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of School Librarianship

GiggleIT in Africa


Soweto - Giyani Primary School and Vulamazibuko Primary School (Grade 7 classes)

South Africa

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Is this life? - By N. Mlangeni
What is life?
Why is life like this?
Why do people come in our lives?
Why do we have to cry?
Why do we have to hate people?
Why do people hate?
Why do your friends betray you?
Why go behind your back?
Why do you have to face your past?
Why is it like this?
Why do people believe in things?
Why is life like this?
Life is the middle of everything.
Who am I - By N. Mlonyeni
One thing for sure
I am African


My father is Zulu
My mother is half Zulu half Coloured
Who am I?
Who am I?
I really do not know
All I know is that
I am an African girl


Who are we? - By A. Sikhakhane
Who am I?
Why was I born?
Who created me?
Who do I look like?
Who are you?
Why were you born?
Who created you?
Who do you look the same with?
Be quiet, I want to tell you.
I am me.
You are you.
We were born to be free.
We were created by God.
We both look the same.


Beauty - By A. Sikhakhane
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Lavenders are purple
Blossoms are yellow
Grass is green
The sun shines
The moon beams
Stars beam
The sky is blue
Clouds are clear
What other beauty do you want?


My friends - By A. Sikhakhane
My friends are like boxes of fancy chocolate
Wrapped in gold
Glued with diamonds
What is inside
Is what matters
Once these chocolates crack
They rebuild themselves
My friends are like my guidance book
The right compass
Which never leads me in the wrong path
I love my friends


Why me? - By A. Sikhakhane
Why do I have to suffer?
Why do people hate me?
Why always hurt me?
I want happiness.
Why do I feel lonely?
And sometimes burst into tears?
I pretend to be happy.
Like something is hurting me.
It is not a lion.
I do not know what it is.


Nature - By L. Ndlovu
Your beauty is amazing
Different colours, sweet smell
Beautiful forests standing in rows
Sunrays lighting our path
The breeze brushed swiftly
Like a soft feather on my skin
Leaves are swept off the ground
Twisting them around joyfully
Birds chirp and hiss
Snakes make the tantalising sounds in the forest
The sounds of trees clapping and clattering their branches together
Nature I salute you
I give you all the praise you deserve
We embrace you with all the love and admiration
Nature you are great!


Water - By L. Nxumalo
You are colourless
You are odourless
You are tasteless
You flow
You nurture
You are liked
You rule
You are strong
You sound good
You give life
WATER


Jealousy - By H. Mathebula
Jealousy says beauty is ugly
Good is bad
Happiness is sorrow
Jealousy, where do you come from?


My country - By Z. Nxumalo
Oh my country
Full of poverty
Powerful yet poor
Your inhabitants are hungry
They have drops of tears in their eyes
Kids scavenge for food
Adults hunt for food to eat
Oh my country, what is wrong with you?


Our nation - By N. Kgatle
Beautiful nation
Beautiful people
Beautiful animals
A nation with happiness
A nation with foundation
Our nation our life our choice
A nation with respect
A nation with love
A nation forever beautiful


Tears - By S. Kubheka
Tears of joy
Tears of happiness
The tears of sadness
Tears of fear
Which tears do you have?
Do you have tears of sadness?
Tears of happiness?
Tears of joy?


Zulu Praise with translation - By S. Kubheka
Qhawe lamaqhawe udide unlungu
Hero you confounded the white oppressor
Wadida nawe qobo lwakho
You even confounded yourself
Udele impilo yakho nesizwe sakini
You sacrificed your life with your nation
Wahlala iminyaka ejele
And stayed for many years in jail
Ngaphandle kokubalisa
Without much talk
Madiba Madiba
Abaningi babengazi ukuthi ungumashaya isibhakela
Many people did not know you were a boxer
Abaningi babengazi ukuthi ungummeli
They did not know you were a lawyer
Abaningi babethi ulwela isizwe
Many were saying you were fighting for the nation
Yebo siyazi ukuthi uliqhwe lamaqhawe
Yes we know you are the hero of heroes

Back to 2013 

Soweto Stories - 2013

Married twins - By N. Mlonyeni

Once upon a time there were twins who lived together with their mother. One was a boy named Lindokuhle and the other named Lethokuhle. Their parents broke up and lived separately. The boy went to live with his father in a faraway country and the girls stayed with her mom. After ten years the mother passed away. Lethokuhle stayed with foster parents. After 12 years of staying with foster parents Lindokuhle came to South Africa.

The twins lost all communication when they separated and lost contact of each other. When the twin grew up they could never recognise each other. It happened that Lindokuhle met someone who was friends with Lethokuhle. By this time Lethokuhle was successful and she had her own house and a car. One day Lethokuhle’s friend invited her to his house to see the new visitor from overseas. That is how the twins met. They did not know they were twins but they shared a bond they both could not explain.

After a month Lindokuhle started thinking he was in love with Lethokuhle and he proposed her. They got married after two years and stayed married for six years. Lethokuhle started searching for her father and to their surprise her father was his father. The father was looking forward to meeting his long lost daughter but he was surprised when he saw a daughter in law he had only seen in pictures appearing. He was shocked and refused to speak as he was going through a serious turmoil thinking that he did wrong by not keeping in touch with his daughter. He remembered that his daughter was called Lethokuhle and that she had a birth mark next to her shoulder.

When their father appeared he said, “are you Lethokuhle? Where is your mom?” Lethokuhle looked up amazed. The father rushed. Opened her shoulders and saw the now enlarged birth mark. Lethokuhle answered, “Mom passed away twenty years ago.” The father wept and said, ‘it is my fault I did not keep in touch with you. You too are my twin daughter.” “What? I cannot believe this!” exclaimed Lethokuhle. Lindokuhle and Lethokuhle broke up and decided to live together as family. They lived happily ever after.

