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South African Voices

South African Voices: A Long Time Passed (2006)

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South African artwork

A WOMAN FILLS THE PLACE OF A MALE HEIR

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Date:    September 13, 1967
Time:    About 5:00 p.m.
Place:    Outside, in a kraal in Mboxo (Nkanga) Location, Gatyana District, the Transkei
The Performance:    Related in Xhosa
Audience:    A large audience of about fifty men, women, and children
Narrative 1S-624
Tape 11, side 2

In this historical tale, an entire society is moving to a new dispensation, with the ruler in a state of sexual ambiguity. The androgynous person becomes emblematic of the changing identity of the society. The significance of the sexual ambiguity is suggested by a member of the assembly at the end of the tale, as he refers to the son of the “king”: “He has done nothing but preserve your land for you until you got through this difficulty.”

Kwathi kudala kwaXhosa...[2] mhla kwakumiswa umzi wakomkhulu...yaze indoda leyo ke...eyinkosi yabanye...yathabatha umfazi...lo mfazi ke yathi yakumthabatha...wanguye ke umfazi ozele intombi yanye...yakuphela[3] komntana omzeleyo...akabi nanyana ke...umninimzana lowo...uthe ke kwakuba kudala...engenanyana njalo kwabonakal' okokuba ke ngoku le ntombi mayingendi kuba akukho nyana kweli khaya...kwathi ke ngonje le ntombi xa engendanga njalo kwafuneka int' 'okokuba[4] ibizwe ngobukhosazan'...yathi xa iyinkosazana njalo...kwafuneka int' 'okokuba ngoku ithabathelwe abafazi ababini...kwenziwa abafazi bayo kwathiwa ngabafazi bale nkosazana kuba ayendanga ingunyan'...ngoke ku...abafazi aba benzelwa okokuba mababalelwe...mababalelwe ngumnakwabo...umnakwabo ke lo waye ngumfazi wasekunene...waye ngowalo mfazi yena...wabalelwa ke aba bafazi bodadewabo...lo ungendanga...kuba yen' engakwaz' ukubala...le ntombi ke yayingabhinq'...le ntombi ke yayingajikeli entloko...kwakusambathwa ke ngoku...izikhumba kungekho ziingubo...kusambathwa izikhumba zisukwe zeenkomo nezeenyakamaz'...indoda leyo ke eyayenziwe indoda iyinkazan'...yayijikela isiqhov[5] entloko senyamakaz'...kuthe ke xa kunjalo ke kwabonakala okokuba ke ngoku abafazi aba bakhe bamith' bobabini...abafazi bakhe bakumitha omkhulu uzele inkwenkwe...omncinci wazala intombi...baphindile waphinda kanjaqo omkhulu wazala kwa inkwenkwe...omncinci wazala inkwenkwe ke ngoku...kwahlaleka ke njalo bakhula k' abantwana abo...balo ntombazana yayinkos'...yaye ke le ntombazana inamaphakathi wayo...kuba ingunyana...yathi ke le ntombi...yakuba ke ngonje oonyana bekhulile...banabafaz' oonyana...abafazi abo boonyana babesithi bawo...bengatsho ukuthi dadebobawo...abantwana bakayise babesithi bhuti bengatsho ukuthi dadebobawo[6] kuba lo mntu wenziwa unyana...wayiyo ke inkosi ngexabiso ke apha eseliphambili...kuthe kuba kwakukho iphakathi elalingumfo wasemaCireni...laz' e'ske[7] le iphakathi elo...lathabatha inkosikazi leyo layikrexeza...yabhaqwa loo nto...yathi yakubhaqwa ke ngoku loo nto...lachithwa iphakathi elo kwathiwa lenze into emdala[8] ...lemka ke laya kuzimela lodwa ke kwafunwa amaphakathi amatsha...kuthe ke xa kufunwa lo maphakathi ke amatsha...yaze ke ngonje ke inkosazana le...yathi ke nxa kukudala kwafuneka ngonje kuphathe unyana wayo...unyana wayo ke waphatha ke wayiyo ke inkosi...amatyala ayethethwa ekh' aph'...athi thu umenti esithi ndimangele ndimangele