Isahluko Sesibili Comprehension It had been 2 months since Phindile’s parents died. …. P 10. Her uncle was a drunk… and one night he came in and tried to accost her… The next morning he apologized… But the next time he came and raped her (we discussed this in class) She went to the police and they didn’t treat her respectfully and assumed that she was just a girl coming in with complaints about her boyfriend….they did not help at all and so she returned home sadly. She went to school but did nothing… distressed by what had happened the night before. Her aunt MaXaba was in Joburg and would come home on the weekend. She decided to go and try to speak with her other aunt, MaShezi, so after school she took a taxi (?) to Sankotshe. She greeted MaShezi who was surprised to see her. She tried to talk to her, but –I think—MaShezi didn’t want anything to do with it and so Phindile returned in a taxi in tears. That night when she arrived at home, her uncle said, “I hear you went to the police station last night” …he then told her he was going to teach her a lesson…and beat her hard. Two days passed with more of the same. (…something about a key to her room? Top of page 17) One afternoon she was talking with friends and they were talking about their crushes, one friend, Ntokozo, talked about her crush on Basil, a guy in Grade 12-C. Nompilo agreed and said she loved him too. They asked Phindile why she was so quiet – surely there was someone she had a crush on too. I think she asked them to leave her alone, that she had no such stories and that she didn’t want men – they were dogs. She was upset and it startled her friends…who wondered what was going on. But she wouldn’t tell them… they returned to class, I think one of them said, if she wouldn’t tell them, they couldn’t help. Phindile didn’t want people looking at her (top of page 18) …the other girls remarked about people and their problems, while looking at Drum magazine. Eventually the English teacher came in … the English teacher realized something was going on. Phindile was usually the most outspoken and intelligent student in the class but these days she was quiet and looking like her thoughts were far away. The teacher asked to see her after class ended that day. After class ended, the teacher asked her what the problem was. She could see the distress written on Phindile’s face, but at first Phindile denied that she had a problem. The teacher remarked that she was not herself… her school work was not what it had been and she asked again, “Phindile, what is the problem?” and took Phindile’s hand. Phindile’s eyes began to fill with tears and she began at the beginning, saying that she hoped her teacher knew of her parents’ deaths and living with her aunt and uncle. She’d hoped it would go well, but in the last few weeks her uncle had changed, become an animal. She was unable to continue and began to cry. The teacher asked her what the trouble was – how was he like an animal? Was he hitting her? No, he was abusing her. The teacher looked at Phindile and saw that she was a beautiful girl (I didn’t understand all of the words here, but something about playing at being a pig and needing to be killed). The teacher said she understood the situation and told Phindile to go on home and that she would talk to someone…she asked who else was at Phindile’s home who she could talk about this with. Phindile replied that MaXaba would be returning that day in the afternoon. The teacher said she’d come and talk to her, trying to catch (?) wipe Phindile’s tears. Phindile thanked her, took her books and went home. She went to her room. Her aunt came home and called out to her… told her to wake up and come out of her room. About that time, the teacher came and so Phindile was called to come out and talk to her. The teacher asked Phindile to sit down and explain to MaXaba what she had told the teacher that day at school. The teacher smiled to encourage Phindile. The teacher said to MaXaba (Nk. Zwane) that she hoped she realized what her husband was doing-- “elicala elibomvu (…… red)?”--- something bad. Shortly after this conversation, the teacher picked up her bag and said farewell. The aunt said she understood what the teacher was saying and said goodbye. Once the teacher had left, MaXaba turned on Phindile in a rage and treated her as though it was her fault (I think?). She asked how could the child of her husband’s sister be so (bad? Corrupt?). She accused Phindile and the teacher of wanting to get her man into trouble. Phindile, crying, asked her who would she believe? Her aunt went out the door and off to talk to her friends about these lies told by girls. Phindile’s heart was beating, she sat down and thought about what she needed to do, then she went into her room, packed her few clothes in a bag. She went into the kitchen and found R25 in the bread money cup (ekopini ?). She looked around at her home one last time, with tears. She said, “I’m leaving, my parents…I never thought I would leave in this house …. I ask that you look at me, mother and father, as I leave here.” Saying these words, Phindile took her bag and put it on her shoulder and walked out of the door not knowing where she was going but knowing that …? She was staying far away from people like her uncle, MaShezi and MaXaba, they would never find her.