Nombuso and Thandeka - By T. Behane

Nombuso and Thandeka were two sisters who lived in Diepkloof, Soweto. They attended school at Parktown Girls High School. They lived with their sickly mother who suffered from HIV. Nombuso was fifteen and Thandeka was thirteen years. They were excelling in everything they did at school. The girls had determination but were from a poor background.

Their father, Sifiso Ndlovu, was sickly on the verge of death. The girls were scared that when their parents die who will take care of them. At school their teachers loved them very much for they humbled themselves wanting to hurt no one. Mrs Gubane was their favourite teacher and she had no children. She loved them very much.

After three years their parents died much to the heartbreak of the two girls. After the funeral they went to talk to their Pastor to ask if someone can take care of them till they finish school. They requested the Pastor to approach people and amongst those people was the name of Mrs Gubane. The Pastor approached all of them and when he came to Mrs Gubane she agreed.

Mrs Gubane tried her best and the two girls did not disappoint her. They were serious about their education because everywhere they went they were told that education is the solution. They equipped themselves with it. One day they were going to make Mrs Gubane happy and get good jobs and give her a treat. The story is about humbleness and thankfulness.

Anonymous

Struggle comrades in South Africa went to a meeting with Bishop Tutu. They asked him what dish does he prefer for lunch and he proudly said, “Tupperware”. You should have seen their expressions.

Sipho was a good player and his soccer team was relying on him. He was chosen to score a penalty, when he missed the goal he asked the referee to give him a second chance because he needed to change his soccer shoes.

How my aunt died - By S. Ngwenya

I was six years old and lived in Vengeer with my aunt and my parents. My aunt was very sick. My mother had eyesight problems. My aunt was secretive. She never told us anything except jokes and a few interesting stories. Every now and then my father would have an argument with aunty about directions. I did not know what this meant.

One day it happened before my eyes. Aunty was sick again. My father called an ambulance and gave them our home address. He went out of the house. My aunt picked up the phone and gave the ambulance driver wrong directions. Father was standing at the gate waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It did not arrive. He called again and again and by the then ambulance people decided not to come. They thought my father and aunt were making fun of them. Then aunty became worse and at night father had to pay a private car to take her to hospital. She did not last, she only stayed in hospital for two hours and she died. The family buried her and sold her furniture.

Aunty had a bad life - By N. Mañana

My family has a strange coincidence of sharing birthdays. Whenever there is a birthday party at home it is for three or four people at once. My sister, grandmother, mother all shared a birth date. My aunt is very sickly so her birthday parties are always done in her absence.

The last party she was in hospital. She is HIV positive. My family always tell her not to think she is different because of HIV. She has stopped thinking about the party. These parties are usually very big, they invite caterers and many people attend them. That day aunty was discharged from hospital. She came home and asked to be place on a sofa in the lounge. She slept and never woke up. Cousin Bulie ran and called Nomsa who confirmed her death. They went to the hall to inform people. People in the party were shocked and everyone was crying. The mood changed and the partying stopped same time. Everyone rushed home in tears.

We phoned all the family members. From that day our priest ordered women not to wear trousers for the funeral as they are barred from the church. The day of the funeral came, it was sad but everyone said they were expecting it. My grandmother could not stop crying.

One strange thing that happened at the graveyard was that they put a lot of sand on her hole and left water and flowers there. They said it was the water she was drinking and her cups and everything were put there. After the burial some people did not want to go they wanted to stay and talk about her for a long time. My grandmother said thank you to the people but they would still not go. She said thank you for your support again but still they stayed and I knew my granny was exhausted, she cried too much.

A day when my grandfather got lost - By N. Mañana

My grandfather had a problem with his memory. We all liked taking a walk with him even if it was distant walks because he enjoyed them. He liked joking. Sometimes when I am not feeling too well I ask him to accompany me on a walk. One had he left the house without us and he got lost.

At first we thought he had gone to visit his friends but after a long wait we realised that he must has lost his memory again. We asked everyone around and one person said he saw grandpa walking alone on a highway. That was enough to give us a shock. We drove to the Roodepoort highway, in vain. The next day we got a call from a clinic telling us that grandfather had passed on.

I thought that something was wrong and we felt very sad. I did not feel like going to school. Till today I still miss my grandfather.

Goodman’s story - By S. Manenzhe

Goodman lived a life of love, trust and honesty with his parents. His father was a hard worker who did not believe in quitting. His father always taught him how to fight. He used to say strive many times and the battle is yours and victory is certain.
Goodman carried that into his brain and that encouraged him to face bullies. His father warned him not to think is too big for his boots. Goodman was not the fighting type, in fact, he had a way of stopping people from fighting. He always wanted to know his talents. At school he tried soccer, rugby, every sport he tried he was the best. One day a bully came to him and started an argument with the intentions of hitting him. Goodman’s friends were encouraging him to fight the bully.

The bully pushed him again and again and slapped him. Goodman lost his temper and fought back. He was not strong enough the bully was used to what he was doing. He was bleeding and on the verge of losing his teeth. Suddenly he regained strength and hit the bully five times in the heart. That sent the bully choking as if he had asthma.

Goodman was not pleased with what he had done and ran off thinking the boy was dead. He shook and he was very nervous. His father was not there. Then while he was agonising about the bully, he was the bully passing but walking slowly. He thought “Oh I gave him the beating of the century!” and he was relieved the bully was still alive.

2009

BROKEN HEART - By Sindy

I feel like my heart is broke
Inside my body
It is trapped
Inside my body

A friend will tell you
Everything will be alright
Them my heart will not be broken anymore
Inside of me
It will feel good
Because of the good words

WHO AM I? - By Sindy

I am a young citizen
With rights
Proud of myself
Proud of my heritage
Multilingual
Multicultural
I embrace diversity
Like our nation
I say unity in diversity

WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME? - By Gcinile

You don’t love me because I am poor
Or is because I am ugly
Why don’t you love me?

Is it because I am not perfect?
Or is it because I am not the best?
Why don’t you love me?

You do not care about my love
About who I am
You don’t care about my school
Why don’t you care?

Why don’t you care that I am the same a you?
That we look alike?
Why don’t you care?

