WordPower 2017 features features short stories and poetry by young writers in Morija:
Lesotho – by Eketsang Tsoaeli
The beginning of a long journey – by Cinnamon
My mother – by Tšepiso Mahooe
Town girl – by Mafusi Ntšihlele
First love – by Selebalo Molefe
My adventure last night – by Nini Selo & Anna Hofmeister
Khubetsoana – by Lebohang Ntsane
I saw an angel – by Tsebo Makakole
My Destiny – by Tau Ntšebo
My Coffee Coloured Beautiful Lady – by Thabo Mohloboli
Life – by Mpho Semethe
by Eketsang Tsoaeli
We as Basotho seem to have forgotten
Who we are, where we come from
We now wear mini skirts and jeans
Why don’t we go back to wearing lithethana le litšea?
Why don’t we plant our own vegetables?
Instead of buying them?
Today people are fighting
What happened to the nationalism that united us?
It used to give us hope and strength
To fight for our country, Lesotho
Every year on the 11th of March
We get to say thank you
To our great legend
For making Lesotho a better place
Nowadays we do strange dances
Why don’t we go back
To dancing mokhibo and litolobonya?
Our culture is united
With chains of love
They are strong
They bind us together with love and honesty
I was born in Lesotho
Ke Mosotho ha ke bua
Puo ea heso leleme lea lelemela.
One may say I hate being an African
But I say ke motlotlo
Hoba ke Mosotho oa Morena Moshoeshoe.
Oh! It’s nice to live in a place
Where you know baholo ba rona
Fought to save our country
Lesotho with its natural resources
Gave life to the hopeless
Gave jobs to the needy
We learnt to do everything with our own hands
We made mokorotlo hats
And clay pots for storing food
We have places of interest
Like caves that show us the memories
Of people in the olden days
They will always be remembered
This is Lesotho!
The beginning of a long journey
“Good Morning, Sir!” I greeted my lecturer.
“Morning!” he responded, his eyes focused on his laptop. I wanted to believe he had not seen or bothered to check who was in his office. The office was very small, with only a table, two chairs and a small shelf in the corner. One of the chairs was worn down. It had been covered with leather, but this was now falling off and the brown sponge underneath was visible.
My lecturer was a young man in his early thirties. He had a fair complexion, a long chin and dodgy eyes. He was wearing his Nike golf shirt. I think it was his favourite because he wore it almost every day. I had seen it change colour from navy blue to almost white. On his left hand, you could easily notice the gold ring on his finger.
“I’m here to present my project,” I mumbled.
You know how students can be. You can do your schoolwork to your level best but when it’s time to present or submit, a fear knocks inside, making your heart beat faster. My heart was racing, but I tried to restore my confidence.
I opened my laptop. I was about to present my end-of-semester Computer Science project to him. The project was about encrypting and decrypting a file. To encrypt is to hide and to decrypt is to normalise.
“Show me the file that you will use to demonstrate,” he ordered.
I followed the command.
He then said: “Encrypt the file.”
I followed the instruction.
“Decrypt the file.”
I did it.
“What happens when you decrypt an encrypted encrypted file? I mean, how many keys do you insert?”
He asked a tricky question, I had not thought about that one.
“Insert a decryption key twice,” I responded.
“Excellent!” he praised loudly, with excitement in his voice.
I smiled, but my smile was cut back when I noticed that he was still pulling a serious face.
“So you are the third student to present, and the first female to submit.”
There was silence. I was not sure if that was a statement or a question. I broke the silence and started packing my laptop.
“Eeee! Oa bona lea kopietsana le ho kopiletsana ke hore ke etse tjena,” he said in his slow, breathless voice. He was accusing us students of copying from one another.
He opened the drawer of his desk and handed me a yellow sticky note. He looked at me straight in the eyes.
“Write your cell phone number here!” he ordered.
My mind left the room. I was not sure that I had heard him right. I had been told such stories before. Stories of male lecturers trying to enslave female students. My mind was spinning as if I was riding a merry-go-round. In less than a minute my thoughts travelled to all kinds of places. Is this how it started? If I didn’t give him my number what would happen next? If I did give it to him what would happen? Should I give it to him? Should I not? I looked at him. He had a serious face, and was focused on his laptop, as if what he had just requested was normal. Should I walk out and leave him there?