Words -phonsa / waziphonsa Isiqhwaga waphaphama izigameko ezimhlele uvalo ngokubhuqa yizicwicwicwi ukuxhawula isipoki / nesipoki entanyeni wamehlula – beat her
Isahluko Sesithathu – Comprehension Phindile took a taxi two hours, leaving the location in Mpumalanga to go to eThekwini (Durban). At night it became windy (lo othanda ukubandabanda?). She was hungry and worried because where would she sleep? She went to the petrol station near the place where she left the taxi…she went to the wash house, where they showed her. She went inside, opened the water and washed her face and hands, then she came back out. ….It was dark… .. She sat down beside the wash house and looked at her bag with her clothes in it next to her. “Can I help you, Sisi?” asked the man who worked there at the garage. “No brother, thank you” –not sure what she said but she was lying – something about her father telling her he would find her there. It sounded like he protested that, saying it was very cold…? She said she thought all her izinsizi? This next section on p.21, I had trouble with. Something smelled good …. She wanted to try to buy something she could eat in the morning because today she had eaten nothing …or slept without eating. She felt in pain (wayezwela ebuthongweni), it was as if her mother uyamvusa? There appeared a man and woman dressed nicely. “Hello mnta kababa. It looks like you are in trouble, get up let’s talk” This girl was dressed nicely in purple (ompofu?) with a gold necklace. Getting up, Phindile was amazed at what they were doing. “Don’t worry (?) our child, I see that you need help.” “Yes Sisi, I left without things to continue my journey at home (??)” “I see, Sisi., that this is bad. I will help you. Pick up your bag and we will go. My car is parked over there at the store by the garage. Phindile picked up her bag and followed them to a beautiful red car…the man did not have a nice face at all! Had trouble understanding the next few sentences…need to re-read them. “Get in Sisi! He would never do anything” said the lady laughing. … “I didn’t get your name child, how will I know to call you if I don’t know your name” “My name is Phindile Mthethwa” “I’m happy to know you, Phindile. I am your sister Lindi. This man/brother we are with is Muzi, we live in eThekwini in Berea Center. Let’s go home Muzi, …something about the child being hungry. Thank you for agreeing with me to help the child. You never know, there you will find blessings.”
She said these words smiling at Phindile, who wished in her heart that the Lord would bless these people for helping her. They arrived, parked ngazenxanxatheleni? At the flat across from a petrol station. “Listen Lindi, you go inside I will follow after. There is a guy I want to see him over there at the Point, said Muzi. Lindi and Phindile went in the building… “Is it a problem if I call you Phindi?” asked Lindi smiling. “No, it’s no problem” agreed Phindile ngamahlonyana. Lindi asked Phindile why she was afraid of Muzi and said to not be afraid, that it wasn’t in Muzi’s nature (?) to speak very much. She said that she on the other hand spoke a lot, though Phindi was very quiet. Lindi got the key out of her purse and they entered the apartment. “Here is where we live. Sit there on the sofa, I will make you some food in the kitchen over there because I know you are hungry.” She made sandwiches of cheese and bolony and gave her a glass of milk. She then asked Phindile what a young and pretty girl like her was doing on the road at night. “It is a long story” said Phindile with a big sigh. She then told the story of how she arrived there at the garage. Lindi saw that this was a very bad story. “You know, Phindi, people like your uncle, they need to be killed… but do not worry my darling. I will ….. you…here with me. You will use this room by the balcony…it will be yours. She took her by the hand and showed her the room. After they went back and sat on the sofa? And continued their conversation. Hawu Sisi, how can I repay you? Phindile asked. Lindi said she didn’t need to pay, but did ask her to help them with something… Phindi went on to sleep. Lindi went to her room and watched TV while drinking a cold Esprit. Her heart said that they had found the person for Muzi? Not these dogs who return from zibarobhe?? It’s very good to use this girl (???) because she is young, good looking and ithobile. (Is she planning to use Phindi for something bad? Couldn’t tell here…) She finished her drink and turned the TV off…never knew to wait for Muzi she didn’t know when he’d return. It seems he returned drunk and smelling bad of tobacco. The next morning there was the sound of dishes in the kitchen, I think Lindi was surprised and almost called (for help?) and then remembered Phindile was there in the house. She got up, put slippers on and left the room. When she came out she saw Muzi sleeping on the couch and the whole house