Teddy cries on Langa's shoulder

“I was raped” — Teddy finally speaks

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Finally it seems the Manzi and Teddy saga is drawing to its conclusion.

Random statistics; 44% of marriages in South Africa end in divorce before their tenth wedding anniversary. SAPS recorded 41,583 rapes in 2018/19. But gender justice activists state that many more cases of rape go unreported every year, South Africa is dubbed the world’s rape capital. Most victims of rape take their ordeal to the grave.

If God is indeed the final judge, then his courtroom must be busier than any modern day divorce court.

Ntokozo suffers in silence

After Ntokozo saw his uncle, Mohato’s decomposing corpse and witnessed the murder of Detective Mahlasela all in the same night, the usually grounded young man became a completely different child. For days he stayed away from school, pleading all manner of illnesses. When he went back to school, the brilliant boy who scored 100% on his previous test only managed a horrifying 30% in Miss Hlungwane’s exam. Apart from dealing with the ghosts of Mohato and Mahlasela, Ntokozo’s nerves are frayed at the ends like old boot laces from the threats of mass murder by Mam Sonto. Being the sole witness to Mahlasela’s killing by Mazet and Sonto, the old lady threatened to wipe out the entire Dlamini family if Ntokozo so much as sneezed her name to anyone.

It was the most poignant moment when Ntokozo, haunted by his uncle’s corpse, lowered himself onto the bed next to his friend, Teddy who, unbeknownst to Ntokozo had equally frightening troubles of his own.

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Teddy says no

After their first sexual encounter, Teddy lay in bed, numb, as though he had seen a succubus in the flesh, while Manzi, who may as well be the succubus, reapplied her makeup. If Teddy seemed to enjoy his initial moments with Manzi, at the second, third fourth encounters, he made it very clear that he did not want to have sex. When finally Teddy told Manzi that he did not want her, she became a different beast. The sweet, helpful mentor resorted to threats, blackmail and fake tears.

 

Both school and home became places of horror for Teddy. He skipped classes and suddenly preferred his mother’s home to the Dlamini house. Things reached a new low when Teddy yelled at Manzi in front of the entire class. The other learners looked on in shock as a normally calm Teddy clicked his tongue in anger – “nxa!”

Manzi, the princess of emotional blackmail, stormed into Melusi Dlamini’s office pleading verbal abuse from her learner, Teddy.

As Teddy sought escape, he ran away from home but returned to Gomora, having found no place to go. He found refuge in Langa’s bedroom and went back to the Dlamini house the following morning. Asked why he had run away, Teddy, afraid to tell the truth about Manzi (who hovered nearby) he told his mother that he had gone to look for his father.

But the worst moment was when Teddy had a glass of water in one hand and a packet of rat poison in the other. When death is the only option, then you really know that kushubile. But before Teddy could end his life, there was a knock on the door. It was Melusi. Nobody can accuse the authoritarian Principal of being hard hearted. As he pleaded with Teddy to open up to him, the two hugged each other and cried together.

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I was raped

As things got worse for him — trouble with the teachers at school and Manzi’s constant harassment — Teddy once again decided to pack his bag and go. Putting his trust in Langa, Teddy left a letter addressed to the Dlaminis. In it, he explained why he had left. But as Teddy prepared to leave, a distraught looking Langa came back.

“Teddy, I believe you” he said.

Langa had read the letter. The two young actors, Sicelo Buthelezi who outstanding newcomer category at the Royalty Soap Awards and Siya Xaba saved their best acting for this scene. If anyone who watched this episode had dry eyes, then they must have faulty tear ducts.

Blast from the past

When you reach your senior years, you’re either doomed to reading the obituaries of old friends or meeting old flames who come in search of rekindling the good old days. A stranger showed up at Sonto’s tavern. His clothes spoke of jazz parties in a bygone era. When Sonto laid eyes on him, a flash or recognition lit up her face.

“Mike!”

Thathi, who has a lot of experience with bad men – Mohato, Mbongeni, Uncle Rodney – seems to have suspicions about his intentions. He has already begun dropping sexual innuendo on Pretty, and Sbonga isn’t impressed. I am as curious as anybody else to see how Mike (real name Silas Monyatsi) fits into the story.

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Get to the point will you!

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The Manzi and Teddy saga had dragged on for a little too long. Most viewers were, how do I put this I without being mean… fed up. There is no other way to put it really. Storytelling is a balancing act. A writer has to find the right balance between suspense and pace. The writers of Gomora, unfortunately got carried away, and toyed with the audience beyond their limit.

 

Till next week, my pen is capped.

Jerà

 

Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic and is available on Showmax.

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