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Arts & Culture Trust of the President
This folktale was told by Mantombi during a recording session in KwaQili, Matatiele. She was a housewife and her husband was living with her and he was jobless. The story is about a woman who was hoeing in the fields. Her baby was sleeping in the long grass. When she sat down to feed the baby, the baby had disappeared. She went home without her baby. Fearing what her husband could do, she carried a stone on her back under the blanket, and when the husband asked to see the baby, she said the baby was still sleeping. So the baby “slept” all afternoon until the husband gave up and went to sleep. At night she prepared some food, made it into little balls and took these with her as she went out. On her way she came across a group of baboons, threw one of the food balls and sang, asking if the baboons had seen anyone carrying a baby. The baboons replied by singing back, “No, we haven’t seen anyone.” So she went on from one group of baboons to another until she reached one last group. She threw a ball of food and they all ran after it, exposing the sleeping baby. She took her baby and ran before the baboons could return.

Intsomi yomfazi nemfene

Mantombi Sisilana

Kwathi ke kaloku ngantsomi. Kwakukho umfazi owayeye emasimini eyohlakula, ephethe umntwana wakhe. Wafika emasimini umntwana wamlalisa. Wahlakulo, wahlakula, wahlakula. Wabuye wahamba waya kumuncisa umntwana. Wabuya waphinda wa kuhlakula. Wahlakula, wahlakula. Wabuye waphinda wathi makaye kumuncisa umntwana. Wabuye waphinda waya kuhlakula. Wahlakula, wahlakula. Wabuye waphinda wathi makayomuncisa umntwana. Wafika umntwana engekho. Walahla ikhuba. Wahamba wagoduka. Ekugodukeni kwakhe wacinga ukuba indoda iza kufika imbuze ukuba uphi umntwana. Wathatha ilitye walibeleka. Wahamba nalo. Waya kufika ekhaya. Yathi indoda, “Khawuvez’ umntwana ndimbone.” Wathi, “Hayi umntwana ulele.” Kwahlaleka, kwahlaleka umntwana elele, “Awu, lo mntwana akavuki na?”
“Hayi, usalele.” Yaya kulala indoda.

Uthe indoda yakuba ilele lo mfazi wahamba waya endlwini. Wafika wenza iimbulunga. Waziqengqa iimbulunga, waziqengqa iimbulunga, waziqengqa iimbulunga. Wazifaka esirudwini. Wabona ukuba le ndoda iza kuda iziyele emntwaneni. Wahamba Uhambe, wahamba, wahamba, wahamba waya kufika kokwabomfene. Waphosa iimbulunga Wathi,

         Mfene, Mfene!
         Mfene, Mfene!
         Mfen’ ezintle!
         Mfen’ ezintle!
         Animbonang’ umnt’ ophethe umntwana?
         O, ndiyabona.

Zathi iimfene,

         Hay’ asimbonanga,
         Hay’ asimbonanga.
         Gqithela phambili.

Wahamba lo mama, ethwele iimbulunga. Wafika kwelinye iqela leemfene, wathi,

         Mfene, Mfene!
         Mfene, Mfene!
         Mfen’ ezintle!
         Mfen’ ezintle!
         Animbonang’ umnt’ ophethe umntwana?
         O, ndiyabona.

Zathi iimfene,

         Hay’ asimbonanga,
         Hay’ asimbonanga.
         Gqithela phambili.

Waphosa imbulunga. Zabaleka iimfene zaleqa imbulunga. Wambona umntwana elalisiwe! Wamthatha, lo mama umntwana wakhe. Wahamba, wabaleka naye. Wabaleka. Zathi ziyabuya iimfene zafika sezingasamboni. Wagoduka enovuyo olukhulu. Phela phela ngantsomi.

phezulu


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