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Thursday, May 15, 2008


by Kobus Moolman

He works. In an all girls’ school. He makes the tea. In the all girls’ school. He is one of the only. Men. In the school. Mowatt Park. Montclair. Overlooking. The shunting-yards. Railway tracks. Factories. Workshops. Second-hand discount stores. Reduced. Hawkers welcome. The teachers call him. The teachers call him. Philemon. Philemon okay. Philemon. That’s right. Philemon. Thank you. Philemon. Philemon. Come here. But – His real name. His real name his real name his real name. Is. Mzolisi Njabulo Ntshangase. He works. In the staff room. He makes. Tea. Coffee. Hot chocolate. With or without. Black or white. For the teachers. All the teachers. Are white. At Mowatt Park. Montclair. All the teachers call him. Philemon. The girls. The girls are almost. Almost all. Black. The girls call him. Baba. Baba Ntshangase. Bab’Ntshangas. In Montclair. Mowatt Park. Overlooking. The shunting-yards. Railway tracks. Discount. Reduced.

Kobus Moolman is a South African poet and playwright. He has published three collections of poetry: Time like Stone (which received the Ingrid Jonker Prize for 2001), Feet of the Sky, and Separating the Seas. His play Full Circle won the major South African award for a new script in 2004. Last year he published a collection of radio plays, Blind Voices, including a CD of the BBC production of one of them.