The other important aspect of going to Natal became taking my younger sister to spent holidays with her mom. So June holidays we would spent first at Dassenhoek and then later at Impola. At first my mamncane was renting a 1 bedroom with many neighbours around her. Even here we spent a lot of our time indoors and we would take a walk with her to visit our uncle on weekends. I think this is where I first got to use a train. I also got to see an Ak47 for the very first time, from the security who was keeping guard at the railway station.
Dassenhoek was an informal settlement kind of an environment; a lot of it reminded me of home. We used 2o litres to carry water and we negotiated ourselves for the most of our day to day things to get done. Mamncane would buy meat and ask a neighbour to store it on her behalf since she didn’t own one. Mamncane would later move to Impola and things were much better.
We had dessert every day and we watched TV on a daily basis. We still fetched water from afar and used a well behind the water for cleaning water and stuff. I always used to look forwards to the sound of frogs from the well behind the house. It was at Impola that I got to watch the bold and the beautiful when Marlene was a ghost xxx. Mamncane would from time to take us to visit our cousins at Goergedale and that is where I fell in love with the Zion church. My cousin was the member of this church and she was so tall and beautiful, the church uniform suited her so well, and when she would start dancing, maaaaan you would swear uyaziqhenya.
In Georgedale the neighbours were very neighbourly; I recall one aunty would be sitting in her sitting room watching the Bold and Beautiful whilst calling for my cousin to come see what Ridge was doing to so and so. I think she was the one who influenced to get back at Mamncanes house and watch the Bold and the Beautiful. People shared a lot of food and they would come over and spend the days with us. We played a lot of hide and seek in Georgedale because of a lot of tall grass and bush areas around our house. It was in Georgedale that I had my first taste of alcohol on Christmas Eve.
With the exception of 1993 where we went to Newcastle and saw cockroaches for the very time in our life and got fascinated by the carpet cleaning machine and its ability to suck all the cockroaches, and 1995 where I went to Bloemfontein with my sister. I spend all my June and December holidays in Natal between Dassenhoek, Impola, KwaNdengezi, Camperdown and Harmarsdale.
As a result I have no memory of Christmas or New Year’s celebration at home with my family. I realise how strange this is and I am encouraged to find out how my mom felt throughout this period