LET GO OF ME - By Leagiso

When I come to the end of the road
When the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little but not too long
But not with your head bowed down
Remember the good timed
Miss me but let me go

This is a journey we all must take
Each one alone

It is part of the Master’s plan
Miss me but let me go

IN THE DARK - By Nomfundo

I can feel the sun shining at me
I can see the sunlight through the window
The wind blowing in my room
But I am in the dark

I can see children going to school
People going to work

Men and women walking up and down
But I am in the dark

In the dark, I am in the dark
Nobody can see me
The lights are off
I can only wish I was not in the dark

JUST LEAVE ME ALONE - By Nomfundo

You followed me
All the way from home

Up and down the streets
You followed me

You keep following me
As I walk aimlessly
Up and down the streets

Everywhere I go
You are there
At school, in church, in the city, at home
You are there

What on earth have I done
To deserve this
What I have done to you
Leave me alone
You stalker, predator
You abuse children

LOVE - By Smangele

Love is a gift from God
Never found from anyone
You can find love from someone who loves you
Someone who cares for you

Love is invisible
You feel it from your heart
But you cannot see it or touch it

Love is from God
But it is our duty
Nobody can take it from us
It must always be there for us
Oh what a word Love!

HAPPINESS - By Smangele

Happiness is all about joy
It turns my anger into a smile
Sadness to joy
Because I love happiness

No one can take it away from me
I release my body with happiness
That is what God has created me to be
To have happiness at all times

Oh what a name happiness!
You make me to be loved by everyone
Because of the smile on my face
What a name, happiness!

NATURE - By Smangele

Oh nature everywhere
Trees in green color
And the oxygen we get from them
All made by God

The sky in blue colors
The sun, the light and the heat
The plants for us to grow

At night you gave us the moon and stars
For the light in darkness
So we can see where we are going

You also gave us the green grass
For plants to eat
You gave us the earth
A beautiful round thing
O what precious nature

MYSELF - By Smangele

I am a poet
Dark like the African soil
Unique special

Free because I am a poet
Growing up fast
Reliable and trustworthy
Having an ear for good things

I have wings for writing
A ready smile
I love radiance
I am me
There is no one like me

THE WIND - By Thato

How you point at me
You don’t stop sounding
Breaking the strings for me
The country bows at you hissing

You break things
You are not good to stay with
You break within me
I BRING LIFE - By Thato

I bring with me life
An egg ready to thatch
Ready to face new things
As smart as anything

I am full of quality
Rich and poor
I bring life
I create millions of lives

Billions of stars
The deep blue ocean
The clear blue sky


I HEAR -  By Thato

I hear love
I hear songs
I hear the cries
I hear happiness
I hear the birds singing
I hear sounds
Most of all
I hear myself

I SEE - By Thato

I see beauty
I see tears
I see myself
I see light
I see darkness
I see good things
Most of all
I see forgiveness

MY CRY - By Khethukuthula

My cry is for love
Peace
I cry to God
I cry to ancestors
Who will stop my cry?

A torch in my heart
Is lighting
For tears that go down
That no one will pick
For those in difficult conditions
I want to be lifted as a cloud

I want peace
I want answers
Why did God create us
Were we born to suffer
Were we born to be tortured?
Let us not bleed

A CRACK - Khethukuthula

A crack reminds me of a glass
Like a broken heart
Like a cracking snack
Cracks always ask for peace
To be mended by peace

BUTTERFLY - Khethukuthula

I am a butterfly
I love smelling flowers
I fly
People love me
I have no boundaries
That is my thought

WATER IS WATER
By Caiphus

Oh water! Oh water!
Water my life
Water my drink
We depend on you
You remove our thirst

Oh! Oh! You are my life
My potion my restorer
My strength in weakness

You wash way my dirt
You remove my smell
Without you I turn into a smelly thing
You save me

Others abuse you
I give them advice
Please people save water
Water is life
Oh water, water is life
WATER IS WATER!

DESTROYER - By Philani

You hit me
You hurt me
You tried to destroy me
But God restored me

Nothing you say will change me
I am free at last
Look at me now
You never thought
I would wear a golden crown

Look at this conqueror
Lest you forget
I am tough
Stretching and growing
I will not die
But will hold my head up high
Now I am studying

POVERTY - By Wilson

Poor poor poverty
Standing there
A poor child
Hungry, crying as if lost
‘Please give me donations’
The beauty on her face is gone
The innocence is lost to cruel poverty
Tears are her daily bread
Poverty you have changed her

STAR - By Wilson

You make me love the earth
You play with moons in the sky
We cheer when it is a new day
When I see a star
I think about a promise of a diamond

THE KING OF AFRICA - By Vusi

We thank you King of Africa
We salute you King of Africa
You are patient
Full of love
Born in Africa
I am the King of Africa

I AM A BOY - By Johan

I am a boy
I am a man
I am a person
Strong and brave
I believe in myself

I am a boy with respect
I am a boy who loves
I am a boy who cares
I am a boy people can believe in

I trust God
A boy who shares with others
I make people happy
I am a king of kings

LOVE - By Fumani

Have you ever felt
Butterflies in your stomach
When you see that person.
Your heart stops
It skips a faster and faster

Have you watched your parents
Walk in the street
Have you heard your father tell your mom
Uyimbokodo!
You are the rock!


Soweto Stories  - 2009


AN AMAZING DREAM - By Portia

One day I had a dream which kept me wondering all day. But I knew it was just a dream.

I dreamt I was left alone in this world, I was the only human being. I was walking about wondering where all the people had gone to and what made them go. While I was caught in that I asked myself if it was me or someone else. As I say, no one was there and nothing. It was a vast expanse and I only.

I woke up in the morning and even then I had this thing in my mind I was still the only person in real life. I went to check in my mother’s bedroom and she was there. She took me and shook me and told me I seemed lost in thought. Then I told her about the dream. Mom assured me that would never happen in my life.

