Throughout history, there exists a rivalry for power between fathers and sons which begins once the child comes of age. I could bore you with the Greek tale of Oedipus killing his father and marrying his mother, or put you to sleep with National Geographic documentaries of young male lions being driven away from the herd by the alpha. But I won’t, instead I will tell you about Ntokozo and Melusi Dlamini of Gomora.
Ntokozo has sunk deeper into Mam Sonto’s car thief gang. Driven by the allure of the sexy Mazet and the fear of Mam Sonto, Ntokozo, the son of Principal Dlamini – a pillar of the community – went on a nocturnal car stealing spree. Outwardly, he is the cute teenager in his Matric year at Gomora Secondary, the school run by his no nonsense father. Beneath the boyish good looks rages a battle of good versus evil. Ntokozo is, at the core, a good boy with limitless academic potential whose brilliance is perhaps only second to his (likely) half brother, Langa.
Ntokozo becomes a man
Having seen their son drawn to the corrupting influence of Zanele, Principal Dlamini and his wife Gladys pushed Ntokozo into tutoring the slower pupils at Gomora Secondary. But Ntokozo lied his way out of his tutoring chores with a sob story about his mother which the gullible Langa believed way too easily. While Langa and Teddy, who is one of the slower kids, were in extra classes, Ntokozo followed the scent of Zanele to her living quarters where he lost his innocence. Go Ntokozo!
Money changes people
After a huge payday – the reward for stealing cars, kerching! – an arrogant streak appeared in Ntokozo. He talks down to his friends, was caught by Teddy on the brink of lighting a joint in the school toilet and he went out drinking at night with the wayward sidekick, Zanele. On their night of nonstop booze, Ntokozo dumped Mazet for another girl, proving just how money can change people. Later, Ntokozo staggered into his parents’ living room, slurring his speech and seeing double. Despite his wife’s cry for peace, Melusi stood, rolled his shirt sleeves and raised his fists at his 17 year old son.
“Usuyindoda manje? Let’s fight!”
Filled with Dutch courage, Ntokozo accepted the challenge and raised his own little fists! Drunk as he was, Ntokozo must have seen two Melusis and four of his father’s fists! Everyone knows that 17 is hardly a man. That didn’t stop Melusi from flooring Ntokozo with a Tyson punch to the jaw. I felt that blow as though it was my face that had taken the hit. As the youngster cried on the floor, Melusi undid his trouser belt and repeatedly struck him with Gladys and Teddy appealing for mercy.
The beating did nothing to change Ntokozo’s behaviour. He continued seeing Mazet and going out at night, against his father’s instructions to “leave that girl.” When Melusi catches Ntokozo sneaking into the house in the early hours, the authoritative school principal was ready to beat his son a second time when the doting mother, Gladys, stepped between them. It is worth noting how the two parents stand in two very contrasting camps when it comes to child discipline; Melusi is like a prison warden and Gladys in way too soft on Ntokozo.
Teddy tries to cook – and burns the house down
Teddy, for once taking the lead role, went to Mam Sonto and appealed to her to release Ntokozo from her gang.
“He is not a vandal” said Teddy.
Sonto of course, not keen on incriminating herself, denied that she works with him. Zanele too had earlier asked her to let him go. As soon as Teddy had left her office, Sonto phoned Ntokozo and told him he was free to leave her car theft business. Of course, Ntokozo was mightily relieved to hear this… until Teddy told him he had gone to speak to Sonto. Ntokozo is a bright boy who gets distinctions in his classes. It did not take him too long to figure out the implications; she “let him go” so that she could kill him later, because she is now aware that Teddy knows of her criminal organisation. Ntokozo was again seized by a panic attack right in front of Teddy and the perplexed mother and father whose opposite parenting methods – draconian and way too lenient – have obviously contributed to their son’s bad behaviour.
A makeover for Sonto’s tavern
Still on the subject of strict parents, the fierce Sonto has had to play referee as her two daughters, Pretty and Thathi, were at each other’s throats. After Thathi refused to sleep with Rodney Mkhize, he pulled the plug on the tender deal leaving the former Sandtonite pondering her future. In order to get her life back on track, Thathi decided to help run Mam Sonto’s Inn. But Thathi was just as unwelcome at the tavern as she is at home, where Pretty constantly drops verbal bombs. It isn’t just Pretty who gave her a hostile reception at the tavern. The workers sabotaged her by taking three crates of beer and stealing money. Despite the hostility, Thathi continued to try and revamp operations at Sonto’s Inn. Tired of playing the arbitrator, Mam Sonto urged her daughters to find a middle ground and do their best to merge the Sandton ideas brought in by Thathi and the Gomora ways to which Pretty in accustomed.
I am with Thathi on this one. The décor at Sonto’s Inn is drab, tiles falling off the walls, Pretty behaves like a shebeen queen when addressing the staff and her pen-and-pencil food and beverage order system belongs in the 1980s.
End of the road for Sonto?
It was when Thathi went to speak to her mother about her ideas for the tavern that she walked in on Sonto in the middle of a meeting with a client. Thathi arrived just in time to hear fragments of the conversation about Sonto’s stolen car racket. The lights went on in Thathi’s eyes as she clearly began to piece things together.
Could this finally be the end of the road for Sonto and attainment of closure for Thathi and her children who lost their father?
Till next week, my pen is capped
Image from Twitter
Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic and is available on Showmax