I slowly took the sticky note and wrote down my cell phone number. With a victory smile, my lecturer leant back in his armchair, with his arms resting on the chair’s sides. He looked relieved, like this was all he had ever wanted.
“By the way, you got 96%! Congratulations!” His eyes had left his laptop screen. He was now looking straight into my face.
“Thank you,” I said, escaping from the office as soon as I could. I think I flew out.
I tried to test the first two male students who had presented before me. Only one replied instantly.
“Hi Sam…” I hit the send button.
“Hey…” he replied.
“Motho eo o batlile eng during the presentation?” I asked.
“He only asked a few questions,” he replied.
“Did he give you marks?” I asked.
“No! O itse the marks will be uploaded when we have all submitted,” he replied.
“OK…” I cut my conversation with him.
I could have asked Sam if the lecturer had asked for his number, but Sam was the class representative so he obviously had his number. The lecturer would call him if he had to cancel class or if he was running late.
So…he had taken my number and given me 96%. Did I deserve that? Yes, I deserved it. I had stayed up for several nights working on the project. I had met all the requirements, I told myself. But what if I had gotten 96% because I had given him my number? What if I had gotten 96% because I was a female? These thoughts ran up and down in my mind.
In the midst of my confusion, my best friend walked towards me. I broke the news to her.
“Ao! Mathata a qalile! Le Ntebo ba ne ba mo qale tjena, empa eena ene ele class representative,” she said, obviously pitying me. News of Ntebo being in a relationship with a lecturer had been on everyone’s lips a few months back. It was believed that she had slept with her lecturer to get good marks.
Days and weeks passed. I did not get a call from my lecturer. That was during the Christmas break. On the last day of the holiday I received a call from an unknown number.
“Hello?” I picked up the phone.
“Hey! It’s been some time,” said the caller.
“Ke bua le mang?” I asked.
“Oh ke nna motho eane ea saleng a nka nomoro ea hao. I guess you’ve been asking yourself why the f**k is he not calling?”
I could catch the voice at the other end. It was my lecturer’s voice. This was my phone. He had to tell me his name or I would cut the conversation.
“Ke nna, Chaka,” he said. “You see, when beautiful faces like yours are about to come back to school I get confused,” he said.
I was shocked. Who was telling me this?
“You see, I have been praying for the break to end so that I can see you more often.” He continued to talk in this lusty way.
He said way too many things, the kind of things a teen boy would tell a teen girl. He was my lecturer. I did not expect this from him.
“I don’t think you should be saying these things to me. Check the number you’ve dialled,” I said in a strong, firm voice.
“Hahahahahaha,” he laughed. “I called Cinnamon.”
“Ok, bye!” I tried to force ending the call amicably.
“No! Don’t leave. Let’s do this, let’s meet tomorrow. I’ll call you,” he persisted
“I don’t know if we’ll meet. Bye.” I hung up on him.
Could he do this? What should be my next move? Should I change my number? Report him to the school authorities? So many unanswered questions in a girl’s mind.
That was the beginning of a long journey.
by Tšepiso Mahooe
My mother, my best friend, my do or die. My everything. She was loyal. She never failed me. Together, we were like pen and paper. We never separated. She always had my back.
She was my mentor. She believed in herself and in me too. She was very confident. E ne le mosali oa Mosotho a boulela setso sa hae. She was a Mosotho woman who loved herself. Her culture was more important to her than anything else.
In Sesotho, we have a saying: “Khakhi o khakha ea sa mo khakheng le borokong”. This translates to: “A person can love somebody who doesn’t even give them a second thought.” This saying did not apply to my mother. She loved her family unconditionally, and they loved her back in the same way. This contradicted that Sesotho saying.
The way she looked at herself was way beyond human understanding. She talked about her own beauty as if she were a mad woman. One may have actually thought that she was the most beautiful woman on earth, or even in the whole universe. She treated everyone equally, and believed that everyone was beautiful in his or her own way.