I sat down and thought deeply about this. I realized that in science and fiction, nothing like that can happen. That inspired me to write a poem about dreams. Now I know some dreams are true and some are thought provoking. I want beautiful dreams that will make me wake up with all the presents from Santa Claus on my bed.

THE PRECIOUS EARTH - By Portia

I was in a village passing by a mountain when I noticed for the first time how beautiful the earth is. I started imagining about the earth and the environment. I wanted to know as I as walking next to the mountain how someone in space would see me. Would I be facing upside down? Or would I be standing straight but look like an ant?

I imagined the earth like a ball I can play with. That it is like a book, a new page everyday. The sun knows earth is like a roller coaster. Like a beautiful butterfly around an insect. Like a song with a new tune everyday. The earth is like an alphabet with one thing leading to another.

We see amazing things like oceans, stars and trees. We have an abundant supply of our needs from the earth. We have many continents and countries that were designed and mapped differently. We can count up to cities and small towns.

People have diverse cultures which can be embraced or rejected. What a beautiful mix! Languages make this earth even more interesting if you are curious. How come the earth does not collapse from our pressure?

I marvel at the planets. They are a work of genius. What about the different colors of planets, of grass, trees, you name it. We have millions of beautiful trees. Why does the earth rotate? Why is there an equator? Why is there no gravity in space? This is all a work of genius. And I wondered if I was approached to help design it, could I have done such a good job.

THE HORRIBLE GIANT - By Smangele

One day I went with my elder sister Sbongiseni to a village in KwaZulu Natal. As we were walking a long distance we came to a place which was so deserted and quiet. It was scary and we knew something was wrong. It seemed there was a giant living there.
As we were walking, we met an old topless Zulu man wearing goat skin round his waist. We asked him, “can you show us the direction we want to see one of the old women who tell stories in the neighboring village but we don’t know her name.” He told us to go straight and turn left next to a pole. We did as he said.

It was a very long endless road. On this road we met a giant who asked us where we were going. We told the giant we were going to look for an old storyteller and that we come from Johannesburg. The giant was so huge and scary we only reached his ankles. We feared him.

He offered us a deal. “Would you want me to eat you or would you like to be my slaves?”

We were very scared, we did not know what to do and we kept quiet. I said, ‘we want to be your slaves.” Then he took us to his cave and gave us instructions. We were to hunt food for him the whole day all our lives.

Giant took us to his house where we were given rules. We were to clean the house, wake up early in the morning, hunt the whole day and come back with a lot of food for him otherwise he would cooks us alive. We liked the hunting option as we thought we could escape. But to our surprise, just before we left he told us that if we dared escape something bad would happen to us.

We did not take the last threat seriously and on our way to hunt for his food we planned ways and means of escaping. He told us that for every leap we took he took fifty. We wanted so much to escape from the giant. We were two little girls of thirteen who desired to hear village old tales by the fireside but what we experienced was something else. We had forgotten all about the storyteller.

Then we started looking left, right, behind and when we saw we were far from the cave we ran. As we were running some bad spirit took us back. We felt as if we were flying and landed on the huge shoulders of the giant. We were scared as we thought the giant was going to kill us. He roared,

“maybe it is time for me to just make a meal out of you girls because you don’t want to be my slaves you want to escape from me.”

We cried and begged him and tearfully pleaded for the last chance. “Please give us the last chance, please, please, we beg you,” and he agreed. The next morning we had another good idea on how we would escape. We went to the nearby village and stole a goat. We took the goat to the giant. We wanted the giant to eat and be full and sleep so that we could kill it with ants. We put meat in a place where there were many ants and hundreds were attracted to the meat. Our plan was to put the meat in the giant’s nose when it was asleep. We thought that was the best idea. So the next

day we quickly told the giant we were going to hunt for meat. He looked at us with his big blue and red eyes and said, “If you escape I will blow my nose and some bad spirit will take you back and this time I will not even talk to you I will just eat you.”
We promised we would not escape. We rushed straight to the village and grabbed hold of a stray goat. Was it heavy? It was like a cross. When we arrived at the giant’s house we waited outside and saw the giant falling asleep. We were very happy as we wanted the giant to sleep. Then we went inside the house took the ants, cooked the meat and collected more and more ants as this was a matter of life and death for us.

We did not wake the giant as we believed the gods must have stilled the monster. We put the ants next to the giant’s nose. This time there were thousands and thousands. They all ran to the nostrils. Sbongiseni said we should not wait for the result as that would mean the end of our lives and we ran as fast as we could. We went to the village because it was very late and told the villagers what had happened. They told us the giant had been there a long time but they did not know how to kill it. They feared going near its place. The next day we heard from the same old man that the giant was found dead with many ants around it. We became heroes and it all ended happily and the storyteller gave us a gift to tell stories to other children wherever we go.

THE QUEEN OF “UHADI” (Uhadi is a stringed instrument which is oval shaped) - By Smangele

The girls in this village grew up knowing that it was taboo for them to play uhadi. First they would be barren and not find a husband. It was well known in that area. Only boys could play it. There was a little girl called Luthando. She loved this instrument so much that she would listen to the boys playing the whole day.

Older women told her uhadi evoked the spirits of ancestors and that ancestors would only talk to men. Luthando listened sadly as the men and boys were playing. She wished she could get a chance to make that lovely music that was always in her heart.
Luthando lived with her mother and father in a village surrounded by mountains. She worked hard for her family, waking up very early to fetch water from the river, going to the forest to collect inyanda wood. Ploughing in the fields and making fire for her mother to cook. Sometimes she would swim in the river.

She loved afternoon swimming in order to watch the sun setting. She would listen to the sounds of cattle as they were returning from grazing. The people called it ‘”ibantu bahle” meaning the time of the beautiful people. She liked that time because she believed she was beautiful.

As she was swimming she would sings the songs she heard from uhadi. She was free and made other girls to sing the same songs. She heard that the ancestors live in water and she hoped they would help her to persuade the men to allow her to play uhadi. One day when she was deep in her dreams imagining herself playing uhadi she saw a strong hand rising from the water. The hand was giving her uhadi. There was a bright light around uhadi.

