Chapter Seven, Chaboota & The Mukuvuzi River!

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Me I stayed outside but I was sussing out the hana hana through the windows. I heard her ballin’ out the item behind the counter. “How can my husband send one amount and then you give me less,” she yelled.

When we were anchoring in Kong eysh times were hard moena. The bhali was still frugging in South and those days izzent the Rhodesian buc had more muscle than the rand Im’ chuning you. So whenever the labhi sent the mensa R500 it was like $350 Zim sheets. One time the old queen was so flat, she cut to the Braeside post office to go rile up the mensa there. Aaaah, she chuned them tish BIG time!

Freckle-faced and beautiful Aunty Lizzy was as calm as Mother Theresa most times but when the queen lost it eeeeh bra, you best skirmish until she cooled down. I skeem I inherited that trait from her ekse. You can say and do what you like to me but when my switch short circuits, you best emigrate conneki. It’s the way I’m wired ekse.

The postmaster or whatever they call that bhali with the crossbands and shades like a professor; he tried to explain to her about exchange controls and what and what. But a goffal old queen in full flight when she’s flat is unstoppable I’m chuning you. All the way back to Kong, even when we stopped by Mrs. Valachi’s shop in Arcadia, the old queen was re-telling the nyaya to everyone. If it was these times here she would have re-tweeted it a billion times. The Post Office got some bad press that day for sure!

So the sheets the labhi sent had to bedaal the rent and score graze and even be enough for bus fare on those Zupco maroon and cream subs that reeled past Kong from Seke. Those drivers made us yape full coin even if there were no seats on the bus. I was always tyna get a disount coz we were always standing but hapana. The bhali piloting the item chuned me I musn’t even try so I lorsed it.

So half-way through the month now, times got hard because the budget was klupped. I was about 14/15 roundabout those ends and I decided to do something about it. It was o’ Alton Gardner who introduced the own to chubz. Back in South we called it spinning coz you spun the coin and the other dude had to guess which side it would land on. Gardner was an ace in this game. I saw him collect coins every time mensa jorled to jam against him there under the light on Petersen avenue near o’ Vicky and Mandy and them’s digs. After a few lessons from the master himself, I thought I was sorted and cut to Magaba in Mbare. Back then it was called Harari.

In my pocket I had about 25 cents and in one of my back pockets I galied one of those wire Afro combs that you used to get kudhara. I had sharpened the comb’s wire teeth the whole week after school when we had to graze burnt mealies and drink water to stay breathing. You dead beat owns who don’t smuck to support your lighty’s don’t get happy here coz it’s not like the bhali wasn’t sending any sheets cabin. What he sent was not enough to takes us to month-end again because of those exchange control items the postmaster chuned the old queen about. The labhi was still the head chef at a honkey sparla in the Cape brewing up lekka lekka graze for the twi guests there whilst back on the ranch chibage was the main menu. I left Kong and passed Jacobs Walk where O’ Quinton was busy rapping to his chick. Now that own could bullet on the tracks. I skeem he was like a sprinter at Morgan. For a moment I thought, “Lemme flag him down to cut to Magaba with me” but the way Phawiza was enjoying the attention, I carried on on my pat. My stomach was growling and yelling coz I didn’t graze when I landed from Morgan.

My plan had to be executed proper. When I passed Ghandabai I checked o’ Zack, Stuart Manual and Michael Gideon perching outside handling some ice cold ones but izzent I was too young to join in so I just made like I was on a boxing run to build fitness. Gideon said something about my brother Arnold but I was too focussed on my mission to hear his nyaya.

I landed in Mbare to a packed house of chubz players. The one mensa who was controlling the game suddenly switched to playing that game where you have to guess under which bottle top he hid the little black object. Me also, I never learn, lol. Two weeks before that I went there also with some sheets and Jerome was with me. Everytime Tana chuned me the item was under this or that top but I was stubborn and we got grazed all the buc I had. So that night we slept on diet. This time I was ready for that. So I started guessing and it was going downhill coz my chubz skills were not required. To this day I skeem some sangoma there in National must have warned the game controller that I was reeling back. What did he have to change the game for, and only when I arrived!