She never turned against me, except for one time. She had always told me that red lipstick looked good on me. I was on my way to church, and she encouraged me to put on some red lipstick. That was the first time I wore lipstick to church. I knew very well that my granny would disapprove.
Granny hated it when girls wore red lipstick to church. She called these girls sluts. She believed that it was a sin to try to make yourself beautiful in the eyes of God.
When I got home from church I bumped into my grandmother. She was sitting in the kitchen, laughing and chatting with my mother. She was visiting us. It was a nice surprise to see my grandmother after such a long time. I had missed her. And yet here I was, coming home from church with red lipstick on. Was this going to be a good visit? I wondered to myself. Honestly, the red lipstick had made me feel good. I had felt beautiful, like I was the only girl in the world.
“Good afternoon, granny.” I greeted her with a big smile on my face.
She did not answer me but instead gave me a glance with an evil eye, as if I was a disgusting rubbish pit. As always, my mother was there to defend me.
“Poppy o ntsa o lumelisa,” my mum said.
“Ha ke bue le matekatse,” she replied with a grating voice. In Sesotho, the word “matekatse” means “sluts”.
I knew exactly what she meant. It was the red lipstick that was taking away her peace of mind. As always, she started shouting at me, using all the Bible verses she knew and all the Bible quotes she had ever heard a pastor using when telling his congregation to repent.
“Molimo o re…! Bibele e re…!” That was how she used to scold me.
“Girls like you are not allowed into heaven!” she shouted.
“But auntie said I could…” I tried to defend myself.
“Auntie” is what I used to call my mother when my grandmother was around. She preferred this because it somehow made her feel less old, as if we were all her daughters. She didn’t want to be reminded that she was a grandmother. She said we were making her feel and seem way older than she was. In actual fact, she was very old, with wrinkles all over her face. She was just in denial.
I was shut up by the rough slam of the door. That was my mother leaving the room. The thoughts in my mind started crashing into each other. My mind took me kilometres away from where my grandmother was yelling at me.
How could my mother have done that? Why had she decided to let my grandmother crucify me that way without even trying to defend me? Meanwhile, she was the one who had come up with the stupid idea of wearing red lipstick. My mind was filled with questions without answers. No one but my mother could answer these questions.
I lost interest in listening to my furious grandmother, who only looked at me as a cheap slut. I needed answers, so I left my grandmother and went to find my mother. As I approached her, the first thing I noticed was the million-dollar smile on her face, which immediately calmed me down. Even before I could accuse her of anything she said to me: “NEVER DEPEND ON ANYONE FOR ANYTHING. DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE, NOT WHAT OTHERS TELL YOU TO DO.”
That was all she said. She made me feel much better. I didn’t feel so angry with my grandmother. I felt more confident about myself.
She was a wonderful mother, and I wish so badly that I had not lost her. I am not a creator. I am not God. I have come to the realisation that death is part of the human journey and is something that none of us can dodge. In Sesotho, we say: “Lefu ke ngoetsi ea malapa ohle.” This means: “Death is something that befalls every household.”
If death were a matter of choice I would have chosen to die on her behalf and by now she would be living happily on earth.
I would hire the most expensive lawyer in the world to crucify God in a Court of Justice. I am pretty sure that I would have been able to convince the judge that I really needed my mother. She was the love of my life. But life and death are mysteries that not even the mind of a PhD student could understand.
by Mafusi Ntšihlele
Puleng was born and raised in town. She was the only child in her family. Her parents worked for the government of Lesotho. They did not have time for her because they were busy in their offices and they hired someone to take care of her.
She attended primary school somewhere in town and her parents paid a private taxi to take her to and from school every day. When she began secondary school she started to take public taxis. She met different friends and she started to change her behaviour.
She fell in love with a boy called Thabo. That’s when she started dodging her classes and visiting Thabo at his place. They both used to drink beer and smoke cigarettes and have sex.
