Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
I have been accused of leaving a cliffhanger in my last column to whet your appetite for more.
This could not be further from the truth. The story is very funny in the telling but it sort of comes out as an urban myth, or should I say, rural myth.
The story was told by Auntie Emma in the taxi going home one day. It is the most memorable because it is full of slapstick moments like Schuster's films.
These are the sort of stories that help to enliven the daily repetitive journeys to work. She was trying to tell our model Cs just how lucky they are to be living in the modern world.
The physical world was different, the morals were different, the economic landscape was equally different from 30 years ago.
Opportunities for adventure and mischief were severely limited, not only by apartheid but by the moral standards of the day.
I do not mean to preach so I will get on with the story immediately.
A young woman was constantly teased by her peers for not having a boyfriend.
She was a tomboy who really thought and acted like a man.
Gradually her age group married and had children but she was still single. One day when her friends had been particularly obnoxious about sexual matters she knew nothing about, she decided to get rid of the problem.
Now Zulu men are the worst flirts on God's earth. They will tell any passing girl that she is a knockout, that she makes a man lose his mind and all that sort of thing.
It does not mean anything, not much anyway.
There was a young man who occasionally made passes at this girl, just to hone his sales pitch, so to say. He was shocked when she immediately said yes, she would be his girl.
She also wanted to make an appointment for them to meet in the dead of the night. The bemused man eventually agreed not knowing exactly what to expect.
The two met as arranged under a huge mdoni tree at the edge of the village. Without saying anything, the girl quickly stripped. She carefully folded each garment and gave it to her would-be lover.
But there was a snake which had decided to use the mdoni tree as a bed and breakfast. It was disturbed from its rest by the voices and movement of the two young people under the tree.
The inquisitive snake decided to take a look. It slithered to the lower branches making its customary hissing sound.
The young man, who in the meantime could hardly believe his luck, looked up straight into the snake's eyes.
He took off at top speed back to the village, leaving his lover behind.
Unfortunately he left with the girl's neatly folded stack of clothes.
The girl ran away too but had a difficult time skulking back to her hut without her clothes. She never spoke to the coward again.