When I was a child, my grandma threatened to slap my uncle, he was married with two kids — truth. I remember how my father, normally loud and scary at home, became meek when we visited grandmother. He toned down the scariness and spoke to Gogo in his grown up child voice. The truth is that African children are children even if they are grey and hunched over a walking frame — as long as their parents still have a pulse on their wrists.
Khaya learns the truth
The truth is that every boy wants the approval of his father and, often, boys want to be their fathers. Dads are super heroes. Until a boy learns the truth.
The Khoza men celebrated the end of their feud with, what else, but a trip to ebhusha, a private euphemism for strip club employed by Brutus and Shaka. To Harriet’s glee, Kagiso turned down the offer of meat at the butchery because he “doesn’t touch meat unless he knows its origins.” Little Khaya — he is not so little any more — overheard the conversation about this wonderful butchery and, like every boy who emulates his father, enquired about visiting the butchery! Thankfully, Shaka explained that the meat served ebhusha was a little too spicy for his young taste buds. How parents use lies to protect children from the truth.
After quenching his thirst at the bhusha, Shaka took Khaya on a road trip to Limpopo where he saw his brother Mzi Khoza II and stepmum Mmabatho who of course still wants nothing to do with her back-from-the-dead husband.
The celebratory mood in the Khoza mansion was ruined by Jerry Maake. Him again. Sigh.
Old skeletons haunt the Khozas
After Shaka’s resurrection became public knowledge, Jerry Maake’s policemanly curiosity was aroused, prompting the question; so if Shaka Khoza is breathing, then whose body is in his grave?
Seeking the truth, Jerry obtained a court order to exhume Shaka’s coffin and requested a DNA test on the badly decomposed corpse. Shaka returned from Limpopo just in time to inform the family that a certain Bongani Sithole was buried in his stead, all uncle Shibase’s doing of course. Brutus and Harriet immediately smelt danger. The younger Khozas did not have a clue. Bongani is the nephew of an old enemy, Wilberforce Sithole. If the Sitholes link Bongani’s death to the Khozas, there will be war.
Meanwhile the pathologist who cooked Shaka’s autopsy to declare the cause of death as a gunshot wound demanded R5 million to hide the truth about his part in Kagiso’s cover-up in October last year. After a family meeting, Harriet ordered that the pathologist be “silenced for good”. In truth, kill him.
A family of killers
Kagiso arranged a meeting with the pathologist, under pretext of paying him off. But drug dealers seldom tell the truth. The pathologist would find himself gagged, bleeding and strapped to a chair at the Khoza Trucking depot, the place of slaughter. When Kagiso summoned the rest of the family to the depot, Khaya asked to come too — boys want to be their fathers — but Shaka, wishing to protect him from the truth, told him to stay home. Khaya followed behind, like boys do when they want to be like their fathers. At the depot, Harriet gave the kill order and Khaya appeared at the open door, just in time to see his uncle Kagiso shooting the pathologist. Later, the Khoza brothers buried the dead man — is anybody counting the number of people buried by the Khozas? Mogapi Maake, Kamina, Trevor, Kea’s abusive boyfriend… I’ve lost count.
Khaya now knows not one but two truths about his family; they sell drugs for a living and they are killers.
Khaya is his uncle’s son
Brutus and Shaka fumbled through some bull-dust explanation about why the pathologist had to die. But Khaya put forward an unpalatable truth which Kagiso has time and time proposed to his family; end the drug business and go legitimate. Brutus and Shaka immediately knew where they had heard that speech before; “Sgaqagaqa” they said out loud.
Khaya might be Shaka’s son, but, in character, he is definitely the spitting image of his uncle.
The Khozas make a pre-emptive strike
After Kagiso is questioned by the police about his cellphone records — several calls to the pathologist last year and more calls before the pathologist disappeared — the Khozas realized that they had to move quickly to abort Jerry Maake’s case while it’s still at embryonic stage. Kagiso deftly explained away his numerous phone calls to the pathologist; he rang last year to push for the release of Shaka’s body and last week to get an explanation for the pathologist’s incorrect ID of the corpse they buried.
Harriet and Brutus met a jittery laboratory employee to pay him off for disappearing the DNA test results carried out on Bongani Sithole’s corpse. Once that was taken care of, Brutus and Harriet arrived home in time to see Shaka, Kagiso and Dingane leaving for the mortuary where they stole the incriminating corpse right under Jerry and Vuyiswa’s collective nose. The mortuary staff were in on the theft. The truth is, everyone has a price. As long as you have the money, you can literally get away with murder.
Warona learns the truth
The truth is that mothers and daughters seldom get along, once the child becomes a woman. No woman wants to see a younger, more beautiful version of herself. But Mildred took female rivalry to a new level. After Thato made it crystal clear that he has chosen Warona, Mildred told Jerry and Vuyiswa that their nephew had two-timed her and her daughter. Vuyiswa, being African, placed all the blame on Mildred because Thatho — beard and all — is “just a child”. But Jerry is disgusted with his nephew. After finding Thato chatting with Warona in the kitchen — fully dressed it must be said — Jerry behaved like the two youngsters had made love and collected their bodily fluids inside his favourite coffee mug. Thatho yelled back, reminding his uncle that he was no longer a child. But the truth is, if you are black, you are a child until you move very far away from home or your elders are six feet under.
Mildred tried to keep Thato away from Warona. But the heart wants what the heart wants. The older woman resorted to dirty tricks. She tricked Thato into coming to her hotel room before seducing him. Warona walked in to see a wide eyed Thato in bed with her mum. Warona had forgiven him for cheating the previous week. Talk about blowing your second chance. Thato deserves to die single!
Ferguson Films’ masterstroke
When Connie Ferguson quit Generations to begin a new venture, the entire continent mourned the end of Karabo Moroka. Little did they know that the name Ferguson would become synonymous with gripping TV drama. From the womb of Karabo came Rockville, Skeem Sam, The Throne, The Queen. If leaving Generations was her best move, bringing Shaka back to The Queen was Connie Ferguson’s best career decision ever.
With Shaka back, the cast has balance – pun intended – which was lacking since SK Khoza’s exit last year. Not only is there more diversity in the traits of the Khoza family members, but Shaka seems to have returned with a newfound energy. As the actor wound down his contract last year, the character of Shaka seemed somewhat disinterested. Like he wished to be some place else. Heaven perhaps. Welcome back Shaka. The king is back
Till next week, my pen is capped.
The Queen airs weekdays at 9:00pm on Mzansi Magic, DSTV.
Images from Twitter.
A fan of natural African hair with a love for books and television. If it’s on Mzansi Magic… I’ve probably seen it.
My pen is capped