Holding key to mobile fridge not for the faint-hearted

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
Holding the key to the mobile fridge at a ceremony puts one in a position of power.
Holding the key to the mobile fridge at a ceremony puts one in a position of power.
Image: YALO

Any respectable family member who has contributed financially to a family event understands that the mobile fridge is a prized trove.

So precious in fact, its location becomes the most guarded square metre in the home yard.

It is that particular appointment to hold the keys to the fridge that cements your family standing and position as an authoritarian.

Holding the keys to the mobile fridge literally means you control the rate at which the patrons are intoxicated.

Beers and ciders are released at your approval, after a negotiation and pointing out and identification of the people who will be served such beverages.

You must know the hierarchy of the patrons, differentiate the good braai meat from the portions reserved for local boys and preserve enough stock to be enjoyed the next day. It's a gruelling task.

Typically, the responsibility is assigned to the heavyweight aunty with the nasty side eye. The one who speaks louder than the party music when she says "No. Your employed uncles haven't even started drinking yet! Go help with the chairs in the tent." as her nephew tries his luck.

I am not that aunt. In fact, most of my nieces and nephews look like peers. If you add the length of my Afro, I'm 1.5 metres tall and weigh less than a sack of mealie-meal.

The only reason I remain undefeated in karate is because I quit the sport on the first day I was scheduled to spar with a tall, dark and handsome lady who kept her head tilted at exactly 30 degrees the entire time she was staring at me.

I usually remove the "11-12 years" labels from my favourite frocks.

Oh, and without the support of a fully cushioned bosom, my stern voice literally dissipates into nothingness by the time it reaches my cute lips.

Basically, I do not look like I could successfully refuse my uncle entry to the mobile fridge, or any reasonably tall thirsty adult for that matter.

However, I am pleased to say that I was once honoured with the responsibility of holding the mobile fridge keys.

Just a few months back. I, Kwanele, wore my meanest facial expression as I sat neatly besides a spanking white fridge with a lanyard holding a single key hanging to my navel.

There was freshly slaughtered beef in there, enough leverage to compel even the worst of patriarchs to say "please" when talking to me. I was uSisi wes'khiye (the sister with the key).

Then what did I do with the very first request to release the leg portion, a case of Castle for the men and four soft drinks for the cooking ladies?

I broke the key inside the keyhole while struggling to open the darn thing.

Yep. I became the first mobile fridge key holder to be relieved of her duties within an hour of installation and delayed everyone's drinking spree. And I had to pay for a new key.

I am legend.

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