Goodbye Alice (Part One)

Umqhubi akamisi!
Khawuleza fondini!


︎ AnotherKind Playlist, Track 7. Bongeziwe Mabandla, ‘Ndokulandela’, 2017. Mangaliso.


Before dawn. It is dark. A candle is lit. SILUMKO kneels beside it, whispering. He might be praying.

MAMA (off): Silumko!

SILUMKO does not move but goes on whispering. Several beats.

MAMA (off): Silumko! Sebefikile! [They are here!]

SILUMKO, still unmoving, falls silent. For a few beats, it is just his breathing we hear. A car hoots.

MAMA (off): Silumko! They will leave without you.

He stays still. One more hoot. We hear the car engine roar as it peels off the dirt road. Silumko springs into action. Snatching up his bag, he races out and after the car.

SILUMKO: Bhabhayi, Mama! Bhabhayi, mntasekhaya! Ndiyakuthanda! [Goodbye, Mama! Goodbye, sisters! I love you!]

He runs after the bakkie, which is a few meters ahead of him.

SILUMKO: Hey! Hey man, subalekisa! Hey, yima! [slow down! Hey, wait!]

He is sprinting now. The CHORUS is up high, as if on the back of the bakkie. Four arms reach out to SILUMKO.

PASSENGERS: Umqhubi akamisi! Khawuleza fondini! Khwela! [Driver won’t stop! Come on, man! Jump!]

SILUMKO is breathing hard, running hard. He looks back at the house one more time, then leaps up into the air. The four arms catch him and haul him up onto the back of the bakkie. He sits back, spent, and watches his house recede into the distance.


︎ Amy Reflection, 'the story'