Friday 15h00. Papanyana standing next to the container tuck shop leaning against the wall. Reaching in his Chinese collar shirt packet for a cigarette and gas light in the trouser packet. Inserting the cigarette in his lip spark spark gas light failing to lit. Mxm (tongue click) looking around for someone who could lend him light but no one is to be seen. Turning to the tuck shop barred window heita Boada! Can you please borrow me matches? My friend you did not buy that from me. Hai... boada one stick nje what kind now? No my friend go away! Mxm o slaga wena boada (your stench brother). Papanyana moving away from the window to where he was standing.
An unknown passer go by before him heading east wards carrying a bag. Papanyana greeted him heita groot man! Yizo small he replied. Please borrow me light bossa yami? Hai iyafadela (do not have). Yizo groot man. Minutes passed waiting for someone he knew or a smoker 20 minutes later came a friend named Lesedi. Awe nja yami greeting using index fingers fist clenched ka. Eish nja yami do not you have a box of atche (matches)? Hai tussen (have) inserting his hand inside his packet giving Papanyana the match. Sho gazi lami (my blood) taking it littting the cigarette pulling heavily then exhaling.
Continued yiza nja yami boada refused to give me just a stick and scratch. Laugh Lesedi why nou buddy lami? Hai would you know why. Otherwise have you seen magang (crew) vandag? Nex yiza miskien they went to statsie (station) to see makwera (dagga dealer), fothi (again) there they coming Papanyana said. Both looking down the street Westside. Look how they walking like ba shayi popo ewiers (hit a jack pot somewhere). Manje (now) who is that girl they talking to talking to? Lesedi asked. Do not know kau (dude), I would be li... He discontinued then conjunct there come Zisto no Thami. U ya bona nja yami la magang makaza kajane as moet u spizane a ba ne Katina. (See my friend as this guys are coming at once one must at least have marijuana) Lesedi said.
Thami whistle tjvotjvo greeting Bongani and Nkone from a distant approaching. Tjvotjvo Nkone replying. All of them reaching where Papanyana and Lesedi are standing. Yizo magang they said greeting. Hai tops thokozile magents replied Lesedi and Papanyana. They then start shaking hands closing with the index ka. Namjani (as always) touch my blood to feel my temperature papanyana said. Then shifting away from the tuck shop to stand opposite it sitting down on rocks at the corner of the street next to the corner house.
Does anyone of us have a scissor on him now? Asked Bongani. Handing over the scissor to him by Zisto, taking it then start crashing a benkie of marijuana until its fine. How many joints can we roll from that benkie? Thami asked. Six if we use half rizlas than three full pages Bongani said. Let us roll full pages am in possession of two benkies Zisto said. Thami taking out a box of rizlas, Bongani taking one, Zisto and Papanyana then rolling. Nkone playing music from his mobile phone track by Kwesta ft Jimmy Nevis titled balloon. Silently looking at the rare view while papanyana, Zisto and Bongani are busy rolling. Mogodoyi (skinny street dogs) roaming around the street scratching litter plastics dumped in the open field searching for food while flies hang around them like a chain.
It is rush hour taxis conveyed now in the street there is a lot of movement. Workers, job seekers, college students and learners who attend school from major towns are dropped. Some are carrying shop bags with little groceries while others are carrying bag of worries. Job seekers hang on hope that tomorrow will provide opportunity for employment. While others are frustrated by the poor service rendered by the train transport service. Mxm (tongue click) metro ya re tloyale re rekile di ticket mara di train di tsmaya lata e bi le di stuck mo tselana said the furious ma ou lady. (Metro disrespect us we bought monthly ticket it still come late after that it get stuck on the way). Added the other one YEAH! ka nako di yatse so since last year October 2015 haba fetse ba shapa batho for di ticket Mara re tla yatsena rona batho ba Modimo.( YEAH! From last year October 2015,It’s been very long since the trains are dysfunctional again the ticket examiners and security are assaulting people for not having ticket, but what can we do we people of God). Going apart the poor old ladies heading to their respectful homes train service added more burden to their worries.
Thami broke the silence magents do you hear how those ou ladies are stressed about the trains. Think about how more stressful the whole situation is to job seekers who rely on the train knowing it’s affordable to get them to job interviews. Then it get stuck with you for several minutes/hours automatically you have forfeited the opportunity. Laugh the whole crew to easy the seriousness of the whole reality but deeply individually sadden by it. In the morning you left home with the hope of securing that craft (job) to get rid of hunger in your household. Worse if you’re a parent you start feeling like a failure and losing self-dignity because you cannot provide for your family.
Hai magents ku rough and tumble manje Kaye nazenta zeya kwekweza fothi kula le bphapa Ichina hayi! tla male re yatse plan magym rotten. (Hai guys it is getting worser now, necessities are getting more expensive while hunger ripples our homes best we make a plan guys) Lesedi said. Now Bone thugs and Akon ft Tupac titled I try so hard track playing at the background papanyana with lower voice singing along with it. Interrupted him Lesedi buddy lami le znja ze ringa iwaar kuba vandag (friend this artists tell truth about what is happening now days) it’s so worse that even our birthdays has turned to curse days. Magents maybe it’s a sign that kasi literature is the way out of this poverty and distress. Ke na gana goro ke nako ya goro ra skryf di book ka kasi lingo. (Guys I think it’s time we start writing books in kasi lingo) said Papanyana. KASI LINGO? Said everyone. Sho let us narrate our stories in the language we feel confident in which will allow us to find our voice amongst billions of writers all over the world. Not that only but through this lingo it defines our diversified society which gave birth to a child named kasi. Who united township dwellers who came here with intention of working than go back home to their homeland. Today the township has become their homelands because of mother kasi.
