When you were not watching by Precious Rajane

Precious Rajane | July 27th, 2018 | poetry | 2 Comments


Mama Maria fired, Thando hired,
Not formally but she does everything Mama Maria did.

Thando, 16 years old, does not go to school.
She wakes up 5 am to clean the house.
She washes the dishes.
Hand washes the washing because Mrs Kubheka says she will break her washing machine.
She cooks, irons, and does every chore in the house.

Unlike Mama Maria, she doesn’t receive pay.

When her parents passed on, Mr and Mrs Kubheka took her in. Gave her shelter and food.
“These lazy orphans like entitlement”.

Thando works day in and night while Mrs Kubheka attends social events and hosts high tea parties in her garden once a month.

Thando is tired of working with no pay.
She raises the issue, Mrs Kubheka threatens to kick her out,
“lazy ungrateful orphan”.

Thando is tired of working with no pay.
She raises the issue, Mr Kubheka sneaks into her room and promises her pay.
They spend the night and more nights together.

Thando lives a double life,
Day: A maid with short uncombed hair, walking like a tired duck, living to please Mrs Kubheka. Cleans after her and runs errands like fetching her expensive coat from the dry cleaner.
Her names: Heyi Wena; Sdudla

Night: A professional porn star in a neatly combed wig, warm makeup, oily legs, pleasing Mr Kubheka. She finds peace and rests on his hairy chest.
Her names: Babe; Sexy

2 years later at OR Tambo Hospital, Thando welcomes a baby boy.
Round face and big eyes.
This face looks familiar.

Poet Bio

Precious is a writer and facilitator. She is proudly from Daveyton, East Rand. She holds a diploma in Journalism and Social Media Marketing. A day she always looks forward to is Sunday.

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2 thoughts on “When you were not watching by Precious Rajane”

  1. Oh wow and jeez! This poem raises issues with a face that looks familiar and yet it is new and fresh. What a lot go through but their wailing is not heard. They should find hope in this poem as it characterises their situation and points out the injustice. Thank you for writing this.

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