One day, Puleng told her mother that she felt very sick. Her mother took her to the hospital where she had some tests done and was told that she was pregnant. She had to go back home and tell her father. He got angry when he heard the news and told Puleng to get out of his house. Puleng’s mother tried to talk to him but he did not listen. He told his wife to get out of the house too.
Thabo also did not have a good reaction to the news. He told Puleng that he was still a student and refused to raise the child.
Puleng’s mother took Puleng to her aunt, who was staying in a rural village. Puleng’s aunt promised to take care of her because she was not working. As time went by, Puleng’s baby boy was born and her mother used to send them money every month. When the child turned 1, Puleng told her mother that she wanted to go back to school to complete her studies.
As we are talking, Puleng is a student in her final year at the National University of Lesotho. Her son still lives in the rural village with her aunt and is attending primary school there.
Puleng always tells young girls not to waste their time by going to shebeens and falling in love with boys in high school. She advises young girls to not be pressured by their peers.
by Selebalo Molefe
Joel was about 16 years old and thought he was now mature enough to fall in love. It was the 11th of March, and his school was celebrating Moshoeshoe’s Day. He was walking around the school campus, without knowing what exactly he was looking for. Everybody was excited because there were visitors from other schools and people were making new friends. As he was walking around, he saw a beautiful girl chatting with a group of friends. She was tall with natural hair and lazy brown eyes. She was neither fat nor skinny. She had the kind of body that he had heard other guys talking about. Her smile was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen.
Once he saw her he couldn’t move. He found himself standing there, staring at her like she was a piece of art. He didn’t even notice that she had also seen him and was looking at him. They smiled at each other, until her friends started laughing at him.
He felt so embarrassed because he didn’t even know what was happening. He was lost in his own world. Minutes later, he told himself that he was going to talk to this girl. He didn’t even know what he was feeling. He just wanted to talk to this girl.
One day after school, he was walking to the gate with his friends. He couldn’t tell them his story about the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
When they got to the gate he saw the girl coming from her class, but she was heading in the direction of the other gate. Now, he had to come up with a plan to escape his friends. He decided to just leave them without a word and followed the girl. Luckily, she was walking alone. He felt embarrassed and scared as he approached her. He didn’t know what he was going to say and by this time she had seen him coming and he was very close. He told himself that he would just greet her and keep walking but he couldn’t.
“Hello,” he said.
“Hi,” she replied.
“How are you today?” he continued, and everything changed as she frowned.
“I’m good and why do you care?” she said with a confused expression.
He felt even more embarrassed. He didn’t know what to say and yet he had a lot to say. Joel tried to look calm as he told her: “Because I love you, and I loved you the first time I saw you.”
There was a moment of silence, and he felt like escaping. He felt like this girl had just heard the stupidest thing in her life. He didn’t know what to say. He was just waiting for her to laugh at him and embarrass him more.
To his surprise, she turned to him and said: “Can you remind me what your name is?”
He smiled. “I haven’t told you my name. I was about to ask you yours.”
She laughed. “Are you always this funny when you talk to girls?”
He felt like running away now. He thought about what she was going to tell her friends the next day at school, and about his friends finding out that he had left them to come here and make a fool of himself. He looked her in the eyes and said: “I’m sorry but like I said, maybe it’s because I love you.”
“I think I’m in love with you too, funny guy,” she replied softly. He thought he hadn’t heard what she’d said until she turned to him and introduced herself. “I’m Palesa.”
“Joel,” he replied.
“What?” she asked.
“My name, I’m Joel,” he repeated.
They smiled at each other.
The next day at lunchtime, everybody was hanging out with their friends. Joel didn’t know where to go. He didn’t want to hang out with his friends. He wanted to go and hang out with Palesa, but he didn’t know what he was going to say to her. After thinking about it for a long time, he walked away from his friends, without realising that they were following him. His focus was on Palesa and he told himself that he was going straight to her classroom.
As he was approaching, Palesa saw him. She was looking out the window and she told her friends that he was walking towards them. Palesa’s friends followed her eyes and they saw him. Joel heard screaming. He felt very embarrassed and scared. He didn’t know if he was supposed to stop or keep moving. He felt like going back but now Palesa was approaching him with a big smile on her face. At least she is happy, he thought to himself. He didn’t know what to do until Palesa spoke.