She gasped, breathed deeper and sighed. ”The music has come to me. My ancestors have finally heard me. Thank you for this gift.” She reached the brink of the river with her instruments and sang as if a spirit had possessed her. Those were songs of joy. She even forgot she was naked but when she saw the people coming towards her she quickly dressed herself.

This was a different type of uhadi. It was made of the finest strings. The part that was supposed to be of wood was actually ivory and it was shining. The strings were made of pure gold and silver. As the people got closer to her they marveled at the quality of uhadi she had. Not one man had an instrument like hers, not even the king. And it was a gift from the ancestors.
As she was playing the instrument for the villagers she remembered “ no girl shall play uhadi. She looked around and saw that the people were all smiling. Then they asked her, “Luthando how come the music from your instrument is finer than all the other sounds we have ever heard”” She could not answer that. But the men seemed offended.

That evening she never tasted sleep. She was wide awake her hands clutching her new uhadi all the time. She continued to do her daily chores but the men were planning to create trouble for her. They came to her home to lay charges against her saying she had broken an old cultural rule. Her warrior father defended her and they left her alone.

A strange thing happened when she touched her instrument. She would hear songs in her ears and she started playing songs that nobody knew in the village. Those songs were from the river. When she needed a place to play her instrument, she went to the falls and composed so many songs and tunes.

Then she discovered a secret cave where she could sit and play. A place she visited everyday. Hum hum, qim qim, hmmmmm, she went on and on. But sometimes she played bad tunes especially when the ancestors had left her to learn on her own. She would start believing that only men could play uhadi. But because she loved it she continued playing it until she was perfect and there was no competition for her.

She used to entertain kings and queens especially at the time of celebrating harvest. She was invited all over the world. Her music was unusual. Then the king decided to encourage girls to play uhadi. They had concerts where they danced umxhentso, umtshutsho, umngqungqo, indlamu, you name it. There were people from all over South Africa to celebrate unity in diversity.
Luthando continued to inspire young women who thought they could not achieve anything in life. You should have seen the king’s smile as he watched her play and dance to the tunes of her own uhadi.

Luthando ‘s dance was about body movement, spinning slower and then faster and faster. Listening to the instrument in her hand would make you love your culture. Some villagers were filled with jealousy. They wished their daughters could be the ones doing what Luthando was doing. But she paid no attention to them.

One day the villagers heard the bad news that their king was very sick. They went to see him and tried everything in their power to save his life, in vain. Luthando remembered the ancestors who gave her uhadi. She ran to the river with her instrument and told the ancestors if they could heal her king she would be very grateful. She jumped into the water and again the hand that gave her the instrument appeared and a voice told her to play the instrument for the king and he would be well. She ran to the king’s house, played the sweet tune from uhadi and the king woke up. The people were all amazed and called her a miracle girl.

To show his gratitude the king bought a lot of instruments for girls and called an imbizo where Luthando invented the slogan, “ntombazana qhubeka udlale uculo” which means girly continue to play music. That village became the most musical village. They named it,EMCULWENI! Meaning a place of music

SARAH’S PAIN - By Smangele

There was once a man named Peter who lived with his wife Sarah and their daughter Bongi. She was their only daughter.
One day Sarah decided to go to Johannesburg with her daughter without Peter’s knowledge. When Peter’s friend came to look for him, he saw Sarah packing clothes in the suitcase. He asked her where she was heading to and she told him she was going to Johannesburg, the golden city of lights.

Peter’s friend thought this was a family arrangement. But Sarah delayed she was very slow and she could not leave early so he husband came back before she could leave. Sarah asked her daughter not to say anything to her father. She hid her suitcase in the house.

When Peter greeted her she responded cheerfully as if nothing was going on. But somehow he sensed that something was wrong. “What is wrong Sarah?’ he asked her. “Everything is okay Peter, why are you asking?” He asked her three times and she kept saying everything is fine. Peter suspected something was wrong because she could not look him in the eyes. He saw their daughter was shivering.

Peter loved beating her and when he did he beat her very bad. She screamed, shouted but nobody came to rescue her as the neighbors were used to this noise. They did not want to ask anything. They were also scared and wanted to mind their own businesses. After the hard beating Sarah was badly wounded but she had finally decided that she wanted to run away. She took her suitcase and hid it somewhere else and planned to steal his money while he was asleep.

Then Peter’s friend came and asked him if his wife had already left. That shocked Peter as he was not told anything about this. Peter became angry and chased his friend out of the house. Then he went for Sarah again. “Hey Sarah, were you thinking of going to Johannesburg?” He was so angry that even his eyes turned red and his lips were tight and clenched. Sarah did not reply and he bit her again, this time it was harder. Sarah felt the pain she had never felt in her life because she was beaten and nobody wanted to help her.

Sarah could not escape as she was terribly injured. One day Peter lied to Sarah and said he was going to work. He went to his nineteen years old girlfriend. After the beating Peter never took Sarah to the doctor, he never asked how she was doing, how she was feeling. He never cared for their daughter. That made Sarah to be very worried and she just stayed at home with her daughter until she was well.

Meanwhile Peter was enjoying himself with a young girlfriend. He bought her expensive gifts and never brought anything home. Sarah and Bongi were suffering.

After four months Peter started becoming sick and he refused to go to hospital. One day he became very very sick and Sarah called an ambulance to take him to hospital. It was too late, after four days he died. Sarah was devastated by the news. The doctors asked her to come to hospital after the funeral. She went there and they took her blood to test for HIV. She discovered that she was HIV positive. She knew she got the disease from her husband. She cried a lot about it.

The nurses encouraged her to stay strong but she never wanted to forgive herself for marrying such a man. When she got home, she sold all her clothes and furnishers and left for Johannesburg to look for a job in order to take her daughter to school. Sarah joined a lot of groups and started teaching women to be independent and not to depend on men for a livelihood and gave her life experience as an example. She changed many lives.

