I cried through my formative years, past university to the work place.
When they raised their voices at me, I cried – and I cried when I didn’t like my new clothes. I remember crying because my new shoes were too tight, but didn’t want them exchanged. I cried when dipotsane wouldn’t listen to my pleading for them to stop, so I could take them to the shelter. And when dipotsane and dikonyana chased after me, I would cry. I cried when after milking the goats, one of them, often ‘mmapema’ would spill all my hard labour because I then had to take the ‘longest’ walk from the kraal to segotwana.
The tea pot would probably be boiling by then, how would I explain?
I cried when I thought I had been sent on too many chores and when the dress I had planned, the whole week, to wear to church, was dirty. I also cried when things decided to hide when I was looking for them.
How I cried was often dependent on the kind of reaction I anticipated. If I expected a strong scolding from my parents, I would groan, painful silent crying that made my throat hurt; often behind the house, alone. Otherwise I would scream.
I was a child who cried.
I cried so much I got used to hearing “ga kere o bata go toga o itsheka dikeledi go ne ha. A ko o emelele”, in instances when I delayed to take up a chore.
Just recently, my elder sister, Oathokwa, was telling me;
“Koore one o lela gotwe oa kamiwa. Gape ha go twe oa
beolwa, oa lela. Ntate o ta-a-bo a omana nako ya kereke
e chaile o gana go kamiwa”.
“Ke sale ke re le beole motho yo”, ntate shouting
“Ha gongwe ha o sena go logiwa o taabo o lela ore go
bothoko, hei mma’’, my sister driving it home.
I cried at the sight of a whip. In fact, my body would just stop functioning. Very similar to how I still feel when I see an elephant, logic just flies through the window.
I once cried, at my previous job, in the dignity of a bathroom. A male colleagues, had said to me “ke taa go clapa” (may his soul rest in peace). It was not the thought of the pain from the clap that brought up the tears, but the insult. I felt violated, stripped of my dignity. I was young then, fresh graduate, and first job. I have since taught people how to talk to me. Now I deliberately go out of my to correct offenders;
“Ga ke buisiwe jalo. Ka gore ga nkake ka go buisa. O bata go ikopa maitshwarelo?”
It has been a long time though, since I met those types of offenders.
Too much crying is part of my story.
Now I laugh and talk loud. I sing and I am a good public speaker, possibly prepared through years of crying.