I was on a streak I’m chuning you. A losing streak that is!

The Magaba owns were laughing at this “foggal” youngster who wasn’t listening to ANY advice. You see it’s easy to warra warra when it’s not your kites on the line and when your food cupboards are full at the cabin but when your nutrition is under threat and you are the only hope for the digs till month-end, then that’s another rosty that! A span of mensa smuck to yap yap but chune them to put their buc on the table, you check how they vanish one by one. Serious, most of you reading this book like this here, were not the ones who said “Write it KG, we will pay!” Those mensa disappeared when they heard they must bedaal. Owns’ smuck frontin’ like they got sheets but hapana.

Anyway a little later I was down to my last coupla coin. I looked around and noticed there was only a beekey mensa and that most of the big own’s had left. We were just four of us so I began to psyche myself up for what I knew was coming. I did that thing that I do when I am about to unleash the beast. On the floor there were even some notes there. So I took a break from jamming and stood back a little. They all thought I was catching a breather but I was actually counting the sheets on the floor. Two minutes later I took out my last few quid and again I was wrong. I WAS CONVINCED THIS OWN WAS HIDING THE LITTLE DEVILISH BLACK OBJECT UNDER his nails.

So I shouted, “Maporisa!”

The game master spun around to see where the fuzz were whilst the two owns on my left took off. Now it was only me and the game master plus his henchman left. He was a big overweight bhali who looked like a retired bouncer. In a split second I pulled out the Afro comb and before he knew what was cutting, I let rip. There is nothing that drives a man like hunger. Lol

Let’s just say I combed his vudzi proper proper. The blood was jorling from his nut as I kept ploughing it in with the one hand whilst I grabbed the sheets with my left. He was screaming, “Maiwe” at the top of his lungs alerting those other dead beats by those flats there. It was over in seconds. But you know how Magaba is till today. As I took off at high speed some idiots who were sitting by the side of the drag and didn’t even have sheets to jam chubz started creaming, “Thief, thief bata!” I zig-zagged through the Magaba flats with about 6 dudes in pursuit.

I was motoring top speed, powered by my strong legs that were used to running to the airport on boxing roadwork. Once I got out of the flats I made the cardinal error of turning right instead of left. I messed up by heading in the direction of the Mukuvuzi river, then known as the Makumbusi, instead of towards the bridge on Cripps Road. By now half of Magaba was chasing me screaming, “Catch the thief!”

I vula’d the nearest one own with a haymaker and he hit the deck with a thud. Then I took off also screaming, “Bata. Catch the thief” as I pointed ahead as if we were all chasing a skate who was in front. Others who wanted to join in, were confused coz they never saw anyone ahead of me but I kept yelling asking them to join in. The dunderheads behind me were screaming, “Ndiye uyu” pointing at me and I was also repeating the same pointing ahead. By the time we got to the Mukuvuzi point nearest Sunningdale, I didn’t realise that they had stopped running. I kept opening up the gap until I got stuck in the mud. Nobody in Kong ever told me that this river was marshland and muddy with serious life threatening black holes. I struggled to get out and eventually succeeded, no doubt thanks again to my boxing fitness. Then I tried to swim but my mind was on those crumpled notes in my pocket. There were enough sheets there to feed the tribe at the digs for a month and there was no way I was going to get those kites wet. I should have told it to the river coz soon as I started swimming I realised that this was sludge and not water so it started carrying me back toward those who were chasing me. They were ankering on the side of the river screaming that I was about to die. I noticed an old tyre that was floating in the wrong direction and I grabbed it. Back in the townships of the Cape we often floated on these for a bit. That was my lifesaver. I made it onto the marshlands on the other side facing Ardbennie road but I was a royal mess. My klobbe were clunking and I was bleeding as the reeds sorted me out big time. By the time I made it onto dry land, I was so tired I don’t know how I made it to Boshoff Drive.

The Magaba crowd dispersed but now I was bung in case they were jorling via Ardbennie in a ride. I quickly crossed the main road and disappeared into the empty field where Sunningdale 2 is built now. 

