insecurity and Gladys

How to spot insecurity in a woman

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Emotional insecurity – the textbook definition – is a feeling of general unease or nervousness that may be triggered by perceiving of oneself to be inferior in some way. But let me not bore you with all that psycho babble. Onto the fun stuff. Come with me to Gomora.

Ntokozo and Buhle busted

Gladys walked into Ntokozo’s room to find him on the brink of committing a prosecutable crime. Fifteen year old Buhle, with clothes off, hid behind Ntokozo as Gladys screamed for her to get out! Hearing the commotion, Melusi, Thathi and uncle Mohato all rushed to the scene of the almost-crime. Everyone is talking about hashtag couple goals what-what, but we forget that Buhle is below the legal age of consent, a fact which seems equally lost on Ntokozo (17).

Naturally, Gladys — like all African mums — placed all the blame squarely on Buhle for “being loose.” Excuse me while I roll my eyes. Ntokozo is older, more experienced and has no right taking underage girls into his bedroom, not even to do homework, not even for a prayer meeting! You don’t take an underage girl into your bedroom!

In the ensuing quarrel, Gladys, whose son almost got himself on the sex offender list, blamed Thathi for “not raising her daughter right,” Mohato advised that everyone takes a deep breath – hlis’ umoya – and Melusi who can’t stand the sight of his skhothane brother-in-law, told him to shut up because he has never been a parent. The argument ended with Melusi and Gladys forbidding Ntokozo to ever see Buhle again. Right. Like anyone ever stopped two horny teens from seeing each other.

Ntokozo snuck out late at night to go and meet Buhle. He had arranged for Teddy to let him in when he returned. But instead of finding Teddy at the door, he discovered a very angry looking Melusi who locked him out on the veranda. Ntokozo slept out in the cold. Zulu on my stooep then?

Buhle’s insecurity


Even after threats of a beating, Ntokozo continued to see Buhle. They are two kids in love, what did you expect? Can I get another moment to roll my eyes? Melusi and Gladys attempted to use silent treatment on Ntokozo. With his parents not speaking to him, Ntokozo began to show signs of worry. While the elders were demanding an immediate breakup, Buhle was keen to cement their love. She gave Ntokozo a jacket with their names emblazoned on the back. A hideous looking garment, but a sweet gesture all the same. When the harried Ntokozo seemed ambivalent about the jacket, Buhle’s insecurity was triggered. She sensed that she was about to lose her first love.

Choose — her or me


When threats of violence and the silent treatment did not alter Ntokozo’s stance on Buhle, Gladys reminded him that sex with a minor is a crime. The mental picture of orange prison overalls didn’t work either. So Gladys gave the boy an ultimatum: choose, either me or Buhle. Wait, who does that? Ntokozo wants Buhle for completely different reasons from why he loves his mother. Therefore it sounds very creepy – incestuous even – for her to dare him to “choose” as if he is choosing between two lovers.

Ntokozo spent an entire day at school worrying about the ultimatum. Upon arrival at home, he found his bags already packed and Gladys barring him from going upstairs. Choose, she said. Yoh!

Ntokozo is a hormonal teen. So he let his hormones guide him. He chose Buhle. Gladys fainted!

She came to in hospital where Zodwa visited her. But Zodwa has been around the block many times and she was not buying the whole fainting episode. She knew that Gladys had faked it just to guilt her son into breaking up with Buhle.

Although Thathi was somewhat neutral, the relationship between Buhle and Ntokozo did not sit well with her. Perhaps this is because she is aware of the proximity of genetics. Langa might very well be Ntokozo’s half brother and, even though there is no shared DNA between Ntokozo and Buhle, it’s still kind of creepy. Furthermore, fifteen is fifteen. There is a reason people get arrested for that.

A wife’s insecurity


Gladys went to see Melusi at Gomora Secondary in order to discuss the relationship between their children. But the conversation drifted to their own childhood, when Melusi and Gladys were caught by Mam Sonto, kissing. As the pair laughed and reminisced on old times, Gladys — as she always does — walked in on them. Oh dear.

Gladys issued another ultimatum — choose, me or Thathi — but this time it was Melusi who had triggered her insecurity. And then it all came out; Gladys’s real problem with Buhle is that the girl is the reincarnation of Thathi. Seeing Ntokozo with Buhle just reignites her insecurity about Melusi’s ex girlfriend, even though he has repeatedly committed himself to his wife.

It was time for another frank talk from Zodwa.

Zodwa speaks the truth

Alone, Zodwa and Gladys discussed the Ntokozo-Buhle romance. Zodwa reminded Gladys that Ntokozo was her son! Not her lover. Unless she intended to marry him, she had no right to interfere with his love life. Gladys responded by firing Zodwa, a dismissal which she simply laughed off because Gladys is “financially wrong” – whatever that means.

An unloved child’s insecurity

For years, Pretty — the big boned and less educated one — has always got the sense that Mam Sonto loves Thathi just that bit more. Thathi is glamorous and weighs about as much as a pillow. When they were growing up, if Sonto was entertaining guests, Pretty would make tea but Thathi, the loved child, served the tea. Almost like Sonto was ashamed of her other child. And children can spot favouritism way before they can spell their own names.


Already weighed down by insecurity, Pretty stumbled upon Sonto’s last will, newly revised to bequeath her tavern to Thathi. Before Thathi returned to Alex, the tavern was Pretty’s inheritance. After a confrontation with Sonto over the will, Pretty spiralled down a vortex of alcohol, anger and more insecurity. So deep is her insecurity that she went about casting salt and holy oil all over the house to cleanse it of Thathi’s witchcraft! Another moment to roll my eyes please.

Ntokozo chooses between mother and lover

After a week of tension at home, Ntokozo made the long awaited announcement. He had decided to break up with Buhle. Gladys was soaking wet with joy! But her son’s pledge to break up with Buhle the following day was not good enough. She wanted him to do it like now, jenga manje! And she was going to witness it like it was a wedding ceremony! Even Melusi who had all along tolerated her insecurity found this inappropriate. The kids courted in our absence so they can break up in private he said.


You don’t know the meaning of insecurity if you think Melusi’s advice would have been enough for Gladys. She insisted. So the entire  clan – mother, father, son, amadlozi – they all went to Sonto’s home where they found everyone present. Thathi greeted Melusi with affection – “hi Mel” – which only further fueled Gladys’ insecurity. In front of the entire family, Ntokozo broke up with Buhle. She slapped him across the face before flouncing off to her room where she must have cried a Nile River onto her pillow.

Perhaps it’s just as well that they broke up. Ntokozo killed Mbongeni, Buhle’s father. And now Ntokozo wants to sleep with Mbongeni’s daughter?

Something amiss

Last week, watching Gomora felt a little like a story told by a drug addict. You know, things a little incoherent. How did we go from Sonto and Mohato’s fight for territory to Buhle and Ntokozo’s relationship? I know it’s standard for writers to seek inspiration from herbs but have the scriptwriters taken too much green leaf? We still want to know about the turf war. In fact, Melusi had resigned himself to Ntokozo being sexually active. He even gave him a condom, that time Ntokozo was dating MaZet. And now all of a sudden Ntokozo is too young to be dating?

How do you spot insecurity in a woman?


Easy — just watch Gomora tonight at 7:30pm. If insecurity was a person, she would probably answer to the name Gladys.


Till next week, my pen is capped



Images from Twitter

Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic


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