Sibanda is the author of Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing and Football of Fools.
Ndaba Sibanda`s work is featured in The New Shoots Anthology, The Van Gogh Anthology edited by Catfish McDaris and Dr. Marc Pietrzykowski, Eternal Snow, A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections with Himalayan Poet Yuyutsu RD Sharma scheduled for publication in Spring/Summer 2017 by Nirala Press and Seeing Beyond the Surface Volume II.
The Pair Is Beyond Repair
The morning is cold and windy. He wobbles on the side of the road
while time and again an emergency taxi rattles past him after making
pestering and persistent tootles. As an ET clanks on what used to be a
tarred road- the dust so twirled off -assails him and he coughs and
spits on the ground, cursing rather loudly.” Bullshit. This life we
live here. Hell! Bloody bullshit …Shit.”
“Baba Hadebe! Baba Hadebe!” He turns and looks back .Vaguely he sees a
person who is scurrying towards him. He curses again.” Demedi! l blame
them again for all this.” The man finally catches up with Mr Hadebe.”
Good morning Baba Hadebe.”
“Oh it’s you Mehluli .Good morning. l could hardly make out who was
calling me. You know, my other pair of eyes has completely expired.
Needless to say l cannot meet the eye examination fee. Neither can I
buy a pair of glasses. l am doomed to die in a certain pothole of
sightlessness. This is what the authorities have decreed and
prescribed for me and a great number of other poor factory workers. We
are told lies every day. If lies could fill our stomachs, the severe
hunger we are cursed with would be a myth. But daily we are fed with a
sea of lies. Lies as green as those nauseous flies which hang around
faeces. Addressing an important issue like one’s sight is now a luxury
for us. Perhaps you managers can afford such things”.
Mehluli Mdluli clears his throat and sniggers, ”Eh… hhh Baba Hadebe.
In fact, l should not be embarrassed at all. I am not the author of
all this, too .I am a mere victim. Where else in the world have you
seen a manager who cannot buy a cough mixture? It can only be here
KoMgodi. You could not recognize me, my walk mate because l have a
terrible flu. Look at my shoes. Do you honestly think these shoes are
appropriate to be owned and worn by a manager?” Mr Hadebe, bends his
neck a little low, straining his eyes over Mehluli`s feet. Indeed the
manager’s shoes are a comedy of sole-less fake leather that looks like
a giant vessel on the verge of capsizing. The bulges at the front of
the shoes are a sure sign that the peeping of toes is imminent. Up the
legs old Hadebe sees a pair of black trousers and a patched white
shirt, the paleness of colour bearing testimony to the` life` of
sun-burning they have gone through at a second hands clothes flea
market. Both garments are singing the blues of not having had an iron
feel for some time now. However, nothing on the young despatch
manager’s body more vividly illustrates how a caricature of economic
meltdown he has become than the old look on his face. The economic
quagmire has ravaged and drained him of any youthful look, leaving
behind a trail of accelerated, wizened and elderly air about him.
Mehluli coughs dryly and regards Mr Hadebe as if to say: this is now
my turn to survey you .The green overalls are dotted with different
patches of different colours as if he is a comedian on stage. The
farmer shoes he is wearing do not offer any comfort either to the
beholder. The pair is screaming one word: nondescript. Incidentally,
Mr Hadebe recalls his last visit to a cobbler who works under a tree.
The lanky shoe repairer examined them for thirty seconds before
uttering rather slowly.” Please feel for them and retire them .I know
there is a cancerous tendency here by people, especially leaders being
allergic to retirement. I am not saying: condemn and consign it into
the bin. But frankly speaking, the pair is beyond repair.”