Imagine that you are a man over 30 and living off the kindness of your mother-in-law – a woman who won’t let you forget it – the job she has given you barely pays the bills, and then an old friend shares with you her secret to quick wealth – Pusha Investments. From a thousand Rands, you can make three thousand, from ten, fifty thousand. Would you invest in Pusha?
Sbonga takes a gamble
The world we live in no longer respects a man with no money. No matter how honest and hardworking you are, if you have no money, forget about getting respect. How many times have we seen Mam Sonto disrespecting Sbonga – remember when she pulled him by the ears like a little boy, in front of his own daughter – how Pretty does not take him seriously and Thathi uses him as her personal messenger? It is no surprise that Sbonga took Cleo’s bait. Money buys you an all expenses trip to Futsek Land, from where you can tell everybody to jump off a tall building.
Society has made the male child almost worthless without money.
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) August 28, 2020
After his old schoolmate Cleo kept her promise to multiply Sbonga’s R10,000 investment, she lured him into investing much more. He “borrowed” the money from Mam Sonto’s office. It’s not stealing, Zodwa assured him.
Because he knew that Pretty would be taking the week’s cash receipts to the bank, Sbonga volunteered to do the banking errand. He knew the money in the safe was short. And just to make sure Pretty was out of the way, he served her tea spiked with sleeping medication. Later he told Sonto and Pretty that he had deposited the money at the bank.
To sweeten the deal, Cleo asked Zodwa and Sbonga to recruit investors for her. They held a presentation at which Cleo spoke about her company, Pusha Investments. People flocked to invest in Pusha, including Gomora’s street wise thugs, MaZet the car thief and Mohato who is currently on parole.
But Mohato’s investment came with a warning; if you steal from me, you die.
After collecting thousands of rands from the honest, hardworking residents of Alex – and some not so honest and not so hardworking – Cleo sent confirmation text messages, just to make the suckers feel like Pusha Investments is all professional and ntoni ntoni.
“Thank you for investing in Pusha….”
She should have included at the end of the SMS – this will end in tears!
Throwing good money after bad money
When you have lost money, cut your losses. Everybody knows this. Unless their name is Sbonga. When Cleo disappeared for days and did not pick up his calls, Sbonga was worried. He was under pressure from MaZet and Mohato, both of whom carry firearms, it’s worth mentioning. He was able to buy some time. And then Cleo returned. Shall we say “phew” then? No, there is no phew here. Cleo had a long story to tell, as all scammers do. She told Sbonga about a colleague who had hacked the Pusha system and taken over it. He was demanding R50,000 ransom. Sbonga believed her. Why not? He grew up with her. She might even be the first girl he wet-dreamed about in grade seven.
Sbonga took another R50,000 from Mam Sonto’s safe. He gave it to Cleo so that she could pay off her ex colleague. Poor Sbonga did not know that when she left in her BMW convertible, that was goodbye.
Well, well well… Look who we have here! Mara Cleo uwrong for doing Sbonga like this. #Gomora
— Mzansi Magic (@Mzansimagic) September 23, 2020
The week before last, Buhle swallowed a fistful of pills before covering her head with a plastic bag. She had hoped to pass out and eventually die of asphyxiation. But Teddy’s instincts saved her. Sensing that something was not right with Buhle, he excused himself from class and went to the Molefe home, escorted by Ntokozo. They found her passed out with the bag over her face. Teddy pulled off the plastic bag and Ntokozo administered mouth to mouth resuscitation. And Buhle cheated death like a Pusha scam.
As Buhle lay in bed next to Thathi, her mother thumbed through her daughter’s diary, in which she had written what would have been her last letter. Reading the suicide note tore Thathi’s heart apart. She knew that, as a mother, she had dropped the ball.
Buhle is alright. What a relief! ❤ #Gomora
— Mzansi Magic (@Mzansimagic) September 21, 2020
Mistaking gratitude for love
Love is such a complex feeling. And the complexity of love is such that we often confuse other emotions for love. Mam Sonto banned Ntokozo from ever seeing Buhle again. She feared that his love for Buhle might make him confess to killing her dad, which would implicate her too. At the same time, Buhle was afraid to face Ntokozo, believing that her suicide attempt had made her seem weak in his eyes. So Teddy became Ntokozo’s go between, delivering messages to her. But what happened next was unexpected, like a broke man becoming a millionaire from Pusha.
Buhle was overwhelmed with gratitude for Teddy saving her life. She interpreted her feelings as love… and kissed Teddy. Later, they agreed that the kiss was “offside.” Back to being just friends.
It was my fault
In the aftermath of the suicide attempt, Melusi poured buckets of praise on Ntokozo and Teddy for saving Buhle’s life. Which is hilarious, because a week ago, Melusi did not want his son anywhere near Sonto’s house or her granddaughter. Gladys told Melusi that she would ease off on meddling in her son’s love life. But would there still be a relationship between Ntokozo and Buhle?
Weighed down with both guilt and gratitude, Thathi paid a visit to the Dlaminis where she thanked them for Ntokozo’s part in saving Buhle. And then – shock, horror – Gladys offered support to the very woman she despises. She admitted that the harsh words she had used on Buhle must have contributed to the suicide attempt. She also gave Thathi contact details for a counsellor so that Buhle can get professional help.
After some resistance, Buhle agreed to attend counselling, together with her mother.
It was not just Thathi and Gladys who owned up for pushing Buhle to the precipice. When Buhle finally went back to school, Sisanda – back in school after almost being sent to jail for distributing child pornography – apologized for leaking the nude photographs. It was not just the fear of jail that made Sisanda sing a different tune. The school had invited a social media expert to speak to the pupils on netiquette.
— Mzansi Magic (@Mzansimagic) September 24, 2020
Pusha investments costs an arm and a leg
You know you have been scammed when the “friend” you gave thousands of rands no longer takes your calls. And you really know you’re in trouble when you try her office number and a machine says “the number you have dialled is no longer in service.”
Panic! Panic! Panic!
Sbonga lives to see another day, thanks to Pretty. But it looks like he needs to come clean and FAST! #Gomora
— Mzansi Magic (@Mzansimagic) September 25, 2020
Sbonga knew that he would soon have a hoard of angry investors wanting their money back – with interest. His greatest fear was Mohato and Mam Sonto, the latter who had promoted him to events manager. But the only reason why Sbonga was still breathing was that Sonto was not yet aware of the missing money. Mohato, though, already knew. And he wanted his “machankura” back. Right there in Sonto’s tavern, Mohato pulled out his pistol and pointed it at Sbonga’s foot. Pusha investments was literally about to cost Sbonga an arm and a leg.
Thankfully, Pretty intervened. She threatened to call the police. And once you say the P word, a man on parole puts his gun away and walks off. But the worst is yet to come. The showdown with Sonto. I can’t wait.
Till next week, my pen is capped
Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic
Images from Twitter