Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The comedian with a lisp_teaser

Having a lisp is a problem. Every time you speak people laugh at you. They don’t seem to care that it hurts your feelings. I mean, what can you do when – despite your best effort - you are just not able to say that ‘ess’ sound? My name is Letsema and I have a lisp. There are these kids at school who like to draw attention to my lisp by engaging me in meaningless conversation. They will taunt me until I relent if I choose to ignore them. So, I decided to become a comedian. If I am also laughing at myself, then the hurt will be negated. I pour over material on youtube to find jokes that have not become popular yet and I modify them a little so as not to plagiarise them.
Let's face it; I am bound to be a sensation because my lisp is guaranteed to have people laughing even if my jokes are not funny. But – of course – I am a stickler for perfection and that means I must always be at the top of my game.
I go to this multiracial high school located in a suburb I don’t even live in. I have to catch two taxis and then walk from where the taxi lets me off to get to the school. I am doing grade 8 this year. I decided to do this comedy thing when I was about to start high school because I wanted to make my high school experience unique and memorable. I could sooner forget about my formative years in primary.
I call myself ‘The coup’, which is a play on my name, like the ‘coup d’etat’. That’s what everyone is calling me now - The coup.
“Hey ‘The coup’, wait up man!” That’s one of my friends. This new lease on my life has started off really well. I made friends on my first day of school.
“Thure man, whathup?” I respond as he catches up with me and matches his stride to mine.
“Did you do the math homework?” he asks in an anxious voice…
“Of courthe!” I beam, “I don’t exactly have the luxury of being the clath clown without the obligation to keep up my gradeth to keep teacherth off my back.” I add, slapping him on the shoulder.
“Can you borrow me your book?” he predictably asks me. The price of keeping such friends can be steep sometimes.
“Thure man, what are friendth for?” I give my reluctant acquiescence.
“Thanks man!” he says, sounding relieved. As if he was expecting me to say no. I wonder if I have that kind of power.
I am walking very fast because I am slightly late this morning and he is struggling to keep up with me because he had been running after me for a while without catching up. I can see the prefect at the gate, shooing the late comers in and the other prefect stamping their school diaries. That means detention. Darn it! I don’t like citations on my diary or school records, but today they seem unavoidable.
“Slow down man, I can barely keep up!” complains my friend.
“I can’t man, you know what being late meanth.” I say, even though I know that my hurry will not save me from this detention. I am hoping to tell the prefects a joke or two and distract them from their task.
“It’s not like you are going to avoid it now.” My friend states the obvious. Sometimes I hate Moremi. He has these annoying tendencies to say obvious things as though he does not realise that they are.
“Detention is not that bad. Think of it as way to gain a diverse audience, a bunch of misfits unlike yourself.” He cajoles me. Moremi is a regular at detention and even the principal’s office. It’s like the boy has no fear.

Thinking about the principal makes me tremble. I don’t even want to think about his office. We are the last students the prefect lets in and as I watch the other kids grab on to the mesh fence that surrounds the school, I see an opportunity to avoid detention.

