Kodwa mntanami unesiphiwo sok’ganga
It was a lovely summer evening when my dad came back from work. It was my turn to make him tea, as per normal I went to the kitchen turned on the kettle, and set out all the things i’d need for the tea. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I was humming some song and attempting to dance. A few minutes later the kettle hasn’t started boiling, I checked the switched, and examined the kettle and all seemed well. I waited for a few more minutes but there wasn’t any difference. Weird, it was working not so long ago, I wondered what happened. I told my dad that the kettle isn’t boiling. He came to the kitchen to check it, he flicked the switched on and off, checked if the kettle was sitting properly he even checked the cord and he found no fault. I was bit annoyed because now I had to boil the water in a pot on the stove and that takes forever and it cuts through my precious television time.
The thought of the broken kettle was unsettling, how did it break, and what does it mean to my relationship with tea.
The following day after school, I was alone at home. I took the kettle, observed it, and by the look of things, everything was okay. This was somewhat puzzling, after a few minutes of wondering and boredom, I fetched my tools. I kept on looking for screws to unwind, maybe if I loosen this and tighten that it will work again. I was about to unwind some screws when a thought hit me, why not check the cord probably it burned. After some time of this weird incident, I did my magic, boom! Kettle fixed.
When my mum came back from work, I excitedly turned on the kettle and made myself a cup of tea. With a smirk on my face and enjoying my cup of tea, all she could say was, there you go again brainiac, and how did you fix it. Well, “a magician never reveals her secret.
When my dad got home, he wasn’t surprised that I had fixed the kettle. He laughed and said, some kids are great singers, dancers and you have a unique talent isiphiwo sok’ganga (direct translation- a talent of being mischievous.Basically curiosity takes control).
I was just a little girl who could fix anything
I would disassemble things and put them back together. The day when my dad said my talent has gone overboard and have mastered it was when I fixed the television (well it managed to work for another month). When I was in grde 7 the televison broke, and I was such a TV addict I couldn’t bear the thought of listening to the radio everyday.
How I fixed the TV
My dad mentioned that it might be the fuse that has burnt out. Curiosity kicked in, I wanted to know what is a fuse, what is its purpose, how does it look like, can it be replaced. I wish we had the internet back then. My parents told me what it was, but I needed to see it.
In my quiet space after school, inspired by boredom, I nagged my mum that we open the TV and try to fix it. My mum is not easily persuaded; it takes centuries to get her on board. We open the TV; I saw the fuse, in the evening I asked my dad to buy the fuse. The next day he came with it, we opened the TV, I did my magic.
I was raised to believe that I can be anything under the sun. At home they allowed my curiosity to flourish; I gained interest in everything because I just wanted to know and if I can do it why not. I think I’m one of those people who had dreamt of being everything, from a teacher to a scientist, archaeologist, anthropologist, historian, mathematician, writer, actress, journalist, statistician, psychologist, the list is endless.
As I grew older school programmed me to believe that a person should have a set goal a specific path to follow. I had to narrow my wild choice of careers. I did so, chose one and followed it.
Every day I’m conflicted by the thoughts of, I’m not a person of structure, who follows a specific route. I can’t be in one lane; I need to change my direction because that’s what keeps my curiosity alive. I can’t keep boxing myself in one world, and building walls and be certain that this is the true me.
Books became my friends because I am able to explore these worlds, through writing I have gained exposure to these worlds, interacting with people from these spheres enhances my knowledge in various fields.
Is it safe to say school ruined me?
My curiosity decided to resurrect, the inner mischievous kid was unleashed, and I’m unapologetic by the billion things I do. Some say I don’t know myself or I do not know what I want. Sadly they will never understand nginesiphiwo sok’ganga.
I CANNOT BE TAMED!
By; T. Sibiya