Umjolo, The Pandemic
” Ezinkulu ! You’re here to take her home”
One of the police officers at the station shrieked. The bearded hero nodded, he never said a word. Mysterious. Maybe he had no teeth. I was really hoping he had no teeth to even the competition. Ashuu ! This man was the “don’t worry about him” incarnation. He was everything I wanted to be. Rich, powerful enough to steal ladies and a beard. He must have had a very handsome pocket to be noticed by the police. Or he was famous. Maybe both. That take her home part stuck. I felt my heart shred into many pieces. Whose home did he mean ?
” Yizo Mikos , stay safe” . The same officer said as my nightmare left.
I got light headed. Mini heart attack but I was stronger than that. The black label in my system was working overtime. Black label is like amasese from Masina. You think you’re okay then boom Zesa, you’re gone. I passed out as soon as Ndues boy’s brother, AD bailed us out. I woke up where my day had started, my room. Phone under the pillow.
The phone beeped. Message alert.
The joy I felt. Maybe this was all a dream. Umjolo can’t be that bad. The How it started and How it’s going challenge had to be my story too. That better be an ecocash message I prayed, harder than the day before. It wasn’t. It was a text from Fia. So none of what I saw was a dream. Who was Mikos ? Was Sofia even on a business trip ? And why did my head hurt so much ? Ibhabhalazi so. I read her text about 6 times and I died each time.
Hey Sthandwa, we need to talk. Dinner tonight at Smoke House, MK will pick you up.
I had never felt so emasculated in my life. And I seriously needed tablets for my headache. Dinner with the guy who probably knew her in biblical terms when she was on this “trip”. This was a low blow. Maybe this was my karma for lunch with Vovo. Replying to that text was as hard as responding to a ” Ungaphi ?” text. I kicked off my shoes. Well because apparently drunk people sleep with shoes on. Freshened up and called Yvonne to bring me tablets. Umjolo is like chess, I don’t know how to play chess but it’s that. Some one was going to be played.
The bathing was swift. That day we had water so I took a shower, something people from Nkulumane can’t relate to. I freshened up before YV came. Spread my bed, prepared a playlist, sprayed the room and opened the windows. I even sent my little brother to go play komakhelwane, the neighbors. Then I laid back in bed like the sick person I was. YV came. With her friend. Nx. Wasted shower. We chilled for a bit and the friend wouldn’t shut up about YV’s boyfriend. She flaunted the guy like she was the one dating him. I figured she was the D.U.F (Designated Ugly Friend) in her crew. The type that personalize the person you want. Why wouldn’t she leave ? In her arsenal of rants and nonsense, she said something interesting.
” Yaz uMK makes this ex of yours look like Cal_vin compared to Asaph” she said esinya. I was an Asaph, case closed.
“MK ?!” I asked in disbelief.
“Ehe uMikos so, he even looks and dresses better than you” , she said.
What were the odds ? Umjolo, the pandemic. Mikos yinkinga, a problem. Everyone was catching tears that season. I had to respond to Fia’s text. I was definitely going to the dinner but I was using my own transport. Zupco of course. The mjolo gods had given me a clear sign. Makunyiwe once. YV’s boyfriend was the Mikos who was probably grilling my girlfriend. I swear this is not a story. No one is capable of making up something like that. That night was going to be the night of my life. I was going to win back my love. If I showed her the person she was cheating with was cheating on her, maybe she’d come back. Simple plan. Side note: the alternative was we switch girlfriends. Kuphela.
YV’s friend wouldn’t shut up. So I played my playlist anyways. The hint was clear but she was blind to signs. The bedroom music means something is about to happen, no sane Bulawayo man cleans his room for no reason. She had to know that somehow. But I don’t blame her. She had been single her whole life. No wonder why the advice she gave was trash. Single people always have a lot to say about relationships odd enough. YV saw the signs and asked her to leave. The vibe was corrected. We rekindled our old flame for old time’s sake. The details don’t matter but she was laced in Namapenti’s drip. We really connected. I asked her for dinner. She agreed. Foodies are life.
Dinner settings, check. YV check. I sent a text to bae and she was ready for the dinner. Bazalwane, fear umjolo. What I witnessed was ungodly. Umjolo is not for gamblers. I got ready for the dinner after YV left to prepare. Zupco wasn’t going to work so I asked AD for a lift. Bless his soul, people who drink Zambezi are generous. Same WhatsApp group with Ingwebu maheu drinkers. He agreed to pick us up at 7.
Text from Fia, she was on her way to the spot with Mikos. Usathane. How could he cheat on my ex with my girlfriend. The audacity! Men are trash.
AD was at my gate. His music loud as usual. Lovemore Majaivana – Mkwenyana was playing. That reminded me of the days when umjolo was simple. A time where amashabhini were popular. The simply times. At around 19:17 YV came. Women and time are like Bosso and Dynamos. She was as breathtaking as always. Empress Primy dress with the feathers and a Bakhar scarf. She looked like an actual influencer. She was definitely out of my league. That’s probably why we broke up in the first place. We left for dinner. Imihlolo. The night was about to become lit. Quite literally. Something or someone was going to burn…
Read PART 4.