smelled of beer. She tried to wake him up and make him go and sleep in his room. She told him he smelled bad. He woke up eventually and she could see he was still drunk. She went in the kitchen and Phindile was amazed at what happened (?) She apologized to Phindi and asked if she had slept well. Phindile replied yes and said she thought she'd make coffee, she didn't know if she had ruined it though (?) Lindi reassures her that no, she didn't ruin anything and thanked her. They drank coffee and talked together. Lindi told her about all the fun places she'd like to take her in eThekwini when they had time. They finished their coffee, made food and then washed the dishes. Lindi told Phindile to get dressed and after they would go out. After Phindile got dressed she came out and found Lindi sitting with Muzi on the couch. (Did Lindi have a plastic bag?) Lindi got up when she sawa Phindile return and she carried (a bag?) and the car keys. She told Muzi they would return shortly and asked that he do something about the way he smelled or appeared (?). They drove through Durban, passing the Christian Center, took West Street and looked at the beach. ... It sounds like Lindi and a taxi driver almost had an accident and called out insults to each other. (bottom of p.26 and top of p.27 had trouble) They drove to the Point (a place?) and to a flat near the Hospital (the building was red?). They parked outside the flat and Lindi reached down under the seat and took out a small package and gave it to Phindi. She then asked Phindi to take it in to the flat and to tell the guard that she was going to flat no. 87. When she got there, she would find a man - she should tell him that Lindi sent her and he will give you a parcel. She told her to not be frightened and to come back. So Phindile did so. She encountered a man with a startling white smile. He asked if she had been sent by Lindi in English and Phindi replied yes. He went inside quickly and then gave her a small parcel in return and smiling, thanked her. She went back to the car and Lindi complimented her on how quick she was and asked for the parcel. Phindile gave it to her and she was very happy when she opened it. They returned back to Berea and their flat. They found Muzi asleep -still drunk again. Lindi gave Phindile R300 and Phindile was amazed but Lindi said why not? Phindi had helped her that morning and she was glad. She told Phindi to use it to buy something she loved and that people should help one another. Over many days, Phindile continued to help Lindi... but now she took taxis to get to various flats to deliver and collect packages. She still missed her parents but she was better now that she was living well with Lindi. I think she still wanted to go to school the following year but was a little afraid to ask Lindi about it. One day she left Lindi and Muzi, asleep and drunk, and went to Tony's flat at South Beach. She arrived there and Tony was glad to see her, he invited her in and they drank tea and ate cookies. ... she gave him the package? bag? and she thanked him and returned to the flat in Berea. When she got off the taxi she saw Lindi outside the flat carrying a bag and looking down .... ? ... she was trying to close the zipper on the bag but it wouldn't close. She asked Lindi what she was doing. Lindi asked her where she was (??) and how could she leave her alone with Muzi, do you know how much trouble there was? She went on to tell Phindi to take this bag, it had her things in it... it wouldn't close. She told Phindi things were bad, Muzi had been arrested. Phindi was surprised and echoed, "Muzi was arrested?" Lindi told her she asked too many questions and then warned that the police would be returning. But Phindile asked, why would Muzi be arrested? It was then that she discovered that he had been selling drugs. Lindi ended up leaving Phindi there, with no place to go. Phindi took her bag and decided that she would go to Tony since he was the only other person she knew in Durban besides Lindi and Muzi. She took a taxi and on the way there it had an accident with a van. There was a lot of damage and blood everywhere? But finally she got to the flat. She greeted the guard and he could see she was in trouble -- she was afraid of coming to Tony but she was also afraid of having to sleep out on the street. She tried smiling at the guard - he asked her if she knew Tony and she said yes. I think the guard didn't believe her and gave her a hard time, laughing at her tears. She left and didn't know where else to go and so walked along the hospital road overlooking the beach. It was raining and cold. There were two boys sitting on a bench, cold. They greeted her. I think she went and sat with them and because she had money, she decided to buy some food. I think she had the boys watch her bag and she went to buy bread and polony. She shared it with them and they thanked her.