Eysh now another problem, how do I chune Aunty Lizzy what happened. So I sat down and flagged down one of those Bin Ali youngsters. I think his name was KK. He pulled up his nose at the way I was klunking. It took him a while to see it was me. I just chuned him I got mugged in Magaba and I wanted him to go to the cabin and tell the old queen Aunty Betty was calling her chop-chop. Those two old queens were inseparable so when I saw Aunty Lizzy rushing towards the Petersens cabin I managed to drag my muddy, smelly ass to the digs in Gleemore Walk. There was no one there and the front door was unlocked. I sped for the bathroom and carefully took out my kites for which I almost dwit.

Was it klunking!

Luckily it was wet like crazy but not damaged. I took a quick cowboy splash and took off the clothes I had on. Then I hopped into some shorts before dumping the dirty rig in the rubbish bin. I made sure it was at the bottom coz this Aunty Lizzy of it, she got infra-red sensors. My mother had special skills in seeing everything. Then I hid the kites on top of the geyser. That way they would dry and then the famine would be over. I must have emptied the spray can in the bathroom. Seconds afterwards I heard the old queen speaking to Janet Claude and them outside. I slipped out via the back door and cut to Aunty Betty’s crib. The stars must have all been aligned in my favour that day coz when I got there, Aunty Betty said she just missed my mother and was heading to Gleemore Walk to see what she wanted. Some quick thinking never hurt nobody so I said,”No need Aunty my mother sent me to say it’s all good, she will see you tomorrow!”


Tight call I’m chuning you. When the queen saw me later and asked why I had scratches all over, I told her we were playing behind Herbert Hick Avenue in the gwashas there and I didn’t know there were thorns. All the while I was hanging around near Quinton Marshands digs coz it was the first house when you enter Sunningdale. I was keeping an eye in case those from Magaba came looking for me. You know how Goffals will sell you out for a Coke. I couldn’t trust lol. But no one came. They must have thought I drowned downstream. Heck I thought I would too but miraculously I conquered the mighty Mukuvusi River and came out klunking like horse and dog shizz.

The next day my kites were dry. The old queen was asking, ”Why are you bathing so long?”

But I was passing some buc through the window to Jerome before I came out and we went to the shops. One day the Old Queen went into the bathroom when she thought I wasn’t looking. I saw her inspecting the items but she was too short to reach the top of the geyser so I survived. But if that geezer could talk, eeeeh bra.

The first thing on the shopping list was some Ngwerewere or Pearlenta Red Seal Maize Meal for sadza. 10 KG’s only moena, no kadiki items. Then sugar, rice, Gloria Baking flour, Peck’s Anchovette paste, coffee, Tanganda tea, Mazoe orange, Sun Mixed Fruit jam, Salted Maputi, Willards Honee Krunchees and Skondomoyo’s. But I had to score the items in stages otherwise she was going to interrogate us about the sheets. On the odd occasion that she did ask about things I bought, I blamed it on Father Thomas. That bhali had a huge pantry at his St Martins church office. If you were hungry you just popped in there looking all sad and what what. Quick quick Father Thomas would huck you some items and you would be on your way chop chop. Not like these new pastors who will ninge you even if they check the mensa are dwitting but they handle private jets ekse! My young booty and I were enjoying Lobels biscuits with Cherry Plum. However I was still limping from the reed scratches and keeping one eye on the entrance to Sunningdale. Quinton must have wondered why he was suddenly my new besty.

The only person I chuned that day was John Jones, Charlie’s younger booty. He came to pick me up for boxing but I was finished. It was two weeks later when I confessed to my mother as the bhali’s buc arrived from South. She noticed that my afro comb was missing so I had to come clean. She was livid with me!

Eysh, I thought “but this old queen here, she been grazing the sheets but now she’s chuning me tish!” The next day when I saw her and Aunty Betty sitting under the tree and killing themselves with laughter, I knew she was telling her what I did. These South Ole Queens they smuck chuning their connections your nyayas.

I stayed as far away from Magaba as I could!