The Prodigal friend. My friendship garment.

You came with one side and I with the other. We gently stitched each of our sides together creating our lasting cloth of friendship. It was awkwardly at first, well at least for me, but we carried on stitching. Now I love it, this friendship garment we’ve gently crafted in our own time. It’s ours and no one else wears us the way that we do.

Our colours include singing in the living room with spatulas, while you twirl in circles pretending to be a ballerina and I to be Beyonce. It is telling you about my family sorrows and private battles. My broken parts and my financial woes at Primi Piatti, as tears I am no longer able to control stream down my face.

I see our friendship as beautiful bold bright colours, bursts of laughter and defending a viewpoint we feel passionately about. Even on opposite sides I learn from you. Your opinion is always the one that is most unique amongst others. I had moments where I wished to be gifted enough to dedicate a poem to how it feels to be in friendship with you. I love wearing and boasting of the unique beauty of our friendship garment.

Our friendship garment is strong, even in the frays, it is inclusive, a picture unpixelated. The shades are different but clear, the cloth varies, but it’s stitched with strength, unity and Jesus. It is a sweet smelling aroma to anyone close enough to observe it.

Today I felt our garments opposing, I felt yours shrinking away from mine, I tried to stitch it together, but you shrunk even more and I was left with a gaping piece of cloth and nothing to stitch it onto. You pulled away, slowly at first, almost reluctantly, denying and even laughing at my hurt and concern in the obvious distance you created.


What do I have today? A one sided woven garment that used to be ours; once warm now draughty. Having you apart from it is cold and empty. There is an echo, because your voice and presence isn’t here as I speak and call out in expectation of your response. Each time my heart hopes. I tentatively make a sound in your direction but an echo of my own words responds back to me. Now I’ve put it away for a little while, this precious loved part of me. The part that is you.

It’s hard. I second guess myself. Has it been too short of a time for me to just put away who we are or used to be? Is putting us away giving in? Am I a bad friend, the kind to fold in, fold up and “put away” who we are/were? Or I am holding on to something that can never be pieced together again?

How long before I stop expecting you to be my friend again, how long from now to “I give up” on us?


All I know is, once we were friends and now we are are a shadow, a weak shadow of what and who we were. I used to mind, hurt and cry much more, I still do, but I no longer pay attention to those emotions, to stay sane and I carry on. I don’t know what else there is to do.

I love you.

In all this I love you, I want to stop loving.

I don’t want to stop loving you.

But I need to learn to understand that once you chose me, now you choose me no longer and I must respect and let go. It hurts.


I hope you don’t mind that I sometimes hint of who we used to be through pictures stories songs and places we’ve been to.

You see, you might’ve stopped loving and trusting and washing your nets with me, but my eye, oh my eye, my heart, damn it to heck for the persistent hope that betrays me in it; will perpetually be on that horizon waiting to run to you ,embrace you and shout “Prepare the fattened calf and let us feast”, should you dare, just dare, to choose me again some day.

Desolate sea- U.Guma



Organic love on a warm plate.


It has been a long overnight drive from Cape Town to Mthatha; we’ve driven through many villages and small busy towns in-between.

I take many pictures.

I am very tired when we arrive, but more than tired I am glad to be close to my aunt.

By the time I have put my bag away, and peed in the bucket behind the door, my aunt has warmed water for me to refresh myself from the long drive, she even gently commands me to check that my bath water is to my liking so she can adjust it if it’s too hot/cold. I feel like a five year old and my sad heart is very happy to be in her loving care.

I finish my bath and ready the shoes, dress and accessories I’ll be wearing to my uncle’s funeral the following day.

It is the day of the funeral, we are on our way to eMalungeni, to mourn, sing, pray, laugh and remember my uncle, her cousin. The drive is reminiscent of my childhood road trips to my grandmother’s house. It’s the same way but for the turnoff.

The funeral is of course a very sombre affair, cushioned by seeing cousins, and elders I hadn’t seen in a very long time. I hide behind taking photos of as many of my family members as I can sneak in.

On the drive back we talk about whom we were able to see and catch up with. My aunt doing most of the talking.

My heart is so full by just being with her, that I hardly make a sound as she speaks, apart from grunts of affirmation every now and again, so she knows she has my attention.

When we get home, we call my mom, who wasn’t able to make her cousin’s funeral. We take turns talking to her until it is time for dinner. My aunt is worried that I might get bored out here in the rural part of town, where the biggest disruptors of peace are roosters in the morning and the insistent moo of the village cows throughout the day.

Home garden
Picking corn for me in her vast garden a few minutes before I leave for Cape Town.

I tell her that I feel almost overwhelmed with a sense of peace and wellbeing. I think she sees the truth of this in my content smile, because her body visibly relaxes.

In the evening she makes me umphokoqo from maize she has refined herself, the maas we use is from a cow whose calf can sometimes be seen being bullied by the naughty village boys.

My aunt brings two blankets out, one for me and one for her. She carries a bench for us to sit on, so we can watch the city lights while we chatter in the crisp cold. The dogs are by our feet and the chickens make gentle sounds in their coup on our right.

Phone photos never do justice in the night time.

She asks me if I’m well, if I’m comfortable, if I’m full, if I need anything more. I look at her under the evening sky and tell her I am content.

This is the thread my visit carries until the day I leave for Cape Town.

She tells me how the lavender helps to keep the snakes away, how the dogs can be a nuisance because they help themselves to the chicken eggs and sometimes the chicks too. She says how the goats and birds eat the harvest and chicken feed. It feels like a dream to me. The entire stay feels like a dream.

On my last evening, my auntie is worried she won’t have anything good or fulfilling for me to eat, my vegetarian ways are the source of her concern.

She makes me carrots, spinach and potatoes, with onion and grated cheese, I look at this plate and picture my aunt, planting the seeds, tending the garden and harvesting it all, to deliberately make dinner for me. Her heart’s work. Her hand’s work.

Organic love on a warm plate

I don’t have adequate words for what I feel when I think of this moment.

All the love my aunt has in her physical being and her emotional being she gives to me literally on a plate yet still she asks me if it is enough.  Asking casually, conversationally and unconsciously, because if it isn’t she has more to pour out to me.

My aunt – She is stature, dignity, diligence and love.


I am reminded all over again how incredible the women in my family truly are.

**I took all the photos  on this blog post. They belong to me. Talk to me before you use my photos please.**