 I signal some of the kids to attempt jumping the fence and they start to climb like monkeys up that fence. The prefect giving detention stamps sees the other prefect struggling to stop the kids that are climbing the fence on either side of the gate and he waves us away without stamping us. Already four kids have jumped in and are racing as fast as they can towards the assembly area. We also race to assembly in case he changes his mind. Just before I disappear around the A block, I see the two prefects making darting moves, not sure whether to discourage the other climbers or give chase to the increasing number that has succeeded in scaling the fence. I hear him sounding the whistle and I realise that in his panic he must have forgotten that he has a whistle.
“Thew, that wath clothe!” I whisper to Moremi as we stealthily make our way to the Grade 8 line. He smiles but says nothing. I wonder if he saw what I did.
After assembly we make our way to our register class. The school has about ten blocks with three levels on each block. Our register class is on the D block, up one flight of stairs to the first level. It is the third class to the right of the stairs. As the teacher is calling out the register, I get new material popping into my head and I jot them down on the back of my school diary. Because I am distracted, I do not hear the teacher call out my name. My attention is arrested by an elbow to my left ribs from Moremi.
“Prethent!” I say and everyone laughs. I am confused so I look at Moremi questioningly. He whispers that Mrs Inglewood wanted me to share what I was writing in my diary while she was reading the register. Thank goodness for brown skin, blood can rush to my face undetected.
“It wath really nothing interethting Ma’am. I was jutht noting down a reminder before I forgot about it.” I say while cowering behind Moremi.
The thing about our register teacher is that she does not like to be ignored as much as she does not like smart mouths. I hope that she will not think that I am being a smart mouth.
“Bring your diary to the front, please?” she asks in a tone that brooks no argument. Everyone is quiet now, watching me expectantly. I guess she thinks I was sassing her.
 “Since you are reluctant to share this reminder with the class, I will do it for you.” She barks at me as I slowly make my way to the front of the class.
“Come on,” she encourages me “I don’t have all day!” She sounds like she is losing her patience and I don’t want to be sent to the principal so I scamper to the front and hand her Moremi’s diary. She leafs through it and does not find anything of interest except for the many detention stamps Moremi has already collected this early in the school year. I am crossing my fingers that she does not figure out that it is not my diary. With frustration, she flings the diary at me and asks me to show her the page I was writing on.
“I don’t remember the page Ma’am. I can try to look for it.” I feign an offer. She gives me a murderous look and waves me away.
“Okay class!” she says as I make my way back to my desk, “If any of you have similar tricks up your sleeve, I will make an example of you!” she warns and there is murmuring.
I give Moremi back his diary and we share a conspiratorial smile. “That wath clothe…, again!” I whisper.
The first class I go to is English while Moremi goes to Life Orientation. The math class is the third period so I give him my math exercise to find time to copy the homework while attending his first two periods.
The English teacher, after ushering us into her class single file, springs an unprepared speech on us. I mean, what does she hope to do besides cackling the entire period? Sometimes I think that the unprepared speech is a go to when a teacher has forgotten to prepare a lesson for that period. This is my time to shine. I open my diary and check out the jokes I wrote there to see how I can work them into my speech. One of the topics to choose from is travelling to countries where English is not spoken. I make sure that whatever I say has as many esses as possible as that takes the focus away from the content of my speech and rests it on each member of my audience, waiting to spot my next lisp incident. My turn comes and I walk with confidence to the front of the class. I stand about two meters away from the teacher’s desk. I clear my throat and begin my speech.
Within seconds of starting, I have them mesmerised by my uncanny ability to replace every ‘ess’sound  with a ‘th’ sound and guffawing at my jokes. The bell rings, signalling the end of the period before I finish and the deafening sound of chairs and desks scraping the floor is heard as students get up and make to leave the class as fast as they can, some breathing a sigh of relief at being literally saved by the bell. The teacher shouts at us that those who have not had a turn will have a new list of topics to choose from on the next period and there are groans all around. I run to my desk and carelessly shove my English books into my school bag and I am the last one out the door. The next period is Natural Sciences. It’s one of those subjects that I hate and I cannot wait to reach the tenth grade and drop it. This class passes without much incident, just a lot of copying of notes off a transparency. Homework gets corrected and more homework gets dished out. It is always the same old boring delivery to the lesson. When the bell rings, I make my way to block A for the Math class. I will meet Moremi there and he will give me my book back.