“Hi, I didn’t think you would come this side.”
“I didn’t see myself coming this side either,” Joel replied.
“I’m glad you came,” she said
“I’m glad to be with you. Can we go grab some lunch?” he asked, wanting to escape Palesa’s friends. Palesa ran back to the classroom to fetch her wallet.
Joel waited for her, smiling to himself. Suddenly, he heard his friends clapping and laughing behind him. He wasn’t ready for them to find out like this. He wished they would stop. They were turning the whole thing into a joke. He looked over at Palesa’s classroom, hoping that she would be quick, only to find that her friends were doing the same thing. Finally, she came out of her classroom and walked towards him, smiling. Joel sighed with relief.
“I didn’t know that your friends are crazy like mine,” he said to her with a smile. Now everyone knew about their little secret, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t believe that he had managed to get the most beautiful girl in the school.
My adventure last night
by Nini Selo & Anna Hofmeister
Last night, my mother sent me outside to get the laundry. I had forgotten to do it earlier so I was feeling a bit angry with myself as I crossed the garden. A cold wind was blowing and cool air was getting under my shirt. I was freezing so I started picking up the clothes very quickly.
I was still thinking about what had happened at school during the day when, suddenly, I heard a strange noise behind me. It was a rustling and crunching noise. To me, it sounded like a branch breaking under someone’s foot. I turned around so quickly that the bones in my neck cracked in a creepy way. It was very dark. I couldn’t see anything. Very frightened, I ran three steps forward. I stopped again because I knew it was stupid to run when I couldn’t see where I was going. It once happened to my uncle that he ran against a…
My thought was interrupted. There was the sound again! I froze. Slowly, I looked back over my shoulder. Was there somebody standing behind me? Was there someone hiding in the dark? I could see boots behind the bush where the sound seemed to come from. Were those someone’s hands trying to reach me? The rustling sound was now closer behind me. My whole body was shivering. I felt adrenalin kicking in. In that moment, the only thing I knew was that I had to escape. That is when I started running and picking up stones to throw behind me. I wanted to keep that mysterious someone away from me. I was sure they were willing to kill me!
I still could hardly see anything around me. One moment later —– BAAAAAAAM! —– I ran against a rock that unexpectedly appeared in front of me. My face smashed against the rough surface and I fell backwards onto the hard ground. I lay there, unable to get up. I thought this would be my end. I could almost feel the knife cutting my throat but… Nothing happened.
Slowly, I opened my eyes. The stars blinked in a friendly way through a gap between the dark clouds. Seeing them calmed me down. I realised there was nobody behind me and tried to stand up. It was a hard job because my whole body was hurting. I looked down at my painful knees and realised that drops of blood were falling from my nose. I checked my face and felt wounds on my forehead and chin. Then I began to feel the pain. Eish! What pain! My whole body felt like it was on fire. I could hardly walk but I had to find out who or what had frightened me so much. Very slowly and quietly, I went closer to the bush where the sound had come from. When I was about two metres away, a mouse came out of the bush and quickly ran away.
Could that be it? No! Unbelievable! I had run against a rock and hurt myself this badly because of a mouse? All of this had happened because of a non-existent situation in my mind. I felt so embarrassed that I could not go into the house immediately. I had to sit on the stairs in front of the door to calm down and gain enough energy to answer the thousand questions that I would be asked. In the end, the shocked look on my mother’s face when she saw me – her damaged child covered in blood – made me laugh so much that it was almost worth all the pain!
by Lebohang Ntsane
Khubetsoana is a very gigantic shanty town outside Maseru. It is mostly known for its gangsterism. I was born and raised in this town. The houses are not planned. In fact, there are no houses at all. We live in shacks that are built with corrugated iron. The corrugated iron is not protective enough against the rain that drips from the roofs. During the summer the shacks are so hot that we spend the whole day sleeping. When it is winter we sleep with a minimum of four blankets because it is just too cold. I feel like I might as well be sleeping outside.
