The one thing I can’t go without when I’m scared, is lost! – My lucky armband. Time is running out and the old blue taxi with mismatched seat covers is about to arrive. I reek of nervousness and panic until my mother calmly sits me down and asks what the matter is because my hurried footsteps all around the house aren’t easy on the ears.
I let it go, the taxi arrives and it carries my devoid-of-lucky-armband body to school – to collect my yearly report card. My best bud and I are visibly worried and we telepathically agree to be silent all the way back to school. I was the type of guy who joked around in class and did just enough to pass – yup, I was that guy.
The weather outside is blazing hot and that rendered the perfect excuse for why I was sweating profusely – Who me? Nervous? Scared? No way. In a small envelope would be a verdict that’d either make me become rightfully pompous as I would be in grade 12, or a wallflower that would for an entire year watch former classmates discuss their grade 12 biology homeworks..
I collected my report card and thankfully passed and the ride home was a pleasant one. When I got home, my mother had put my supposedly lucky armband on the kitchen table while my father had just come home from work as well. In his washed out blue jeans (that we all detest) calmly asked, “wenzenjani” (How did you do?).
I’m arguably the worst actor to exist on the face of the earth, – after 50cent’s of course– so as the 2nd worst actor alive, and tried to make a sad face in testament to the fact that i should never be an actor but also, to pretend I had failed the year. He motioned to me and enveloped me in his sweat and love and gave me a hug that any son can’t easily forget. Straight afterwards we sat down and discussed so many things, many of which i can’t remember.
I was also going to initiation school the following year so making it to grade 12 meant that everything was going according to plan. He gave me R50 and said I should buy that magazine i like so much.. (GQ magazine) because “I deserve it” – and so i did.
Shortly after that my father passed away; before I completed matric, before initiation school and before I grew to be a man. Arguably this was the trickiest year in my life but an unforgettable one as well. Like the report card day, my life reeked of nervousness and panic.
Matric had come and gone, initiation experience left a physical and psychological imprint of manhood and throughout these experiences I kept the little magazine I bought the day I passed grade 11, strangely enough that was also the day I decided to become a journalist or a writer.
Fast forward a couple of years later, I would become the guy that I am today, an easygoing darkie , who trusts my decisions a lot more and face life’s crappy issues both without the support of uMadiba (utata) & my lucky armband.