“Alright class, please swop your exercise book with your neighbour and let’s mark your homework.” The math teacher instructs. We go through the solutions, with him writing them out on the chalkboard and us marking our swop mate’s answers against his. I get all of them right and Moremi only manages to get two right. I am amazed for the umpteenth time by my friend’s inability to cheat successfully. I like it because it removes any suspicion that might have been cast upon us if he had gotten point for point what I got. Moremi is three years older than me and is repeating the grade. I attend with him the most difficult subjects, Math and Physics. He battles with both. I am not sure how he does with the other subjects but I imagine that it is probably the same. He does Geography while I do Computer Science. We have other subject in common, because in grade 8 you are forced to do up to ten subjects, but we don’t attend them together. We have one more period before we break for lunch.
At lunch time Moremi and I are having our lunch peacefully when the prefect from this morning walks up to us.
"You boys think you scored one today neh?" As he is talking, my heart is pounding because I never thought that he would remember us. Now I'm wondering if he saw what I did and his words give me no peace at all.
"I'm watching you very closely. One wrong move and your asses are mine chanas!" he warns us.
We don't dare talk back. He turns to leave and just as I'm about to whisper something to Moremi, he turns back and retraces the few strides he had already taken.
"I know a way you boys can make it up to me." he says with an evil expression on his face. "Tell me some really funny jokes. I heard that one of yous fancies hisself a comedian... and boys, I don't laugh very easily." he finishes off, shaking his head in the process.
We remain silent like ghosts. The rugby field is littered with clusters of boys in small groups, clowning around while eating their lunch. I can hear some of them laughing boisterously and I wish I could swop places with them. The school perimeter fence is a lifetime from the bleachers where we are standing. This guy is huge, like a rugby player. Being white, he probably does play rugby. He has the meanest looking green eyes. They remind me of a snake. There's a small scar that cuts across the side of his bottom lip. His teeth are yellowed and one of his big front ones on the top is chipped. His mean mug makes me think that is the reason they put him on detention duty. I want to object to his request but I am afraid of the repercussions. When I am nervous, my lisp gets worse and I also stutter. Moremi keeps looking at me. The burly boy starts to show signs of impatience and so I plunge in to save my neck.
"O-okay." I start, the stuttering making it hard even just for that one word to come out. "M-mm my jjj-j-joketh are-" he bursts into this high pitched laughter and interrupts my already interrupted speech and I can guess the reason for it. Moremi steps in with premature triumphalism in his declaration "There, we've made you laugh!" and I instinctively know that this hulk of a boy-man will not be impressed by his juvenile move.
I could almost have slapped the mouth that made that silly remark. I bend down to put my lunch tin to the side and raise my hands in a gesture of peace to stop the angry fist that was forming at the end of his monkey like arms, preparing to launch its trajectory towards Moremi's left jaw. You might think we were sitting down but everyone knows that boys eat standing up. We do this because with boys things are unpredictable. You have to be ready to fight or run should things turn ugly.
"L-lithen th-thir. Th-that wath-th-th a b-bad joke!"
His aggressive stance slackens somewhat and his mouth twists a little as he says "You called me 'sir'. I like it. From now on I'm sir to the both of yous...." he pauses and then continues through giggles "... you speak funny." Suddenly his mood changes and he snarls "I'm still waiting for those jokes yous clowns!" he exclaims.
I want to ask him why he speaks like that. He is a senior after all and when he first spoke to us, he spoke properly.
"Ath-th I w-wath thay-ying, m-my jjj-joketh are o-old. C-can y-you g-give me th-three m-month t-to c-come up w-with n-n-n-new mat-ter-rial th-that w-will b-blow y-your thockth o-off?" I say with false bravado. I am not expecting him to agree to it. I watch him thinking it over. Furrowing and unfurrowing his brow.
Eventually he makes up his mind and says, "Three months is a long time to wait. I'll give you a week!" and then he feigns attacking Moremi, to which we both cower away from. And then he saunters off; seemingly pleased with "hisself". We watch him until he disappears behind the C block before we speak, in case he pulls his earlier move and catches us ‘skinnering’ about him.
"You know this is your fault!" Moremi hurtles an accusation at me. "Had you not pulled that stunt at the gate with those wooses, we would have got our detention stamps and been done with this whole thing. Now we have a bully on our backs!"
Moremi likes to act tough and hates it when someone exposes his true nature. I imagine he must have peed his pants a little at the thought of that primate fist colliding with his jaw. Being a pretty boy, he does not like his looks being threatened. I have angular features while his are more rounded around the edges. He is yellow hued and I am light brown. He is tall while I am borderline short. I am scrawny while he looks like a well fed soccer player. I want to retaliate but he is still someone who could make my life hell if I get on his wrong side.
"Look dude, I have a week to come up with joketh to make that guy laugh and I don't think my lithp will help." I almost deliver that free of impediments. Avoiding words with esses is something I practice but it only works when I'm calm. Moremi just shrugs his shoulders. Clearly he sees this as my problem alone. I decide not to press the issue.