esitsholo entla komz'...kuthiwe yihlela...aye esiza umntu ethetha loo nto...ade azokufika ekhayeni esitsho njalo...ke akuba ehleli ekhaya kuphume amaphakathi ayokuhlala[9] naye enkundleni...kuthatyathwe ke ugaga...luzo kubekwa enkundleni iphume ke inkosi ihlale elugageni...kwandule ke uba kuxoxwe umcimbi wetyala likandimangele...kuthe emzuzwini kuminyaka ekude le...kwabonakal' okokuba ngonje kukho ubambano oluthile...kuba ngoku unyana lo wale ntombi yayenizwe inkosi...uyachithwa ngoonyana bakayise omncinci...kuthiw' akunaphatha umntana wenkazan'...yaze ke loo nto ngoku ke yasezingxoxweni...kwahlanganiswana ke zizikhulu...ukuthetha ke lo mcimbi...kwahlanganiswana ngento ethi uyabhena lo okokuba kungaphatha lo kayise omncinci ze kanti ubukhulu bukuye babulawulwe...ngoku ke wanokuthi ke uyis' omncinci akunakuphatha lo liwangu...wabuza ke ukuthi iwangu yintoni na...le nt' iliwangu...wathi ndithi uliwangu wena akungowasekh' apha kuba ungumntana wenkazana...wathi kwakade ndingumntana wantoni na...ngokuya ndandiphethe kungoba ndandingamiswanga na uze ndibe ndiyaphath'...hayi...watsho ke uyis' omkhulu lowo hayi ukuba wawuphethe ngoko...kwa[10] kusedom[11] noko ngoku akunakuphatha kuba bavelile abantwana basekh' aph'...ungumntana wentombi...ke uthi ke...unyana lowo walo ntombi wayephethe...kungokokuba intombi le yayizimithisile na le nto nindilandayo...uthi ke uyis' omncinci hayi yayingazimithisanga naxa yayingazimithisanga kodwa ke igama ungumntana wentombi ngoku bakhon' abantwana basekh' apha bamaduna bamele kuphath'...oo loo nto ke ndifuna okokuba ke igalel' emva ndiyabhena okokub' andinakungaphathi...kwemkiwa ke kwachithakalwa ke ngalo mini...kuhleliwe ke efutha njalo lowo uba imele kuthiwani na le nto ehamba zonke zihlobo zakhe...ehamba exela ukuchithwa kwakhe...le nto ke wacetyiswa ke wacetyiswa ngabanye okokuba kufuneka kubekho laa mntu way'[12] eliphakathi...lowa wayelele nomfazi wenkosi uze achithwe...laa mfo wasemaCireni...lithiwa ke e— umfo wasemaCireni engasekho nje...kwathiwani[13] na kuba wafa kudalo lo mfo...uthi ke omcebisayo hayi lo mfo lowo wayethetha sel' enoonyana bakhe...kungakho unyana wakhe okhoyo...kuba kaloku ngoko wayeliphakathi[14] esathembekile wayehlala komkhulu wazekela komkhulu wazalela komkhulu bakhona ke oonyana bakhe emke nabo pha' bebathathu...bayayazi into eyayithethiwe...ukho wayese ekho mhla kwaxoxwa le nto uhambile ke...wanokuzinika ixesha wafuna loo ndawo wayema kuyo wayeme kusisixeko esikude kunale ndawo ithethayo...wahamba ke elala evuka wad' es'ke[15] ke waya kufika uthe k' akufika apho...wafika ingoonyana bakhe abane...engasekho njalo yena lo mfo wasemaCireni...uthe akufika ke wathi ke hayi ndingumntwana ohambela apha komkhulu...ku— kuphakathi eliya lakomkhulu...elinguyihlo wenu...ke le nto ndiyihambelayo ndiyazi phofu ukuba yena akasekho...ke ndifuna umntana owayesekho mhla kwakuxoxwa ekhaya...onganolwazi mhla kwalawulwa okokuba e— intombi leyo yakomkhulu imele uze ithi izekelwe ingendi...oo waphendula ke unyana ophakathi wathi ewe mfana...ikho loo nto apha...kuba thina sazalelwa komkhulu...sibathathu...mhla kwaxoxwa loo nto...kwakukho nabaza bethu...e— loo nto yaxoxwa kakhulu okokuba inkosazana leyo ke mayithi kuba iye yendl' enkulu akubangakho nyana...ke mayithi ke yona izekelwe abafazi...yazekelwa abafazi ababini...siyayazi nathi loo nto simke apho se kunjalo...imbangi yokokuba utata azokufela[16] kude nekhaya lakho...wantlonta ukutlonta ke