These shacks are built so close to each other that I can sometimes hear a person singing in the next house. There is no peace here. It is noisy all day and all night. Somehow, we manage to live with that. There are numerous sewage pipes that burst every now and then. The whole town is smelly and disgusting until the government decides to fix the pipes after a period of about three weeks.
Most of the small children here do not go to school. They run after their mothers with traces of urine down their legs. Even the ladies here do not work. You will find them drunk as skunks during the day. Some people even say that they work at night, when everybody else is asleep. Their husbands work in the mines in South Africa and they barely ever send money to their families. Their children wear dilapidated clothes. They are in sorrow. It is almost as if their fathers do not work at all. This town is full of fathers who abandon their families for years.
Afterwards, they come home sick and ancient and expect the children they did not raise, the children they barely know, to take care of them.
There are no illustrious people where I live. Nobody wears prestigious clothing. Khubetsoana is a bad, mean, dirty and nasty place. People die all the time from gunshots and stabbings. The fights that take place here are rough and sinister. They are not the same as those we see in Hollywood films.
There are these guys who hang around doing nothing. Their eyes are bloodshot and they watch your every move like hawks. They always wear black leather jackets, Dickies trousers and black or white Converse All Stars shoes. Nobody is safe when these guys are around because they are up for a kill. They want money so that they can buy drugs.
Almost all the teenagers here have been involved in courtship relationships, except for me, obviously. Teenage pregnancy is a big problem in Khubetsoana. It is almost seen as a custom to have a child during one’s teen years. Some of these teenagers even terminate their pregnancies. The worst is when they kill their children after birth and throw them down the toilets. Khubetsoana teenagers are heartless. They kill innocent souls. They strangle them alive.
This is the place I live in. The town I will never be proud of. If it were possible I would vanish and go to a far away place that is quiet and peaceful.
I saw an angel
by Tsebo Makakole
I have a dream that one day I’ll have the power to rule the world, just like my mother used to. A dream that I’ll have the bright future that my mother wanted me to have before she left. A dream that I’ll be the strong man that my mother wanted me to be.
It’s never too late for a man to ride a horse. This means that when the horse has kicked you, just be strong like a man and get up again so that you can ride and move forward. Just like my mother left me and told me to be a strong man and move forward when she is not near me.
Before my mother left she used to stay with me, feed me, wash me, dress me and even protect me. When she was going somewhere, she would always dress up. She would put on make up, eye shadow and lipstick. She would even colour her eyebrows when going shopping, to work or to town.
My mother always said I must study to be a doctor, but the things I’m studying are not leading to me becoming a doctor. She wasn’t a bad person. She wasn’t shameful, jealous, rude or silly. She was quiet. She was a good person who had joy deep inside her. She was caring and was happy when she saw me playing with other children.
She died when I was nine years old, when I was in Grade 4. When she was alive she used to take the family out and used to bring food to the house.
At that time, I was always eating and growing fat. I remember her listening to her favourite music and even dancing with me. I grew up in 2015 when I started to learn about computer skills, filmmaking, graphic design and photography.
God doesn’t tell you when he’s going to take the person in your life that you love the most, with all your heart. It feels like it’s the end of the world, like you want to go with him or her. When God takes something, you will not hear it, feel it, see it or know it.
I became who I am right now because of her. It’s been seven years without seeing her, hearing her, touching her or talking to her.
At times I would try to talk to her, saying: “I wish you would come back and stay with me forever.” I would go to her grave, praying so hard that God would hear my prayers. I will always remember her favourite music, her voice and her touch. I will always remember that day when I went to my room and locked myself inside, hurting myself by hitting the walls with my fists and breaking the windows, saying: “Why God, why did I let her go? Haaaa!”
While I was doing that, I saw an angel coming through the window. It was my mother. She put her finger on my forehead and said: “My son, why are you doing this? Please stop. Stop, I’m begging you. I know how you feel. I feel the same as you. Where is my mother? She is near you, and me too I’m always here for you – every hour, minute and second. Please stop hurting yourself.”