The rest of the day goes by in a blur. I am distracted by my impending doom. A week is not enough to come up with new material.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Cerebral cortex

I was seized by a cold feeling, a sinking sensation, in the pit of my stomach. She looked nothing like the sister I had lost nearly seven years before. Yes, the ears resembled hers; the nose that she so constantly and incessantly got teased about (diamond shaped with a bump on the ridge) and that stature that was uniquely hers. Yet I was convinced that it was her. Coincidentally, I had been reading a book about someone who had amnesia. Watching her, carrying an infant on her back, two toddlers walking on either side of her, a heavy majiras bag balanced on her head and two heavy plastic bags held on each hand, requiring so much of her strength that I could see her veins and ligaments straining to break free of the thin ashen skin covering her forearms. I was not aware that a tear was trickling down my face from the corner of my right eye. I had the sensation of a sharp object piercing my heart and I instinctively hunched over in pain. I watched as she struggled to cross the intersection until I couldn't watch anymore. With the motorists carelessly entering the road as she attempted to pass safely with the children, she made three earnest attempts. She tilted her head about, trying not to upset the load on her head as she scanned her surroundings for options. I saw my entry point and, ignoring my pain, I rushed across the street that separated us and took hold of two small hands. She threw me a grateful look as we made our way to the other side. It was clear that she was headed for the nearby taxi rank.

"Where are you headed?" I glibly asked to start a conversation.
"To the taxi rank. Thank you so much for your help." and she motioned for the children to let go so I could leave. She had not lost her impeccable way of speaking English.
"Are you in a hurry?" I probed, looking for something to delay her so we could talk. She gave me a pained look. I motioned to take the bag from her head and she seemed powerless to stop me. The minute I grabbed hold and pulled, as she leaned to help me, I was winded. The weight was enough for me to wonder if her neck has not sunk into her spine. Looking at her thin frame, I was not surprised at her strength because I have borne witness to it in the past, but I was overwhelmed by a deep sadness when I thought about the possibility that she may have led this kind of life for some time. Maybe even since she disappeared. "I won't keep you long" I hastened to add, seeing the indecision in her murky eyes; eyes that looked like they were constantly exposed to smoke. "I was actually going to eat but I was feeling lazy to sit by myself and eat. I often feel lost when I sit alone. If you are not hungry, you can have a snack or icecream!" and I made sure to be louder and interact with the tots to get them excited about it and help twist her arm. Beyond the mouth of the taxi rank, which is along the main road, is a food court. The food court is targeting the residents of a flatlet adjacent to it. A tall building of eight floors or more. The food court and flatlet are part of these new developments that are sprouting everywhere in our previously small and sleepy town. I gestured for her to hand me one of the heavy plastic bags she was holding - I winced from the pain of the strained bag digging into my hand - so she could grab one handle of the majiras bag while I grabbed the other and we hefted it the hundreds or so meters to the first fast food restaurant there. I picked the nearest empty table and we both let go of the heavy sac and it made a thudding sound and raised some dust as the floor was of dry cement. She made the kind of cough that comes out when there's a tickle in your throat. Yet another sign that it was her. My little sister had been highly allergic all her life. The most mundane thing like the changing of seasons could set her off.

