Saturday, September 20, 2008

the night he died...

My family never talks about the night that my grandfather died. I heard it all at the hearing. They came at 2am. They broke down the door. They dragged him out into the street. And they shot him.
I listened as people told their bits of the story. I pieced together these bits like a puzzle. The picture of that night formed in my mind. The little girl crouched under the dining table was my mother. I recognized the sad terror in her eyes that she carries with her still.
My grandmother’s grip on my hand tightened. We sat in the gallery as they spoke. We didn’t look at each other. Not once. But we knew. The pieces we collected here were important. They were pieces of his body. And of a wounded families soul.

I grew up in a small town in the North. Giyani, it was called. This was my mother’s family. A humble people, the sePedi. My grandmother packed up her things and moved back to her home soon after he died. She took whatever she could, the children, chickens, the furniture from the wedding, the old gramophone that made them the envy of the neighbours in Orlando. Even the photo’s of her white wedding.
They lived a glorious life. I heard it all. But not once did they talk about that dreadful night when it all changed.

He was a gentlemen, she said. He listened to those fancy radio shows, and read the poetry of those great English poets. I paged through some of his books. Yeats, Shakespeare, Byron. Im sure, if he was alive today, I would have been an educated man. Still, I knew I was meant to live different from the rest of the gents out here in Alex. My name is the same as his. David Zondo. Same blood. Same vision of better times and better things. He was David Zondo the school teacher, and great thinker of his time. I am David Zondo taxi driver, with great hopes. My father left before I opened my eyes to this world. It didn’t matter. I was the offspring of a hero. A martyr. That was all I knew. That was enough.


Dew_drops said...

Well done Shaf:)

Anonymous said...



KimyaShafinaaz said...

thanks dew'd

lol @ JT. yea, thanks u2.

desert demons said...

i like the ease with which this piece flows ;-)

greenlady said...

this not part of your novel?

doesnt make sense to be...?

Yaseen said...


KimyaShafinaaz said...

dd: thanks.. it needs work tho..

greenmissy: its not part of the novel.. was a part idea for a short story that isnt exactly writing itself like id hoped it would... :P

yaseen: thanks