MY DREAM - By Smangele

One day I decided to go to Southgate with my friend Keamogetswe, Gcinile, Gabisile and Thando. We were all happy to go to Southgate Shopping Mall.

On that Saturday we all had enough money for shopping. We went to the cinema to watch movies. The movie started at 2pm and ended at 4pm. After the movies we went to play games with the money that was left.
We were only left with fifty rands and we continued to play games. We spend all the money on games save for the transport fee. We got so hooked on games that we decided to spend all our transport money. That was the most stupid thing I have ever done. When we came out of the games it was so dark and we had to walk for hours.
We were shocked and surprised to see that time had moved so fast, let alone the fact that we had no money. We were left wondering what to do. Then Keamogetswe suggested we walk as fast as we could till we reached our homes. “No Keamogetswe this is not a good idea, what if someone kidnaps us or rapes us” I remarked. But Gcinile said we could not just stand one place we had to do something since we all ate the money.

“I think Keamogetswe is right let us just walk,” said Thando. We all shrugged our shoulders and embarked on a very long journey. After thirty minutes of walking a car just stopped behind us and we were shocked as we thought “this is it, someone is trying to kidnap us.” We all froze with fear and shock. A man in his mid thirties came out and stopped us. Gabisile wanted to run away but I held her clothes tightly so that she could not move.

“Girls why are you still here this time? The man asked and we told him we did not have money for transport. He did not ask any questions he asked where we lived and told us to go to his car. We went to his car and the man drove us to his beautiful mansion. He let us in and offered us some drinks. “Here is the fridge, help yourselves. What else do you want?” By then we were all over mesmerized by the beauty and wealth and food and the music.

“Why is your house so still, don’t you have a wife and kids?” I asked. But by then he had changed. I went to the kitchen and heard one of my friends scream we all went to the only to find the other fridge full of people’s heads. Some were fresh and others were frozen. We cried as we remembered our parents’ warning. Then a very gentle hand touched me kindly and I woke up. Still in tears I said, “he wants to kills us, he wants our heads.” My mom calmed me down. I realized it was a bad dream. It was warning me about predators.

Chameleon and Scorpion - By Benson

Qaqa was a favorite place for animals. In Qaqa the king of the animals was Chameleon. All other animals bowed before Chameleon and gave him a lot of respect. Chameleon did not want other animals to be king so he guarded his position aggressively.

One day Scorpion, Giraffe, Monkey and Mouse wanted to kill Chameleon. The mouse said, “Chameleon is strong and clever and it will never be easy for anyone to become a king. Who will kill the king?” The monkey said, “Giraffe!” Giraffe said, “no it’s the mouse.’ The mouse said “ Hey not me Scorpion.” So Scorpion said, “Fine I will kill the king.”

One day Chameleon called a meeting of all the animals. Chameleon was short so he stood on the tree when he was addressing all the animals. So when Chameleon was busy talking Scorpion went up the tree, much to the surprise of other animals who never thought anyone could stand against Chameleon. Scorpion quickly poisoned Chameleon.

Chameleon fell down and moved slowly. He started changing colors from black to green to yellow to pink. This created fear in other animals and they ran away, even Scorpion took flight. Chameleon was still giving orders saying ‘because Owl has two big eyes she must watch over me,” said Chameleon. I want Owl to tell me when Scorpion comes out.

So Owl would not sleep, Scorpion went underground and in the rocks because he knew Chameleon had realized he poisoned him. Chameleon was still slow and he felt weaker. He kept changing colors. Owl knew he had to keep orders and tried to hide in a big grass but came out when the other animals were asleep. Since then these animals have been behaving like that.

BOBBY DOG AND KITTY CAT - By Benson

Bobby and Kitty were friends. They lived in a township with a man called John. John loved Kitty but hated Bobby. Kitty loved to impress John very much.

One day Bobby asked Kitty, “Why are you eating meat and drinking milk and I live on bone?” Kitty answered, ‘It is because you are a guard and John loves me and not you.” Bobby decided to write a letter to John and ask him why he was not being properly fed. ‘That’s a good idea,’ Kitty replied. Bobby grabbed his pen and paper and started writing everything that concerned him about John.

When he finished writing the letter he gave it to Kitty to hand over to John. John took the note because it came from Bobby he did not read it. He just threw it somewhere in the house. The next day John’s maid threw the letter in a rubbish bin.

Bobby waited for a long time for an answer but it did not come. “Kitty did you give John the letter I wrote? “ “Yes,” replied Kitty. Bobby wondered why there was no answer and he decided to walk on the garden just thinking about the type of food he was eating.

As he was deep in thought he noticed what looked like a note folded the way he folded his letters. He picked it up and opened it. It was the same letter he wrote to John. He became very angry as thought that Kitty threw the letter away. “Kitty was making me a fool all this time. I was waiting for nothing.” But when he arrived home he did not ask any questions. He simply followed the orders to eat, relax, watch television, do not lie on the couch while Kitty is enjoying herself and go to your house outside while Kitty slept inside and caused all the fluff on sofas, let alone her snoring.

The next day Bobby took Kitty to a corner and beat her up. Kitty saw that Bobby was very angry, she tried to run but Bobby was there. Then Kitty scratched Bobby in the eyes so he could not see. She hid herself under the bed and stayed there for a long time. That is why today when they see each other they fight. They are trying to settle an old score.

A GRAVE SECRET - By Koketso

Thando was a young girl who lived with her grandmother in a squatter settlement called Motsoaledi. This place was home to many homeless people who were poor and unemployed. Thando lived with her grandmother and her uncle. Her uncle was mischievous and evil and he hated working. She was an orphan.

Thando was struggling with her studies at school. She tried her best but she just missed it. Her grandmother was not educated so she could not help her. Her uncle was into alcohol and drugs. She requested him to help her and he agreed.

The first day the uncle pretended as if he was helping her but deep down he had a bad motive.