My grandmother pushed the door open and entered the room. The angel was no longer there. My grandmother said: “What did you do?” She started crying when she saw me leaking blood and asked me why I had done that. I told her everything. She cried very much and told me: “I am here, and your mother is here too.”
My friends, when remembering the people you loved the most, with all your heart, just let it go and it will never come back. Look back a little and look forward and never turn around. The last thing is that God will help you to achieve the dream that you have worked for and prayed for.
by Tau Ntšebo
Pelting on my window pane
Obscuring the view ahead
The earth softened
To bear the imprints of my steps
Helter-skelter walking in search of life
Robbed from me by the predators of this world
The chronometer ticking with each breath taken
At times weary in my heart and soul
The body can be a heavy burden to carry
Hope fading away like smoke
A trial that began two decades ago
Determining my only weapon of survival
Mountains and dark valleys posing no obstacle
My objective clear in my mind
Waiting and wondering when to expect the yield
A little voice in me keeps whispering:
“Go on, your efforts will bear fruit some day”
A seed sown in earnest shall grow
I smile at the thought of my fate
My destiny determined by what I believe in
Peace of mind nourishes my soul
My Coffee Coloured Beautiful Lady
by Thabo Mohloboli
Yes, she was my soul mate. If I remember well, it was in 2012 when we decided to be a couple. No one was perfect in our relationship but we both tried our best. We were all about having good times. We were also waiting for our JC results. When they were published, we found out that we had both done very well. Success was what we always wanted, even though neither of us knew how to find it.
In early 2013, we enjoyed hanging out. We got to know each other by going out to explore the beauty of the world, because it was summer. What I liked the most about her was the way she smiled, with her brown eyes looking straight at me. She was dark brown in complexion, and that gave me the idea of naming her my Coffee Coloured Beautiful Lady (‘CCBL’). She never knew about this name. Miss Confidence was what she used to call herself. I also called her that. She would sometimes apply red lipstick onto her soft lips. I dreamt of surprising her and painting her nails.
When it came to the clothes we wore, we chose streetwear. We were the dream couple I had always wanted. She never lied to me. She was honest with me. We broke up in 2015 because of our fights, which sometimes led to us pointing out each other’s mistakes. It was harder than I thought. I’d been planning our future in my head and now I had to let it go. I wasn’t ready for that. Who was I going to cuddle with, play chess with and read novels to?
It was too late. Miss Confidence was gone. Nowadays, I find it harder to connect with her as she’s studying nursing, “doing it with love…” I agree that we’ve always been different, with totally separate dreams. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t connect.
Truly, I didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone else at the time. My heart was broken and I was trying to run away from pain. I tried to look for a calm place, but there was no better place. When people asked me how I was coping I wouldn’t respond, because breaking up with my CCBL was a major loss to me. During the break up there were no tears, because I was in denial. She showed me how to tie a tie, how to be a real man. We shared the most romantic moments of my life. Everything was great, and I have no clue why things ended.
When I meet with Miss Confidence today she never hesitates to remind me how she loved me. The other night I went to perform at her university. I spent some time in her room, to rest before my trip back home. She kept asking me why we broke up. I knew the answer, but I was too shy to respond because our friends were in the same room.
I haven’t forgotten about our relationship. I learnt a lot from her, though the future forces us to not dwell on the past. Honestly, I regret my decision. Our breakup was a huge mistake. Getting back together with my CCBL is my only dream. There are a lot of guys who regret break ups, who wish that things could have worked out better. Unfortunately, girls think otherwise. I believe that mistakes are fixable and that we can start our relationship again. I miss you, Miss Confidence.
by Mpho Semethe
Life is full of challenges
When you come across them
Do not worry or fret
Or even turn your back
Face them without fear
It doesn’t matter
How hard they seem
Fight and show the world
That you are much stronger
Than those ups and downs
Life throws at you
Smiling is the best weapon
Challenges exist to make us braver
Their aim is not to annihilate you
But if you choose to be weak
They will bring you to your knees
It is said that hard times
Exist to make us stronger
To teach us the best and worst
Though it may not always seem easy
Fight and with Christ you will win the battle
Keep in your mind that
A bad beginning makes a good ending.