When I was growing up in the dusty streets of Mthatha I had a best friend her name was Bongeka, she lived next door to us. I loved her with all my heart .Naturally like best friends do, we did everything together, we went to the same primary school. I never noticed much difference between the two us, except that they had a huge house a TV room separate from the dining area and they would have bacon for breakfast every day. Now you have to know that this was in the nineteen nineties.
I had never tasted bacon in my life until I visited my friend’s house, I loved it so much my friend would even save her fathers for me, she would say “ Arg daddy doesn’t like a lot of bacon so I just wait for him to finish , the I will give you his left overs. Maybe you don’t get how much I love bacon, I Loved it so much I would even polish my friend’s shoes for her just so I could have some bacon. Cart her school bag for her; help her wash her socks after school, every day Monday to Friday without fail. I know you probably thinking ,what the big deal it’s just pork ?, I bet if you grew up in the same house as me, nine other siblings to a single uneducated mother you would understand why my friend felt like a God sent to me.
It’s funny now when I recall the stories, the ravenousness and the inanity in me; I mean why was my mother’s cooking not was good enough? Well I was just a kid I suppose. I remember when the apartheid era ended and the so called model C school were opened to all, my friend Bongi went to a boarding school in East London. By now her parents had bought a Nissan Sentra, don’t go rolling your eyes on me now its 1995 NISSAN Sentra is thee thing Hello!
I would save up my lunch money to buy stamps so that I could write to my friend. First quarter she came back for March/April holidays I still remember that blazer and that tie she had on, she showed me pictures of her classmates they were all white, her English had a different twang; she had to repeat every word she uttered for me to grasp whatever she was saying.
I continued writing letters to my friend, by June the same year the responses were few and far in between, when she came back in September her mother forbade me from playing with her.
“Nono you and Bongi cannot continue to play together now, see Bongi is in a very strict school, she has to spend a lot of time during her school holidays studying. You understand don’t you?”
I didn’t understand I was hurt, but from that day fourteen as I was I got to understand the whole class thing.
My mother my hero, Yes she could not afford to send us to a boarding private school but she gave us a home. She bought a house in town. Our neighbours were now the hunters. No I am not possessed with whiteness but Mr Hunter taught me and my siblings how to swim. I got my very first book from the hunters .Maggie his daughter, would help me with my languages and I helped her with Maths. In 1998 I passed my Matric with six distinctions, yes from a government school. I received a scholarship to study Law in one of the top universities in South Africa, Wits (Witwatersrand University)
I have not been admitted as a Supreme court Judge yet, but I can tell you know I still love bacon with the same passion.