I was petrified of approaching the ordering counter and leaving her there to get up and walk away while my back was turned. This, of course, was an irrational thought as hefting that bag to her head would have alerted anyone around the food court to her departure. I asked the children to come with me so they could choose the icecream flavour they want. As I made the order, I kept looking over my shoulder at her. I saw her get up from where she had seated and nearly leapt to her side but then I realised that she just wanted to adjust the strapper she was carrying the infant with. As I had turned and walked a few steps towards her, I pretended as though I was playing with the children by turning quickly back at them and making monster sounds. They giggled and ran around the little space where patrons queue to order. Thankfully, it was not that busy at the time. Just this one couple waiting for their takeaway order.

Back at our table, silence reigned as I searched my brain for a question that would sound acceptably curious. I wanted to ask her outright where she stayed but the way she was so edgy, I decided to take a round about way to it.
"So, where the taxi lets you off, is it far from your house?"

"No, it's not far." and she stopped there.
"Oh, okay. That's good then."
Awkward silence.
"So, where did you go to school?"
This question seemed to make her uncomfortable and her eyes started dancing about, evading my gaze. I hastened to add that I was just wondering because she looked familiar and I was trying to figure out where I knew her from. This produced a small smile but she still didn't answer.
"Okay then, how about you tell me where you grew up?" I tried another tactic but she still didn't answer. I made a small laugh and said that it seemed like a one-sided conversation.
"Okay, maybe my questions are making you uncomfortable because you know nothing about me, so I will share this info about myself first. I was born and raised in a village some thousand kilometres away from this place. When I was about to start high school, I came to stay with my mother in a suburb that's twenty minutes from here. My younger sister was already staying with our mother and going to the local primary there. I attended Sovereignty high. Do you know it?"
The whole time I spoke, she agitated her right leg. Something my sister used to do when she was distracting herself from pain. I wondered if this woman was in pain.

"Listen, I really have to go and..." she drifted off when she noticed one of the girls working at the food place bringing our order.
"Please don't go just yet. The food is here already. Look how the munchkins are excited about their treat." She reluctantly settled back down.

"Listen, I don't mean to be rude but my husband will worry if we take too long coming back." She pleaded with me with her eyes. I noticed that she said listen a lot and that made me think that she must always be having to ask people to listen to her. That made me so sad I had to swallow a lump in my throat so I could continue eating.

"You don't have to talk..., just listen." she nodded. Between mouthfuls I told this woman about my sister, hoping to spot some kind of recognition or trigger a buried memory.

As soon as I was done eating, I helped her carry her bags back to the taxi rank and I assisted her to get into a taxi that was headed to the nearest township from our town. The problem with this township is that it is sectioned and she took the main line. This meant that she either got off on the main road or had to take a local taxi when she got there.

I felt like crying. I was nowhere near figuring out who this woman was or where she lived now. I hoped for another chance meeting. This time around, I would just follow her and see where she goes.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why does my mother hate me?

I hear someone calling my name. The voice is familiar to me, because it belongs to my mother. It is already well after sunset and I still have not made up my mind to go home even though I know that it will mean trouble for me when I get there. Without fail, my mother will shout out my name because even though I am not home, where I am playing with my friends is well within view of home and she can make out my silhouette in the dusky light. Sometimes, she will send my goody-too-shoes sister to call me home. She is such a butt-kisser, always doing what she is told and being a good little girl. I get so much flak because of her.

“I’m coming!” I shout back, annoyed to no end to have to leave the fun I am having. I know I’m going to get a hiding and the thought just makes me want to postpone getting home even more. As I make my way, I look around frantically for the mound of sand that represents good luck so that I can scoop a handful, toss one or two small pellets into my mouth and swallow them, while at the same time throwing the rest over my shoulder. I must take care not to look over my shoulder once I have done it, otherwise it won’t work. This is how it has been done for generations by kids like me, kids who get into trouble because they push the boundaries and make their parents mad. There is no such mound on that short path leading home. I can just imagine it, she will ask me to go and break off the wet branch that will be used to deliver my punishment. I will do it too, because if I don’t, then someone else will be given the task of getting it and if it is any of my siblings, like my sister, they will use this opportunity to even some score over a wrong I might have committed against them sometime in the past. I refuse to cry. She will not know that it hurts when she lashes me. I know this will earn me severe words from her mouth as she beats me, but I am just stubborn like that. I have this belief that she enjoys hitting me and I want to contribute as little as possible to that joy.