I'm not sure of the end of the chapter-- skimmed it... but she asked about a blanket - I think the boys were using plastic. At one point they washed at the showers there at the beach. Afterwards, they slept out there and she woke up cold and hungry, the boys were nowhere to be seen. Her clothes, from her bag were a mess and smelled of urine. Words ukuququdwa Isithongwana zibarobhe idampi = small bottle of beer isijumbana = short thing (Confirm for context) engasamxwayi = No longer paying attention to or earning (Confirm in text) -jwayela = Be used to/ familiar with izidakamizwa? = Drugs (illegal) ngokucikeka = Fed up or annoyed abakwasidlodlo = police dlengelele = exposed (Confirm from book) -khonkolo = concrete (hard/rough surface)
Isahluko Sesine – Comprehension The chapter begins with Phindile crying… the boys were gone and she couldn’t see any sign of them. She worried about how she would get food – she did not even have a cent. She looked at the different stores of food.. She thought about asking for work (?). She remembered that there [akanalo napasi] there were many bad people staying in the city… She walked along looking at the sunrise, not knowing where she was going. She passed the hospital on Addington St and ended up on Gillespie St. She saw a store… with fruit and vegetables. She thought of going in there to ask for work but she realized she had not washed – what would they say? She smelled. She was in front of the door when a lady came out carrying bananas and hit her in the shoulder. The woman began to apologize, saying “sorry sister, I hurt you”. Phindile began to reply, “no sister, the error was mine when their eyes met and they recognized each other. “Hey—are you from Hammersdal?” the lady asked. Phindile replied, “Sis Mumsy, but what are you doing here?” Mumsy explained that she lived there and as they talked (I think) she realized that Phindile was in a bad way. Phindile began to walk with her, telling her the whole story – everything up until their meeting together that morning. Mumsy reassured her, encouraging her to come along to her place where she could have water to wash, etc. They caught a taxi there in front of the store and took it to Mumsy’s flat. Mumsy explained that she lived with two girls (onombiliyane), she reassured Phindile, while smoking a cigarette (tobacco). Phindile asked (wondered) what onombiliyane were and Mumsy simply said, “you will see for yourself when you see them why I call them onombiliyane”, she said while getting the key out and opening the door. They went inside and Mumsy invited Phindile to sit down and move the trash (left by the girls) out of the way. Phindile moved the papers aside (that were all over the large sofa) and…? (I think Mumsy suggested that she could sleep on the sofa – that it wasn’t the best but it was better than sleeping on the street) She went out and came back with tea and bread with jam. Mumsy gave it to her and said she’d call the girls who lived there to come and see her. Phindile thanked her. Mumsy left her there and after a few minutes returned with the two girls she had spoken about. She introduced them to Phindile as Busi and S’ma (with distinguishing features I did not understand). Phindile replied by saying with respect, “I’m happy to know you.” Mumsy explained to them that Phindile had some misfortune. She talked about her parents dying (?) maybe? …or about a man dying? But that now she was there in Mumsy’s house because Mumsy didn’t want her out in the street… somehow this was funny because they all laughed and took hands? Buyi was laughing so hard she was crying and she asked Phindile something about marriage (I totally missed this bit and S’ma’s response – about a guy returning from work and cooking for her?) Phindile finished eating and felt her strength returning. Mumsy told the girls to show her where to go and wash and then to look for something for her to wear… she had S’ma give her something to wear because she was a bit bigger too… Mumsy remarked on Phindile’s beauty and that she’d be even prettier if she ‘prepared herself’. S’ma told Phindile to come along and took her hand. She showed her clothes and where to dress and then showered the washroom. “When you’re finished, you will find us in the lounge watching TV”. Phindile thanked her, full of tears. She washed, dressed and then came out to join them in the lounge. [Didn’t understand