mfana...kukwenza into eyathi ayathandwa yinkosi leyo kuba was'ke wakrexeza walala nomfazi wenkosi wabhaqwa ke...kwabonakal' okokuba ke ngonje ke e— uyazichitha kweli khaya...kwatsho ke ngoko kwahlanganiswa ke abantu...kwathiwa ke makemke...ke ngoko ke kwafunwa maphakathi wambi...hayi thina siyayazi nene nene loo ndawo...ukuba ke undinqwenela ngoku noko kahle kusekho umcimbi esiza kuba kuwo apha...yaye ke xa wayesitsho wayesitsho kuza kusilwa utywala obukhulu...yaye ke xa wayethatha loo nto obo tywala...kwakusithiwa kwenziwa idini...kuxhelelwa umnt' ongasekhoyo...kufuneka ke xa kunjalo indoda yekhaya ingayi ndawo...kuba loo nto isisici sesiXhosa esiphilisa abagulayo...wavuma ke umfana wemka ke wemka ke e— esithi ke ndakubuya[17] ke ndize kukukhangela ke kunyanga ezayo okokuba uqhubekile na umcimbi wakho le nto indinxalile...hayi bevana ke wemka ke lowo...ngoko ke yaqhubeka ke leyo kwasilwa ke utywala kulo mzi...kwaxhelwa le nkomo...le nkomo ke yabhinqelwa isikhaka ngabafazi kubhinqwa zona kakade kungekho ziingubo...iziingubo zelo xesha...ngoko ke yakuba kugqitywe yachithakala ke impi leyo wafika umfana...akuthelekelela uba ngoku iphelile laa nto...wathi akufika ke umfana...oo! hayi ndisahamba kwa ngalaa ndlela...ewe...endifun' uba ke nibekho ke e— phaya ekhaya...'ze niye nobabini...nomkhululwa wakho...kuba ke ndanelisiwe ngamazwi wakho...kuba ase[18] acaca...ndifuna abekho nje ndingenanto ndiyidelelayo...ke ndifuna nibekho ke...wavuma ke umfo lowo...wathi ke hay' uya kubona ngath'...umkile ke umfana...ezintsukwini ezilandelayo...usukile ke umfana wasemaCireni...kunye nomkhuluwa wakhe lowo...babheka kwelozwe komkhulu apho...bafika bakufika komkhulu bafika bahlala phandle abangena ndlin'...bahlal' ecalu kothango...kubuziwe ukuba ningabantu abatheni na...uphendule lo mfana kungekhaphendulwa ngabo wathi hayi...aba bantu beza ngam apha ngaba be ndibahambele...kulaa nto yalaa ngxoxo kufuneka ke ngoku ke...babuye abe[19] bethetha lo mthetho ekh' aph'...ndifuna uthethelwe phambi kwabo...ngokuya ndandisithi ndiyabhena ndandizond' uba kubekho umnt' okhoyo phay' emaCireni...oo hayi ke kulungile watsho ke uyis' omncinci babizwa ke abantu...kwazala ke kanjaqo ke komkhulu kanjaqo...ngoko ke kwathiwa ke mayiphakame ke...ethethayo...waphakama ke umfana...wathi ndim endithethayo...endithetha ngeliya ke kuthiwa ndiliwangu endibuz' okokuba le nto ililwanguni na...kuthiwa ke iwangu ngumntu ozalwa yintombi...elibuzwa ndim ndibuz' uba le ntombi yayizimithisile[20] na ke...yayingadalwanga na kwa nini okokuba mayiphathe...kuthiwa ke naxa yayidaliwe...kungokuba umntu esithi e— ngoko kwakungekaveli mntu ekh' apha ngonj' uvelile...ibuyiswa umva...ndiyema...ee...kulungile...ke ngaba ke uma njani mfana...ndima kanje ngokokuba ma'khe[21] kuphakame le ndoda ndiyokuyifuna yayikho ngelo xesha...uba kwathiwani na uze kuphathe mna...oo phakama ke mfana...soweva[22] nawe...yatsho inkundla...waphakama ke umfana...wathi ke ewe ke zidwangube...bantwana babant' abakhulu...into endiza ngayo apha ndifikelwe mna yinkosi yam le...isiza ke kum i— isithi iyakhala ikhala ngokokuba iyachithwa ekhayeni layo...kuthiwa ingumntana wentombi...ke kaloku ke ifune okokuba ndizokucacisa...nanjengoko utat' engasekho nanjengoko into le yayidalwe se sikho...oo...uthetha okokuba xa utshoyo mfanandini wasemaCireni...unazo na iindlela onokuzazi...wawungaka nani wena ngoko...ewe mna ndinguCira ndandimdala...kuba kwakuthethwa silapha phandle...sasingazange