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Nelson Mandela, PresidentComrades took with them apartheid catalysed eKassie violence to exile. In exile, many a Comrade enjoyed some dubious diplomatic immunity privileges. Many a Comrade lived an on-wrong-premises-protected lifestyle, no different from spoilt children at some juvenile delinquents’ institution. Returning home to Mzansi, many a Comrade brought back with them the impunity and arrogance of exile living fo sho. The country became a rainbow nation. All keep running and running in, naturally, ever so futile attempts to reach for the proverbial pots of gold at the end of the rainbows criss-crossing the land:
1) It’s here in the ground, Comrade.
2) No, it has to be over there where the rainbows end. Obvious, there is no smoke without fire, you know, Comrade. Get out of the way before I blow you off the face of the earth! This is my country. I do what I like. That gold is mine.
1) Run, comrade, run.

Trisha tells of how her husband kept lashing at her with his belt, striking her all over the body. This time, though, it felt as if the belt was leaving on her skin, lines of a special kind of warmth at every strike. With her hands flying all over the place in a vain attempt to protect herself, it felt as if her skin was peeling off from these warm lines induced by the belt lashings. Strange. Whole body begins to feel hot, and moist. Panic. She had begun to bleed profusely. Only then did she realize that the man was in fact chopping her with a panga. This time he means to kill me, she thought. Soon she felt no pain, no sensation at all as the man kept chopping on and on. It didn’t matter anymore. I might as well fall and die, she concluded. No talk of dying and resting in peace here. Blood everywhere. Bloody mess. This sure is no way of entering the kingdom of God in heaven. Ain’t going nowhere, my man. He never heard her.

When she came to, after lying one whole week in a comma at the exile hospital, it was in time to hear her visitors talking about the husband’s stated intentions to come to finish her off in the hospital. Other Comrades applied acute instant mob justice to the man. Trisha survived. Love for the man ended, for good. Divorce. Long healing process began.

Years later, exile ends. Everyone returns home. Mandela is back. Freedom is here. We see it, we smell it, we touch it, we sing it; we dance it. With freedom come home, gear up impunity and arrogance, then. The power is in our hands. Remember how we were Kings in exile, Comrade? Let’s do it again. So, Trish’s ex-husband resumes constant physical and emotional harassment of her. What can she do? We are home now, and I’m the man here, I am a guerrilla veteran. Top brass. The power is mine. I do what I like, divorce or no divorce. He thinks.

Trish: I’m home. This is my land too. This freedom is mine too. I defied death in the hands of the man so I could live and raise my children in peace in the freedom of my land. Here we are. Perhaps it’s time I gave the animal a taste of his own medicine.

A woman in love is soft as an angel, sweet like candy, vulnerable as a baby. A woman weaned off love is lethal. The man got to hear of Trish’s changed state of mind. So, when another day he decided to come and harass her again, he exercised his military training caution towards her for once, “I hear you have a gun these days. Is it true?”
Trish, “Yes!”
Ex, “The gun is licensed, I hear. Is it true?”
Trish, “Of course”
Ex, “You, who never wanted to do any military training while in exile! It means that you have taken shooting lessons, then?”
Trish, “Sure”
Ex, “Eish, can you really shoot?”
Trish, “I hit the bull’s eye at 50 metres any time”
Without a word, the man turned and walked away, never to bother Trish again for the next, and last, ten years of his life. As fire consumed the man’s corpse, Trish surrendered her weapon to the police. In peace.
Guns kill. Murder? Culpable homicide? Same difference. Same death. Guns kill.


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 23, 2014


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