The Value of R1.00

by Zusakhe Noganta
(Centane, South Africa)

The value of R1.00

It was a week before an away match to be played in Ezibeleni High school in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape Province; two students were staying in a shack, a boy and a girl Zutla & Mendy, with their Uncle who was not working.

During the week they were busy borrowing money from their neighbors and friends to call their parents and tell them about the match that is going to be played on the weekend. Fortunately they got the money from a friend on Thursday and called their parent who was a single parent.

When they were about to leave their Uncle gave them R1.00 and told them to share the money and he sacrificed fags for them to have some money to buy drink or fruit, but the older one (girl) gave the money to the boy because it was not enough to share.

But because it was a short notice their parent didn’t have the money on Friday and eventually on the match she got the money in the morning on Saturday from a shop. She rushed to town in the morning with the aim of giving the money to her children who were going to the match. Fortunately for her she arrived at six but unfortunately for her children because the bus left the town at five minutes to six.

They travelled to Queenstown with only R1.00 in their pocket, the bus stopped at Cofimvaba the second town from Butterworth to Queenstown, and students were told to go out and have some drinks or fruit but it was made clear that the best shops are at Queenstown where they can spend their money, Zutla went out went to the toilets and came back to the bus and his sister was sitting just behind the bus driver it was clear that she was in deep thoughts.

The bus continued with the journey and again stopped at Queenstown, where there are best shops Spar, KFC, and Steers and so on. Zutla again went out as other students to buy something for himself again his sister was sitting with the same seat thinking about what to eat.

Zutla first went to Spar but the money was not enough to buy anything from the shop, there was no item valued R1.00 or less all the items were above R1.00, and the cheapest he could get was an Apple which was R1.25c. The boy went out and went to KFC with the aim of getting potato chips, he approached weighing machine but the lady behind the machine told him that the cheapest amount of chips is R12.00 and he had a shortage R11.00.

The young buy gave up on buying anything he thought of calling his mother but told himself that will not help he just gave up and went to the bus slowly with his head down. As he approached the bus his teammate came to him running and asked him to come and have something to drink. His friend bought one Coca Cola tin can & an apple and asked Zutla to buy his own drink but Zutla insisted that he does not want to eat before the game he prefers to eat after the game. Even the drink was not his stuff especially the one with acid.

It was very clear that Zutla was disappointed because he thought that his friend was going to buy something for him as he had only R1.00.
The games started his sister who was the Captain of ladies soccer scored the winner and Zutla played a very good game for his team which was second team but they played a goalless game.

After the games the school provided bread & drinks for the students at around 16:23 that was the first time they ate that day as they departed very early in the morning and had no money to buy for themselves. At five it was time to go back home, still the R1.00 in his pocket. There was no time to buy drinks for students as it was late and the principal was driving just behind the bus.

They arrived home at around about 23:00 at night and that was the end of their trip. The following morning the boy saw that his Uncle was not okay/ was not feeling right he asked him what was bothering him and the Uncle said he was wondering where to get something to smoke (Fag), and said “Uncle wait a minute I’m coming now” he entered the house and searched his pockets and found the same R1.00 and gave it to his Uncle, and said “Uncle here is the R1.00 you gave me yesterday a friend of mine helped me bought everything for me even the KFC stuff, so I decided to save your R1:00 because my friend’s parents are teachers and bought everything I wanted”.

And the Uncle said” you are a good boy and you act as the head of the family saving money is important now good boy run and buy a fag for me run run…”.

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