Lumbiwe: The Village Star – Episode 4
© Tisa Phiri
Forgetting I made an appointment with the Prince, I walked home angry…
“will see you tomorrow” Dolika told me when we reached the crossed path. she took the path to her village and I went on turning left to the path leading to mine.
Instead of going back straight home I decided to go to my favorite place. I loved siting under the big tree near the fields. It had a great view of a wide plain, actually when I was still a kid I used to run there and climb up whenever I did something wrong and my mother was to beat me. I would hide there until it was dark then sneak into our hut when everyone was asleep..
Now that I was older..I just loved sitting under the big tree and refresh my mind. No one would know I was there so it was my secret place.
Upon reaching there.. I pulled the rock and pushed it closer to the tree..I sat and admired the sun which was now setting. I loved the beauty of the sun going down , it’s rays seemed to speak to me…like “it’s not the end..I will reapear tomorrow…”
I felt someone behind me but before I could turn to look at who had invaded my privacy, I felt hands cover my face.
” Who are you ?” I asked getting upset…
He leaned down and whispered in my ears.
” I love sunsets too.. guess we have something in common huh?”
“Tendeka ! What are you doing here?” I asked as he let go of my face. surprisingly he was not as harsh as he usually was with me. He smilled showing off his white and strong teeth.
“well I saw you heading here and I thought of seeing what was here that made the ‘star’ girl come here..”
I shook my head in disbelief…
” So you are not at the ceremony ?” He let out a laugh.
“Yes, i was there but it’s boring so I left a while ago.”
“Okey” I said nodding my head.. “what is interesting then , hunting girls ?” I asked throwing little stones….
“Lumbi you always say the most silly things. I wasn’t following you if that’s what you mean.. I was just passing and… ”
“Oh yeah” I cut him…
” you saw me coming here and you followed me? l finished his sentence with sarcasm.
“You never change” he responded leaning on the bark of the tree next to me..
” I don’t even know why I just had to like you of all the humble girls in this village.”
“Well Tendeka , maybe it’s because no one is as beautiful as I am ”
I said proudly
“but don’t be mistaken am not going to fall for you.” I made a face.
” I know” he said in a low tone , more like my words hurt him.
” You only have eyes for that Prince Smart right ? ”
“What do you know about that ?” I asked bluntly.
” I know” he answered
“rumors travell fast remember but you should know sometimes fame and position in society can not really give you what you want.”
I looked at him and saw something that I had not noticed about him. The gentle spirit and a calm heart , he was actually a good man with a torelant heart.
“Mmmmmm , you speak so wisely Tendeka” I mocked him ,
“only that you cannot change what I want…”
We both stayed quite for some time and he cleared his throat. I looked at him raising my face up.. “what is it mr Hunter , you are bored already , you might leave me alone now. I have a few minutes before going home , it’s almost getting dark.”
” Don’t worry about me Lumbi , you can as well pretend that am not here. I like this place too” he said. I shook my head..
“well you can have it for today then am going home.” I frowned standing up..
He watched me as I walked away and I didn’t bother looking back.
At home I helped my mother prepare super and she asked me how the ceremony was…
“It was ok it just finished” I lied adding some woods to the fire.
As I lay in my hut… I thought of Tendeka. I wouldn’t deny he was a good man. I shook my head as l focused my thoughts on the Prince , Smart was to be mine . It was my childhood dream and fantacy and I liked that it was almost becoming a reality. I just had to scoop the position of my dreams.
A week later, I woke up early and did the chores at home as everyone else went to the fields. After l was done preparing food. ..I decided to go and fetch water from the stream.
“Hey there” , someone greeted from behind me. puting down my water can, l turned to look at the direction of the voice .
“Hey Smart” I greeted him.
“What are you doing here ?” I asked flirting..
“mmmn well I came to watch the ladies fetch water and I noticed the most beautiful of all drawing. so I thought of saying hi” he shrugged..
“Mmmn I see, watch the ladies uh? ” I asked feeling a bit jealousy..
“Yeah!” he announced proudly.. “Anything wrong ?” He asked..
“No , not really” I shook my head.. “well I got to go now” I lifted my can .
As l walked away he came in front of me blocking my way,
” am still talking to you Lumbiwe” he shouted holding my waist.
” Let me go Smart!” l shouted.. I felt rather irritated that he was treating me like that.
“Isn’t this what you wanted ?” He smilled…
” I said let go Smart am not your toy.” I yelled further.
” Let her go” a voice shouted from the path. I looked in the direction and saw Tendeka coming carrying a small animal in his hands… Smart laughed ,
” who are you hunter to tell me what to do? am the Prince remember ?”
” Well” answered Tendeka ,
“am a man who knows how to respect a woman and doesn’t force her do what she doesn’t want..” he responded calmly.
Smart let go of me and clapped his hands in mockery.
“Here comes the hunter and a gentleman ”
I looked at both of them in shock , “you are unbelievable” l said to Smart and walked away.
“I will send someone to call for you this afternoon !” he shouted as I walked. I didn’t answer him and just walked on upset. I knew I really wanted a man of position for a husband but I hated being treated cheap. I had to maintain my pride as a woman and earn men’s respect.
That day, I told Dolika what had happened at the stream and at the tree with Tendeka.
“be careful Lumbiwe.. you cannot manage to create rivaly between those two men… besides Tendeka is a good man he doesn’t deserve to be treated badly.”
” Oh Dolika, Tendeka is not what I want. You know that… he might be handsome,gentle and all that but I want more than that” I explained to her. she folded her hands and shook her head at me…
“careful my friend, you don’t want to make a decision that will make your life mesirable just because of your pride and hunger for prestige…”
“Just hand me that pistol already” I smiled, pouding groundnuts in the motor.
“I need to prepare super for my family..”
“well here you go” She handed it to me and shrugged dissmissingly.
To be continued