Tale of a school project gone awry

TWO boys, Mlilo and Zulwini, and their female opposite number, Ndudumo and Moya, are in detention of the after-school type after a sex act in the back of a school bus.

TWO boys, Mlilo and Zulwini, and their female opposite number, Ndudumo and Moya, are in detention of the after-school type after a sex act in the back of a school bus.

The quartet will point out towards the end of the book that this was merely a school project gone awry, nothing sexual.

I've heard of precocious children but these 10-year-olds belong to, well, fiction. They are the sort that says some people are more agnostic than atheist - and point out the difference.

They look up big words like anhedonia. This is one for the born-free generation - for them and about them.

Moya is nothing like the free-talking Ndudumo but in her quiet way she finds time to talk about masturbation with the ease of speech other little girls show swooning over their dolls.

If JK Rowling - the creator of Harry Potter - set out to make her child characters magical, Matlwa succeeds in making her own little geniuses future members of Mensa.

The plot conjures up images of those institutions whose founders prefer to refer to them as academies, not schools; the Oprah Winfrey type places of learning.

Except through Matlwa's pen, the founder, Mohumagadi, is the principal. All the teachers have Dr as a title of address though she does not say if any holds a doctorate and from where.

They are the children of single parents. Isn't that the latest fad? The mothers brandish Blackberry phones, drive cars with personalised registration plates, travel the world on business and are either diplomats, CEOs of companies or write newspaper columns in their down time.

Ndudumo, in her own words, a sexually conscious 10-year-old, is the daughter of a radio DJ-turned-writer.

Into this high-class spick-and-span mix lands a disheveled white cleric with pus-heavy dry lips, Father Bill - William Thomas - who, 15 years prior, had bonked and dumped Mohumagadi at a Christian boarding school the author dithers to identify as such.

While Father Bill still loves her and continues to call her by her real name - Tshokolo - Mohumagadi had never forgiven him.

It takes the death of Mlilo, the shining light of the school, for Mohumagadi to see the point that you cannot cry over spilt milk.

Read it so you can, in the language of the young, get with it.

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