He had watched her growing up and he saw how beautiful she was. They lived in one room and there was very little privacy. He has always wanted to do this. Then, before teaching her he forced himself on her. Thando screamed for help, she cried and cried but nobody came to her rescue as people could not hear her screams. Her uncle held her small mouth and however much she screamed all came to naught. Then he told her all the uncles do this to younger girls and that it is a secret that she must keep till she dies because the day she starts talking about it he will kill her.

This started a spiral of sexual abuses and the uncle gave her drugs under the pretext that they are pain killers. This happened when Thando’s grandmother went to work. Her granny had high aims for her. She wanted Thando to be very educated so she can get out of the perpetual cycle of poverty they found themselves in. For that she was willing to do anything. She used to say she would die a happy person if Thando can be well educated.

Thando noticed that when she took the drugs she became hyperactive and even got better marks at school. Her school performance worried her as she knew the high hopes her grandmother had for her. All of a sudden Thando was a hyperactive little girl who did all her homework and the next moment she would slump into a depression. She realized that in order to be successful she had to continue taking the pill her uncle gave her. This continued for two years.

When Thando was in Grade 10 she got a bursary from Nedbank to further her studies. She finished school successfully. Thando got herself a job. This is the moment her grandmother was waiting for. By this time Thando knew what her uncle had done to her, the sexual abuse and the drugs. She was already an addict and she hated it. Her grandmother did not know anything about her drug habit. Thando loved it like that because that is not how she was raised.

Then one day she went to buy drugs from her drug dealer around the corner. When she got into the house she found private police searching the drug dealer’s house. She excused herself and left. But her body was in a terrible state. She was shaking and trembling. Then her uncle entered the house and found her in tears crying that if it was not her uncle she would not have been in such a state. She moved her tearful eyes away from the tomato she was chopping with a butcher knife, looked up and saw him. He tried to touch her again but this time she was not going to allow it to happen. Over her dead body.

‘You better get your dirty hands off my body!” she told her uncle who continued pushing himself against her. She screamed hysterically and unconsciously plunged the butcher knife in her uncle’s heart. He fell to the floor with blood all over his shirt. He was dead. Thando stood there watching him. She was angry and relieved at the same time but never sad. Then she called her grandmother and told her about the incident. Granny rushed to the house only to find him dead. She was so shocked that she fell down and died instantly.

Thando could endure her uncle’s death but her granny’s death was what she could not endure. She killed herself and died with her abusive uncle’s secret in her heart. They were all buried the same day and mourners did not know what happened.
A MOTHER LIKE REBECCA By Kutloano

I would like you to know what it is like to have a mother like Fikile Motshoeneng. Born on the 26th April 1967, mom was raised by her grandmother. She is a kind and caring mother of three children. She is always happy but when things go bad her smile disappears, only sadness.

She likes cooking good food and believes we must have enough food. When she cooks her food smells good all the time. It has a good taste and it looks attractive on the plate. She loves fashion and when she buys clothes she makes sure all our colors match and that we look presentable. But she always looks like a lady. When she wears her clothes her curves show and she feels so confident even the way she walks you can see she has confidence.

Her best friend from childhood is Dubane. They both started a burial society called Trusted Women. They gather all other women to talk about money, fundraising and many other things. Afterwards they play gospel music and dance. Sometimes they play jazz and have a good time. Mother likes taking us for shopping and she wants the best for us. Shopkeepers know her because she always demands the best service for us. She does not feel well when we are not next to her. I want you to know my mom protects us like a lion. She is the rock and she rocks.

THE STORY OF MY DAD - By Jabu

I once visited my father’s family in Natal who we have not met for many years and I only saw them when I was thirteen years old. I was only five years when they last saw me. My grandmother and my sister were happy to see me.

I remember thinking how nice it would be to have a friend in your father. I went there with high hopes and great expectations of my dad. I wanted to be a good boy and really show love to my father. The first person I asked about my father said I must ask my grandmother. I remember when other boys at school and in my township were talking about their fathers and I had nothing to say because we have never met. I really wanted to show him as a hero. I kept requesting mother to take me to him and she agreed and gave me a deep sad look. I could not understand why that should make her feel sad but never bothered to ask her.

On the 23rd December I asked my grandmother and she gave me the same look my mother gave me. I asked her why she was looking at me like my mother and she said, “my child I am so sad to tell you that much as you wanted to see your father he also wanted to see you. He died talking about you. The only thing we can do is to take you to his grave so you can say your goodbye to him.” I was shocked. This is not what I had traveled more than six hours on the road to hear.

In the morning I cried when I saw my father’s grave which was in the same premises with my uncle and aunt’s grave. My heart had such a pain. Every time when I was alone I thought about how I wanted to make my father happy and proud of me. How we would play together and talk and walk and do everything together. Little did I know I was thinking about someone who had long died. My dreams were shattered. Now what was I going to say to my friends who had encouraged me and supported me to meet my father.

When I went back to my mother I started getting sick. I was very unhappy about my father’s early death especially because my mother knew but she did not tell me. I started having pains in my heart and the doctors said I must not worry about my dead father because that will cause a heart attack. My mother decided to do an ancestral ceremony and I will never forget the pain and confusion I went through. Now God is my father.

THE BOY WITH THE FACE OF A COW - By Wandile

Long time ago there was a boy called Kholeka who lived on the streets as he had no parents and no home. He had a cow toy he loved very much. He also loved being a cowboy. Everyday he went down to a toyshop to have a look at some toys. He was just feeding his eyes because he had no one to buy him toys. He did this for a long time.

One day Kholeka met a witch who hated him because he was a homeless and a very clever boy leave for the poverty he was going through. Everybody knew that Kholeka was a special child who would grow up to be a strong man because despite his conditions he was helpful and wanted to lift others.

Then one day the witch approached him with bags full of groceries. Jody was tired from carrying such heavy bags. Kholeka offered to carry the bags for her. Miss Jody was pleased that Kholeka was helping with the bags. It seemed her mission was going to be easy to accomplish because of Kholeka’s kindness.

