Vanished like dew. You never got to say goodbye. I look at the life I’ve had to live, and I see how you taught me, without even saying a word. Heroes are hard to find, and here I stand wondering if I have a hero I can look up to. Philip MfokaMdelwa Nkinika Dungeni. You are my hero
I remember the day you threw me, playfully in the air, and, like a loving father, you forgot to catch me before I hit the ground. Instead of picking me up and comforting me, you ran out of the room, one hand clamped around your forehead, and the other clasping your mouth, as if to avoid laughing. You had messed up, but you did not flinch. With that, you taught me to pick myself up and get back on my feet. I cried, endlessly, wrapped around in mum’s hands. I guess it was just a fulfilment of one of your favourite quotes. ‘…At times one has to laugh in the face of tragedy,’ you used to say. I laugh every time I think of that.
Every time, I think of the wise words you shared with all the people around you. Even though you would come home sloppy drunk sometimes, your love for people could be felt by everyone. Never mistreated us. You showed us love as a family, and were there for us, even though your stay in this world was so short-lived, unfortunately.
I look at other children who never got the chance of having a father figure in their lives. You taught me how to cook, and grill pork at the tender age of nine. I cherish the few years I got to spend with you. These memories help me to carve a bright future for my self. Like your brother, Cephas, always says, ‘The word ‘forget’ does not exist in my vocabulary.’ I guess I will never forget you for being the person who you were. I would love people to remember me as an activist, a man and a fighter. But most of all, as a human being.
By Bhekimpilo Dungeni