playing with my friends in the dusty streets of Soweto and my father would be on his way to his friends or to a local soccer match or to gamble dice. He would just demand I go with him and I would gladly join him.
My family would worry so much as I would be gone for hours on end.
They always feared that he would take me for good.
At Sju’s shebeen Sis Margaret told my father “S’gara uchama into enhle – S’gara you ejaculate a nice thing.”
I seem to think that this compliment was about my good looks.
Given my generosity, I am very much willing to share this compliment with him.
It is sometimes disappointing that many people don’t experience me as someone from Soweto. I am from Zola, eMzambia, eZola emabhodini kwamshay’zafe!
Zola was one of the notorious sections of Soweto.
My father was one of the guys who ensured Zola’s bad reputation.
Different generations from Zola have witnessed all kinds of crimes that you can imagine, be it car hijackings, jackrolling, house breaks and robbery.
It was a very sad Saturday afternoon to me as the community was ululating watching the police arresting S’gara for robbing people of their possessions.
This is my father we are talking about.
Couldn’t the police pardon him?
I wished people could understand that when this guy is out of prison no one could touch me.
Instead guys and tsotsis would greet me and tell one another “this is S’gara’s kid”.
As a child I wished to have my parents in the same household.
In retrospect, I think it was good that they ended it when I was conceived.
The 90s were an important era in the lives of many South Africans.
Kwaito emerged in this era and this music genre affirmed many young people from the townships.
Kwaito also produced many music artists and some of them are from my township, among them are Mdu, Mandoza, Mzambiya and Zola 7.
I would like to believe that the emergence of all these stars contributed positively towards changing the reputation of Zola. I also want to believe that over the years Zola produced other kinds of stars who are not necessarily in the public eye.
One of these days I will openly share about the crimes that were committed to me as a child, later as a teenager and as an adult.
I can’t believe I have protected these criminals for so long.
Sies! Magwala ndini!
You take advantage of vulnerable.
Is this what your masculinity is about?
These bastards have infested our homes, our streets, our schools and our jobs.
I’ve had to live with this paradox for the longest time in my life.
Being a female-bodied boy was not going to exempt me from men’s cruelty.
Believe me when I say it is very hard to identify with your abuser.
I am my father’s son. I aspire to be an honourable man, a man who is not a threat to anyone. I dream to be a man that my mom, my sister, my wife, my daughter and friends will be proud of. I also hope to be a man that younger man can look up to.
Please do me a favour. When you bump into SisFiki please correct her “uSibusiso ka S’gara – This is Sibusiso, S’gara’s son”
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