Jody started talking to Kholeka, they went a long distance talking. For him, it was not a problem because home was anywhere he laid his head. ‘Where do you live?’ asked Jody pretending as if she did not know him. “Streets,” responded Kholeka. “You do not have anyone you can live with?” asked Jody. “Yes,” answered Kholeka. So Jody offered Kholeka a place to stay.

Because Kholeka was so good and helpful, he touched Jody’s heart which was full of hatred for him before. Of course Kholeka never knew that Jody was a witch. Everyday there was something he did to make Jody happy and gradually she stopped intending to harm him but she thought otherwise. She became proud of him. He grew to be a very strong man.

Everybody was proud of Kholeka. In a strange twist and a change of heart, gradually Jody’s heart was turning to evil. She remembered her son who was older than Kholeka. How he had let her down and how she wanted him to be what Kholeka was. She began to plot evil against Kholeka.

Kholeka was business - minded. He had lots of ideas how he could live considering his background. He wanted to turn his life around. The last thing he wanted was a curse.

Jody decided to turn Kholeka ‘s face into a cow face so that nobody could recognize him. She used her charms, she called gods and demons and did everything to make sure her mission was successful. She turned him into a cow - face. One morning when Kholeka woke up he was amazed to see even the people who loved him run away from him. He wondered why.

He went home, looked at himself in the mirror and screamed. Jody heard him and she just laughed. But Kholeka was hurt by her laughter. He wondered why she would laugh at him when his face looked like that of a cow. “Everyone is running away from me and you are laughing at me,” he told her. She pretended to be sad.

That kept him away from creativity for a long time. He did not have the right face, he was miserable, he did not know how long that would last as the old lady had cast a spell on him. But one day he cried to God and prayed and the next morning his natural handsome face with a beautiful new skin was back and Jody lay dead on her bed. Kholeka went on with his life and he believed that God had to use someone to get him off the streets and in this case it was the witch.

THE TALKING WATCH - By Wandile

There was a watch called Ticky and another one called Friends. These watches lived on the streets, someone had thrown them away. Ticky and Friends were different and hated each other.

One day Dolfy, a young chap form the neighborhood went down to buy some groceries for his mom. Then he heard something like Tick Tock Tick Tock and he looked near the dustbin. He followed the sound and came across a watch with low batteries. Dolfy took this watch to his bedroom, put the new batteries and listened to its never ending melodious tick tock songs.

He went to sleep and in the morning at 6am the watch said in a loud voice Ticky said, “Wakey wakey Mr Dolfy it’s in the morning now,’ he jumped out of the bed and looked around. “What was that?’ and there was silence in the room. He looked at Ticky, picked Ticky up and looked at the watch all round. While he was still searching for answers Ticky talked again, ‘Wakey wakey lazy Dolfy!’ Dolfy ran down the stair in shock.

He told everyone in the house that he had a talking watch but nobody believed him. Then he invited his friends to sleep over in order to hear Ticky talk. The next morning Ticky did not talk at the time Dolfy expected him to talk. His friends thought he was lying. Then they heard, ‘guys it’s another day, another morning, its time to get down to business.’ They were all convinced that Ticky talks.

The next day Dolfy invited every boy in his neighborhood to spend the night at his house. The next morning at 6am Ticky said, “ Wake up my people. Thanks for sleeping over.” The entire neighborhood was convinced Ticky could talk. From that day onwards everyone ran to buy a watch but not all watches could speak like Ticky.

THE PINK MAGIC DRESS - By Wandile

I know three girls who were friendS. Their names were Nothemba, Lesego and Joy. Joy loved pink dresses. One day when she went shopping and she discovered that there were no pink dresses in the shops. She was very frustrated.

She cried because everyone had their own plastic bags full but she did not have anything. That night she took all her pink dresses to her friend to ask which one was the most beautiful. But Lesego said they were all beautiful.

Everyone was going to a concert but Joy did not have a brand new dress to wear. She did not want to attend the concert if she did not have a new dress so she was left behind. They Joy’s mother came with a beautiful pink dress she bought somewhere else. ‘Joy this dress is not like the others. It’s a magic dress. It has rules and things you would like. Rules like you do not wash the dress, do not come back at midnight, and let no one touch it.”

So Joy went to the concert in her new attractive dress. When she entered everyone looked at her dress as she was the centre of attraction. The dress attracted many people to her, all of a sudden everybody wanted to dance with her and some wanted to be friends with her.

Joy was amazed that even those who never took notice of her including a very famous boy in the town asked her for a dance. As time went on a little boy who was running around touched Joy’s dress while she was having all the fun. Immediately the dress dropped to the floor. Time was over for Joy and she ran home without her dress.

When she got home she wore her night gown. There was a mystery as to where the attractive girl had gone to as people were jumping over her dress. She was embarrassed but vowed never to wear a pink dress again as some had strange magical powers which ended up embarrassing her.

THE SINGING ONION - By Wandile

Ashley and Michael were friends. One day they decided to go to a fruit and vegetable shop to buy vegetables. Ashley bought two onions and one tomato for five rand.

On their way home they heard something moving in the plastic bag. It kept moving faster and faster. “What’s that?” asked Ashley. “I do not know,” replied Michael. When they got home they took out the onions and took a knife preparing to peel them.

“Oh please don’t take off my skin, I will sing a good song for you. I am the most beautiful onion in the world” the onion sounded so desperate to save her skin. ‘Mommy, mommy, please come and
listen to the talking onion,’ said Michael. Everyone was shocked to hear a talking onion. Anne was equally shocked and she called some of her friends on the phone telling them about an amazing onion.

“I have an idea. Why don’t we sell the onion to the recording studios,’ suggested Ashley. So they took the onion to a studio called TTP Records. The onion sang so well it ended up becoming famous. Then one day the onion got tired of singing and it decide that it is going to emit something to choke human eyes so that when they see it they should be afraid of playing with it. To date onions still emit something that causes tears in our eyes and no one can fool with it.



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