Easter Weekend: Sex, Church & Goats

I slept with a goat in the surbubs of Rooihuiskraal in Centurion last Easter.

No, unlike that guy from Port Shepstone, I did not engage in a bodily juice exchanging extravaganza with the animal. Angifendanga mbuzi mina.

The Easters, or uGudi as me and my people call it, is no longer the same. Until I was 14 years old, all I would do during this time of the year was church with my grandmother gog'MaS'biya and my siblings. This was the only holiday in the calendar that I'd look forward to with excitement. I was always excited about uGudi because this was the only time we'd get to travel. It was the only time I'd get to see places outside my home town.

We used to travel to different places every year during Easters as our church would host this event in different branches. I particularly enjoyed this holiday because it was one of the very few times when we'd indulge in lots of meat. Gogo would slaughter five chickens and cook amadombolo for our trips.

For the whole duration of the Easter proceedings, I did not really participate much in church activities. I remember spending 90% of that time playing and loitering around and making new friends from the places we were visiting. Sometimes we'd be herding cattle or swimming naked in Mvunyane river nòBonginkosi baseMvunyane until the 'holiday' was over. Our favourite game at night was hide and seek under the trees behind the tent where the church things were taking place, which always led to umabhebhana with the girls. This was not real sex as we did it with our clothes on. But I can attest that there were adults who were doing the real thing behind the tent. We once caught them in their green and blue Zion uniform. But that’s a story for another day.

My Easters as a kid were always filled with fun, but there was one Easter weekend that was horrible for me. That was when I got involved in a car accident that RSVPed a meeting with God but emuhle uGod, wanqaba. I was only 6 years old. We were traveling to our Gudi which was hosted in a place called eNgome just outside my home town Vryheid, KZN. Our taxi was bullied off the road by an oncoming truck and it rolled to the bush. I can still vividly remember gogo's blue plastic container lying on the ground, with half of amadombolo and our meat scattered on the dust, full of blood. Before I passed out I could hear Khanyo, my little sister screaming for gogo. Everything happened in split seconds.

When I woke up, I was in a hospital ward. I was told we have been in a car accident. My mom and gogo were sitting by my side. One thing that initially confused me was their excitement, 'I'm in hospital and almost died, so why are they happy and laughing?' I thought to myself. Then they proceeded to explain to me that they are happy and thanking God because I woke up. I had been in a coma since Thursday, after the accident.

Like Jesus, I died and rose on Easter Sunday. That is the story I will tell to my grandchildren. If there's any doubting Thomases among them, I have a scar to prove it. Like Jesus showed his comrades the holes drilled in the palm of his hands in John 20:24, I will proudly tilt my head and show them the scar on my forehead as I tell the story.

The accident left me with a scar that begins its journey at the top right of my forehead where my hairline begins, takes a sharp bend across my forehead and ends at the top of my right ear. I used to hide my scar under a hat but over the years I have earnt to accept and embrace it. It also plays an important role when I'm in places like Madala Hostel in Alexandra township, because when people ask what happened, I begin a long narrative about how I got this scar during a street fight with 10 men in KZN and, after I had axed down nine of them with my panga, one of them managed to dent my forehead with an Okapi knife. And then, suddenly, the short and skinny guy that is me, is shown some respect from the hostel dwellers.

But sometimes I get a little irritated by the questions I get from people about my scar. Sometimes the source of my irritation is the manner in which some of these questions are posed: An old Zulu man in a taxi going like, "Hhaw mfana wami, wadliwa yini ekhanda"?.

Or the kids at my son's school asking, "Papa Hhongele (Mispronouncing my son's name Wongelwe), did you 'fell' from the stairs"?

And then there's my savage friends who never miss an opportunity to diss my scar. One of them would keep asking me to unlock the 'zip' on my head. "Awqaqe lo-zip osekhanda sibone'. Another one, a Ngcobo fellow who earns his bread by writing a weekly newspaper column for Sunday Times, mostly about how dung beetles inspire him by their amazing skill at perfectly rolling balls of shit their entire lives, that is when he is not spitting his sarcastic saliva on microphones at a radio station. One time he referred to me as "uMthokozisi lo onemomozi esphongweni" - Mthokozisi, the one with a vagina on his forehead.

uGudi awusafani. These days many people treat this time of the year as a mini festive season. I have observed that my people are starting to decolonise their minds, and the story of a guy who hangs on the cross wearing a nappy is losing its credibility among some 'woke' black people.

Most people I know have since chosen to drink from Thursday when the Son of Man is being sold out and made vulnerable for mob justice by one of his gang members, all the way to Sunday when he raises from death. They would then spend Easter Monday nursing a huge bhabhalazi, suffering panic attacks on the thought of having to go back to 'Good morning sir' on Tuesday.

I have been doing the same over the years. Last year I attempted to do church. I decided to visit a random church on Holy Saturday. Inevitably, I fell asleep during the sermon. I decided I need a drink and the company of friends instead. It was for this reason that I headed for Centurion where the brood had gathered at a friend's house for a goat feast and beer guzzling Easter ceremony.

I have such friends. During the Easter weekend of 2017, two of them got bored and decided that a goat must part with its life and they drove to Thembisa, came back dragging a bleating goat and slaughtered it. For two years in a row this has been a feature on their list of Easter activities.

I got there in the afternoon and drank and ate inyama yembuzi. I had too much to drink that I ended up sleeping in an outside room, a room which the owner of the house gave the name 'Kwadakwadunuse'. The loose English translation for that would be 'A place where people get so drunk they bend over to expose their asses. Stru!

I remember, during my drunken sleep, dreaming about a white guy from Germany who had come for the goat party earlier, in the dream I was selling him my isiZulu lessons and the guys kept telling me to stop because I'm sloshed and I don't make sense.

When I woke up the sun had long risen. I was feeling like someone had placed mount Gethsemane on my head. Ubhiya usagcwele ikhanda. As I scanned the room in search of my mobile phone so that I can call home to begin the court hearing and probably prepare myself for my own nailing on the cross by the madam, my eyes met with ugqoko, a wooden African traditional tray used to serve meat, laying on the floor, still full of goat meat and bones that was left over from the night before. I had slept with all of my clothes still on, including the shoes, with goat meat in the room, emasabhabhsini.

I heard myself thinking out loud; "Yeses! Umuntu ulale nembuzi la". The sound of Hlengiwe Mhlaba, from which we were jamming the whole night, was still playing in my head, "Uthi uyongithwala nami, umhlobo wami".

I would like to know what do your Easter activities involve? Do you shag pastors' wives behind the tents or do you get drunk and feast on goat's meat?