the next dialogue very well] They invited Phindile to sit down and join them watching TV… Mumsy (I think) reassured her and told her not to be scared, this could be her home with these other girls. Buyi eventually went to go and make some food because they were hungry… during all of this Phindile wondered to herself what sort of work they did to live like this. Mumsy asked the girls about the work that evening… S’ma said they still needed to prepare but that they did not want to go out early because … to love to be cold (?) and people will arrive to drink. Mumsy warned them that she needed the rent money for Monday and didn’t want … (Mumsy was getting angry/annoyed). The girls reassured her quickly saying that they would get ready – they said they thought that Phindile should also get dressed up/ready too so that she could quickly know how they live here in the house….she would learn quickly by trying it for herself, Buyi said looking at Phindile but speaking to Mumsy. Mumsy replied, “that is a good though, Buyi. Go then and dress her up.” …she went on to say that Phindile could not expect to stay on for free… you need to pay rent together with money for good. She asked her if she had a problem understanding this… but didn’t wait for a response from Phindile. Phindile did answer though, saying she had no problem…. But she didn’t know what she meant by all of this. (She was afraid of being cast back out to the street). So they dressed Phindile up and explained things: “we go work at night out there at a bar called Kilimanjaro, then Mumsy helps up with this place to stay… we pay her rent and give her money for food and then she rents the flat… They continued to dress Phindile and did something to her hair… commenting on how beautiful she was and how the clients would come to her… that she would return with a lot of money. They said the next day they would go to Solly’s saloon and that Phindile would be very beautiful there. Phindile asked them, “what sort of work do you do exactly at Kilimanjaro?” You said about me that they would … easy? All they replied was, “you will see there that it is so easy to do this work… “ They did their hair, etc. and then went out. They went along talking and walked on West Street until they arrived at Kilimanjaro over there on John Millner St. There was very loud music… they were greeted there… people were smoking. Buyi took out some money and bought 3 Hunter’s Dry beer that they really liked and S’ma took out a cigarette to smoke. They were talking about some men … Phindile still was not sure what they were doing and so they explained to her not to accept anything under R50 … and something about cd ( condom???) Phindile asked what a cd was… they continued to talk – trying to explain things to Phindile, but I think it was all still a mystery to her what they were saying. They gave Phindile beer to drink… A guy then came up to S’ma to say, “ah you have a new one! She is SO beautiful! She’s so fresh. What is her name?” …. They introduced her to the guy, named Shakes. S’ma sent Phindile off with this guy… they went out and got in his car, parked outside the bar… they drove off and went, without speaking. Phindile was getting nervous thinking of what would happen there. She said, “father…brother…R50 and I ask for a cd, if you don’t have one, I’m sorry”. “Clever… you mean that you go with a thief. Your money you will get it but not without working” (he was angry). Not sure what all he says here—something about “ …. Open your pretty mouth that should be ruined and ….ngokulanda undendende” he said, trying to laugh. Something happens here… minutes felt like years (I can guess what it was) … Phindile needed to wash very quickly… He said, “here is your money, keep the change!” and gave her three R20… Phindile received the money with a sad (abalise)? Heart because she realized she had sold her body. They went back to the bar and she found Buyi there alone. “Where is S’ma?” she asked. S’ma was working like you, Buyi replied and then asked Phindile how it went. Phindile began to cry and said it was bad, she wouldn’t get used to it. Buyi told her that she would eventually. … Days continued on and Phindile did the work… days became weeks, weeks became years. It was heavy (depressing?) work but she got used to it…she had her people… Even with all of this, her wish was still to finish school…it was always on her mind.