sagxothwa xa kuthethwayo...side sabadala[23] kuthethelwa phambi kwethu...nangoko ke yayingutata...sasihlel' ecalu kotata eliphakathi apha elikhulu...uyamaz' uyihlo...ewe ndiyamaz'...uyihlo wathini ukuze angabikho ekh' apha...utata wath' uz' angabikho ekh' apha walala nomam' omkhulu...waze wabonwa...wabonwa ngubani...wabonwa ngusisi...oo wuphi yena usisi...lo walaa ndlu yasekunene...waze wathini...waze wathi naba bengavuli...bambathisene...kwathini na kwaze kwaya ke inkosi yamvingcela...waze wathetha ke yena utata...wath' ungabisandiphatha nkos'...ndonile...waze ke ngoko ke inkosi ke yahlanganis' abantu yath' iyamchith' utata...oo hlala phantsi ke mfana...atsho amadoda...atsho amadoda athi utsho ke nkos'...yathi ke inkosi hayi unyanisile...yayinjalo loo nto...ke...uzele kucacisa ke ukuthini ke apha ndizele kucacisa into aph' yokokuba unyanisile le mfana...wayephethe unina...u— unina u— unina u— u— uyise lowo ke lo nina ngulaa yise wakhe laa ntombi yayingendanga...yaze yayinkosi khona uze kuzekwe abafaz' ababini uze bazal' aba nyana...oo ngoko ke kufanele k' ukuthini ke kwelakho ke wena nxa uqonda ngoku ke kuba ke ngoku sithi abantwana ekh' apha bavelile...basekh' aph'...hayi...mna ndithi ngokwam ayifanelanga kuba njalo loo nto ifanele kumiswa ngahlobo lumbi...khawuhlale phantsi ke mf aa...wahlala ke umfana wamaCireni...kwathiwa ke makaphakame ke lo mfan' uthethayo...utheth' uba ke mfana kungathiwani na ke...nditheth' okokuba mna xa ngaba ndiyachithw' ekh' apha ndinokunikwa ilungelo lam...ndinikwe ke izembe...lokokuba ndiphume ke ekh' apha...xa ndiphumayo k' ekh' apha ndiphume nako konke okwam o'be[24] 'se kubixwa ngegama lam...ndishiye isilili sodwa...oo utsho ke umfana kutshiwo ke ebadleni...lathi ke ibandla hayi le nto nkosi noko se ifanele wena wedwa...kuba thina siya kubon' aph' ugaboni khona...kuba ke thina ke siza kus'ke sijonge nje ngok' ethetha kanti ke wena ubona ngolwakho uhlobo...hayi k' inkosi ke ithethile yathi khanikhe nenze...ndoniphikisa okokuba ngaba le nto aniyithethi ngandlela...bathe ke ukusuka ukuthetha abantu...bathi unyanisile lo mfana...ufanel' okokuba acandelwe isizwe esiza kuphathwa nguye...ahlale ke kwelo 'zwe...ngale ndlela ke nimkhupha ngayo...kuba ke akenzanga nto akonanga int' ekunayo nje qha unigcinele izwe lenu nad' es'ke[25] baphumelela...laba ke liyavakala igama lalo ndoda yayithetha ngolo hlobo...wacandelwa ke umfana lowo...wacandelwa ke owakhe umhlaba...owokokuba makaphathe kuwo...abe lelo wangu...khona 'ze ke ngoku ke abeyinkosi wakhutshelwa ke umhlaba wakhe waphatha yedwa ngoku kuloo ndawo esakhe isiqingatha...yaphela ke intsomi ngolo hlobo.


Notes

[2] The ellipses throughout these transcriptions are meant to indicate brief pauses.

[3] yakuphela: yaba kukuphela.

[4] int' 'okokuba: into yokokuba.

[5] isiqhova: Zulu. Cf. Xhosa isidlokolo.

[6] dadebobawo: she probably means sisi.

[7] es'keM: lasuka .

[8] lenze into emdaka: gruffly, angrily.

[9] ayokuhlala: aye kuhlala.

[10] kwa: kwabe.

[11] kusedom: from Afrikaans dom, stupid.

[12] way': wabe.

[13] kwakuthiwani: kuya kuthiwani.

[14] wayeliphakathi: wabe eliphakathi.

[15] es'ke: wasuka.

[16] azokufela: aze kufela.

[17] ndakubuya: ndiya kubuya.

[18] ase: asuke.

[19] abe: ababe.

[20] yayizimithisile: yabe izimithisile.

[21] 'khe: kukhe.

[22] soweva: se uweva.

[23] sabadala: saba badala.

[24] o'be: okube.

[25] es'ke: nisuke.

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