As I enter the kitchen where everyone is, waiting for dinner to be ready so they can eat and then go about their business, I can just tell by the way my sister looks at me that I am going to get it.

“How many times must I tell you not to play away from home after sunset?” she starts, hollering her anger out at me. She is holding a cooking spoon that she is using to stir the dinner that everyone is waiting for with red eyes. The fact that she has to deal with the business of disciplining me means that dinner will be delayed and my siblings hate me just about now. I keep quiet, looking down at my feet. She goes on and on about what a disobedient child I am, how I try her patience and how much she wishes I could be more like my sister. My sister grins like a Cheshire cat at this part and has a smug look on her face. I wish I was a twin. Somehow I have myself convinced that if I had a twin, she would be just like me in every way and we would both be in trouble together, consoling each other after all the lashings. I am told to go get the stick that will mete out my punishment this night.

Dutifully, I turn on my heels and walk out of the kitchen and head for the vegetable garden, where there are peach trees and a few apple trees. There is also an apricot tree. I am not sure which tree to pick my cane from. They all look especially green and have fat branches that could do some damage. I head for the apricot tree, as it usually has thin branches of all the tree types there. I pick a long one, even though I know that that one will bring even more pain because it will curve with my legs as it makes contact with them. I am trying to impress my mother with how I pick the stick; hopefully she will not give me too many strokes. I haven’t realized that, my picking a good lashing stick is a sign of my insolence in her eyes. I haven’t realized too, that my not crying when she hits me is another sign of my being bad to the core in her eyes. She probably wonders what she did to deserve a child such as me. The way she gets so mad at me, I can see her shaking from the force of her anger. Even taking my time to come back does not seem to give her enough time to dilute her anger but it is always my hope.

I re-enter the kitchen and she is ready for me. She is done cooking and my other siblings, which includes my cousins, are cowering away in a corner. They don’t want to get hit by mistake when those blows get delivered. My sister on the other hand, wants front row seats to my humiliation. She wants to bear witness to the many times our mother has had to discipline me because I am such a disobedient child. We have a dining room set with 4 chairs and a table. During dinner, some of us sit at the table while others will sit on the bench, which is the only other piece of furniture besides the cupboards. Those who sit on the bench use their laps as tables to put the hot plates of food and we do what we can to shift these plates so that they don’t burn the same area for too long. My sister always sits at the table, ‘because she is older and she behaves’ while my younger brother is happy to sit on the bench because he eats with difficulty if he is seated at the table as he is still small and reaching his plate can be a challenge when he is sitting on the chair so he ends up eating while standing. One of the older cousins also sits at the table, so only the other cousin, the same age as me, sits with me and my little brother on the bench. My little brother is the only boy so he often gets special treatment.

She delivers these blows while I dance around the room because as much as I won’t let myself cry, each blow hurts and causes me to involuntarily lift the leg that receives the hardest blow and so the other leg gets it and I lift that one and because I cannot float, the previously lifted leg then goes down and gets hit. All of them find my dance-like actions amusing, but they won’t dare openly giggle, except my sister ‘the good one’. Sometimes this is how sibling rivalry is born. Other times perhaps it is caused by something else. Eventually, I cry and run outside to get away from the hitting. She might decide to follow me and hit me some more or she lets me go.
We live right above a ravine and so we are close to the place where our neighbors disappear when they answer nature’s less liquid call. I then head down the ravine and stay there for as long as my nerves can take it to see if she will be sorry and come for me. At this time, I am desperate for a show of affection because I feel hated. Of course I will get a fright at any and every noise around me because I am a fearful. I end up having to crawl back home with my tail between my legs because my plan has not worked and I don’t have the guts to hold out. I am convinced that my mother hates me. As much as I want to turn my nose up at her dinner, I can’t because all that running and jumping around I have been doing all afternoon has made me hungry and the smell of food makes the pangs even worse. I take my plate and sit outside to eat, not wanting any consolation from my more sympathetic siblings. I don’t even want it from my sister. At this point, I don’t want to be consoled even by my mother. I hate all of them. I wish myself away from there. I wish I was a powerful witch that could make bad things happen. After I’m done eating, I wash my dish and put it away. For a few days after this episode, I will do my best to be obedient and come home on time, but soon the pain will be forgotten and I will be back in the same situation again.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

#MTNZakhele nightmare of a #BEEInvestment

Hello people out there!

