Traditional Zulu food. Ingqumkazane (fresh mealies and fresh beans), my dad’s childhood favorite. Buhle loved it too when she was younger. She is gogo’s child that one. I digress…My mom’s sister Anna (Mhle Mabuya’s grandma, hence I am his auntie not cousin) was walking home from Himmelberg Mission one day and as she crossed Ifafa river, she heard the call to lunch kaMbidlane. You see my family used to stay in the cliffs and slopes of Ifafa called kaMbidlane, named after our great grandfather. He was forcibly moved there from what is now Engweni sugar cane farm by the English family, which expropriated his land without compensation but asikho lapho…
Mbidlane’s sons all married and built their own homes, but always ate lunch together at their father’s house(emzini omkhulu) with their wives and kids. Each wife would bring enough for the entire family to share.
So, this one particular time Aunti Anna was passing by when she heard the ‘wozani nizodla’ call and decided to invite herself in. My dad was a toddler then, running excitedly shouting ‘ingumkazan ingumkazan…’ too young to pronounce it properly. Little did she know that her brother(uncle Alex) would later marry a girl (auntie Bhomo) from that family and that her little sister (my mom) would end up marrying the ngqumkazane-loving toddler (Daddy). God has such a good sense of humor, it’s not even funny😂.
She related to story to my mom decades after it happened. So, today I cooked ingqumkazane to honor my father’s family oriented childhood. Even after he experienced orphanhood at a young age, he never forgot the value of family.
I, on the other hand am learning to love family from a distance. Just saying. No tea, no shade.
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