Yesterday kasi gave birth to a child named lingo who has also bore a culture of township dwellers. Magang let us teken (write) to free ourselves and allow light to out shine the grey clouds hanging over makasian. Yeah everyone said, manje ntwana what are you going to use to write that book? Because none of us has a computer. Weer (again) where will we get the money to publish it? Worse do you think mense (people) will buy it especially here at kasi? Who will sacrifice to buy a book while they do not have bread? Papanyana looking at Nkone posting all those questions. Mara (but) uringa iwaar ukau (but the brother is realistic) added Bongani. Hai magents look at the bigger picture remember that poem I once did at school? Which one? Because you have done a number of them.
ILINGO YA MAKASI
KASI LA MAKASI
LINGO ITAAL M'ZOKWANE
MABONENG A COSMOPOLITIAN CITY
A CITY WHERE DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS MET
VARIOUS ETHNICS BECAME FAMILY
FAMILY THAT BORE A NEW IDENTITY
AN IDENTITY THAT GAVE US OWNERSHIP
Egoli,Maquan'e, makgoeng and Idoloben'a
STYLE TREND THAT ALSO TAGGED A SENSE OF BELONGING
NOT FORGETTING THAT YOUR
father is magajani
mother is mapotta
brother is nja yami
sister jou ousi
girlfriend jou queen
boyfriend jou ou
WE ARE URBANITY MATA
KASI ZASE WEST
Oh that one Bongani said. Continued ntwana (boy) it was a great poem that showed ntwana you do have the ability to be a writer. Look where we standing now not that only also the environment we living in. At least if you were a cheese boy (rich boy) that was possible mfowethu (brother) manje (now) even at your house I doubt there is bread. Maybe that will be possible in lala land nja yami but here in kasi jy moet craft kry (township must get a job) than save for sgela (tertiary) while help fight hunger before thinking about being Zakes Mda or Sekamela nja yami. Papanyana Silently looking at his friends disbelieving in what he vision as kasi literature. Though he knew what they saying might be true but with the proverb that they is a thousand way to kill a cat he refuses to fall in the pit of pessimism. It is now darker, they all intoxicated and it’s almost 20h00. Hai magents (guys) let us call it a night morrow (tomorrow) Thami said. All shaking hands then Zisto said magang before I forgot heard that tomorrow that tata Dhlamini is looking for 20 people who will work with him that the construction for the new clinic. Yizo mfowethu we will go see him tomorrow at 8hoo am at least if he could hire us re tla ba monate. O kanjani magang? Asked Bongani everyone concurred expect Papanyana.
They all departed moving different directions. Along the way Papanyana deeply thinking about how this could set a mark which will give recognition to the lingo which will allow literature to break new grounds especially in kasi. Entering opening the gate moving to the house through the kitchen door taking food the micro oven. Sitting on the table along eating than to his room outside. Thinking about what his friend said falling asleep thinking about his situation and kasi literature dream.
In his sleep he had a dream waking in the middle of this white unknown place, looking around to figure where he is. Approach by this old man unfamiliar face, Papanyana trembling while the man is still coming towards him. The man stood before him how you son? Man asked. Looking at him with eyes full of fear he also post a question to the unknown man. U mang (who are you)? Do not you know me young man? Asked the old man, Papanyana shook his head aow (no). Are you sure you really do not recognise me? Eӗ mohlampeyi (yes sir). Okay then said the old man putting his hand over the young man’s shoulder let us take a walk.
Moving with him wondering where they going. While walking said the old man ‘why do you think your dogma of kasi literature is the escape from township poverty? How did you know about that? Smiled the old man you have forgotten that we old people know what our grandchildren think. Again what made you think about that? Papanyana stealing hi m with a look then said mohlampeyi (sir) I just feel that reading and writing books in the language which strongly defines us is the only thing that we never took into cognisance. What do you mean young man? Isn’t books wrote in indigenous languages? They are but this kasi lingo is not incorporated in the literature world. Incorporated? Old man asked. Wa bona mohlampeyi (you see sir) kasi lingo/literature is a new age thing meaning that is time we write in this language that contains the true essence of township culture. The culture that is breed by the different etymologicals which created this unique culture.
I hear you my son, but how you go about make people believe that this creed is worth the test? Eish… Papanyana scratching his afro head, but tima(old man) I was thinking about me start writing the book along with magym rotten(my guys) mxm(tongue) mara bona a ba tshepa gora di ding(but they seem not believe in the dream) could break new ground by revamping the literature world. Forgetting that literature depends on language and language on literature which keep it alive. Hmm... Son you have got all this figure out I see and strangely feel that you do believe in this dream. By doing that your dream will prosper and people shall believe in it because you also believe in it. The white colour fading away appearing Mohlakeng township beneath. The old man said my child you see this place is where you have to start your dream. Ignore other people’s nihilist comments never ever think about aborting this because now on this is your calling. When you wake up I want you to go look for this book at the library showing him a book titled The African image by Ezekiel mphahlele. Continued from now on am your guardian angel. Turned the old man walking towards the horizon disappearing in a white dream fog.
Then Papanyana woke up from the dream wondering who is the old man visited him in the dream.