Let me tell you about the nightmare I am experiencing at the hands of the #MTNBEE people who are administrating the winding up of the #MTNZakhele shares. So, last year when they announced the winding up, I decided that I was not interested in the offer to join another BEE scheme that they have cooked up #MTNZakheleFuthi and so I opted for a full payout of my shares. At the time, I had decided on a different route of owning #MTNShares and so, since the bank accound I had used to buy the shares in 2010 had become victim to fraud and I had to close it, I knew that I would have to contact them to change my banking details. The payment was to happen on the 23rd of November 2016. I called their number on the 6th of September and requested information on how to make this update. I was attended to and someone named Matseko Sonamzi sent me the form. I then printed the relevant pages, as advised by the agent on the phone, and I filled in my information, made a copy of my ID and queued at the police station to have it certified. I then also went to the bank and queued for them to put the stamp as requested on the form. I canned and emailed these documents to the email quoted on the form and then I sat and waited for my payment to come. Luckily, I have people at home against whom I could determine if my payment should have arrived, after the 23rd hit. And so I waited and waited and thought that perhaps because of the volumes the payments would not reflect immediately on the 23rd or some 2 working days after that. In December the people at home got their payout and mine did not come so I followed up with the support people. Guess what? They had not processed my request and their excuse was that there was a page missing which I was supposed to have included. They claimed to have sent me this communication but when I asked them to produce the evidence of this communication, they could not. So instead they said I should send them the missing page and they will process it. So once again I printed the form’s missing page, filled in it in and signed it and then I sent it. They acknowledged receipt of it and informed me that the update would be done. This did not happen and I gave then time to process it before I started hounding them about why it had not been done. Eventually I got tired and opened a case with the whistleblowers (< ) and the ombuds (faisombud and osti) people. I also logged a Hello Peter complaint and suddenly I got an sms saying that my banking details had been changed. I then waited to get notification from the bank but #dololo payment. Meanwhile the whistle blowing people sent me a SENS as a response to my complaint. After they asked me for my sensitive and personal information, promising to assist me. In the end they did nothing but go online, copy the contents of this SENS and send them to me in an email. What a disappointment… I wonder if perhaps something about me inspired them not to handle my case like they would if it had been brought to them by someone different to me, of a name less telling of my ethnicity. Anyway, my hope now lay with the ombuds, whose process can take aging years. While the ombuds snailpaced, these snakes from #MTNZakhele send me requests to send them yet another certified copy of my ID and a bank statement starting from some date in December. I refused. Why should I have to do that when other did not have to but received their payment? It became a heated back and forth but I stood my ground. Then yesterday afternoon I got a call from a lady saying she is from #MTNZakhele and she is informing me that a payment is due to me. I am not sure what she was after people I shut that down before she could even. Those in may family did not receive such calls and yet their payment was made. This people want to treat me different when they must pay but when I was buying, they did not give me the run around. Their latest request came today and they are asking me to fill anew the form to update my banking details. These people really want me to cuss.

For those of you who have taken up the #MTNZakheleFuthi scheme, I hope you never have to go through the hell I am going through when it comes time to cash out. #BlackEmpowerment se foet. #MTNZakhele does not know the meaning of the word. I bet some white people will be chuffed to read this; it is a triumph for them that all this empowerment purported is backfiring on us the beneficiaries. Never had I regretted an association with an organisation as I do now. In the end I expect I shall be victimised further but I will not go down in silence! I have lost so many opportunities to reinvest that money.