Coffin Of Biko
Art Gembo claimed he was fully anti-racist and supported white values. He praised white skin. He was a spiritual folk singer who performed in the Orange Free State during the 50’s and the 60’s singing revolutionary songs attended by black movement rallies and ironically supported by the white government. Gembo refrained from joining ANC Youth League led by Nelson Mandela against the Afrikaner Nationalist Party. He got ties with John Barnes, a member of the Bloemfontein and the Art and Culture Minister.
Art Gembo got introduced as a practitioner to treat the minister’s aching knee. He began with herbal remedies that in the beginning worked very well for the minister. Later, Art Gembo demanded money, grew a nuisance but an inseparable, cunning person. He shifted the treatment to voodoo and John Barnes suffered from huge financial loss, excessive drinking, gambling and his health declining gradually.
Art Gembo dressed in bright colours, double-stitched shirt, tight on his trunk with stiff cloth material to hold a pinstripe and broad collars, long sleeves with open cuffs. Gembo wore bell-bottoms and a thick belt buckled on the midriff, in high-heel shoes and Armani sunglasses, axe-brand whiskers. His armpits dampened of sweat. He was born in Soweto in 1926. Gembo was black.
John Barnes helplessly trusted him. From ties Art Gembo was allowed in his villa house along with his family. Gembo formed a relationship with his daughter who got autism. John Barnes was forced to arrange this wedding and sent them to Lesotho, landlocked by South African territory, where they got married outside the apartheid rule imposed within South Africa. However, John Barnes had to give up his position as minister and resigned from the Bloemfontein.
Two years later, Elizabeth Barnes-Gembo gave birth to a black daughter in 1960. Art Gembo grumbled, “Now, look what you’ve done? This ruins my whole life and career. I married you to have a white baby coz you are white. I hate black…” He intentionally got no racism in his mind and genuinely loved white skin. “I do not know how the hell you came up with a black child.” Art Gembo divorced her.
John Barnes felt dreadfully sorry about it but there were other matters that worried him, four of his estates were on mortgage and he was losing hugely for gambling. He was clinging to drugs, superstition, charm, money and fanatical trust from Art Gembo. Some years later, he sent the child to Gembo’s relatives in Soweto where Rosemary was raised. Elizabeth moved to Durban where she began a new life.
Stephen Bantu Biko founded the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) that quickly turned into the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). In 1968, Art Gembo supported Biko’s movement singing songs about Zulu greatness that inspired plenty of Biko’s followers. The Black Consciousness Movement created awareness among black communities that they were not second grade citizens anymore. This movement bore support of the liberal whites.
John Barnes could not walk without a support. He sat outside with Art Gembo, in the huge backyard of his villa house in Vaal River. “Gembo, so, you decided to join Steve Biko’s movement?”
Gembo smiled exposing rows of white teeth, “I am black.”
“Only the Afrikaners Nationalist Party can put this country up like anything worth to this world.”
“Mr Barnes, this world is changing. My people have a government and we have a voice. Now we must stand united.” He picked a photograph from his breast pocket and Barnes suddenly turned pale. “Look at this! Is this what you want from apartheid?” He held it out and Barnes tried to snatch it but failed. “Oh no, you are not goanna grab this. And no court in this huge country convicted you for child molest because you are white.” In the snap, a smiling black boy, around nine years, sat on the steps of a stadium and he was caught between the pants of people standing in front of him watching a game of cricket.
“Now why do you want to do this to me?”
“I show this to Mrs Barnes and she gets really angry about you.”
“Barclays agrees to part with a loan to buy your beachfront property in Cape Town, obviously, not in my name but my daughter’s. I need to raise money. I have found a way. Well, if you give me those nine stones of the missing Cullinun diamonds…”
“Only borrowed for a guaranty…”
“No, Gembo, you’re mad. That’s all what I have. No. I can’t let you have it.”
Gembo got up and crossed to a silver tray left in the sun. It contained a slaughtered head of a white cock with the rooster combs but so dried and browned from decay. It was voodoo done by Art Gembo to relieve pain from Barnes’s knee. “Think again, cuckoo!” Gembo snapped its beak and Barnes felt it at once.
“Ouch! Stop it!”
“And this,” he was holding the card, “you’ve got to think about leaving the stones with me. I’m not going to snatch them from you. Mr Barnes, you’ll think about disbanding apartheid and joining Biko’s movement too. See what happens if you fail.” And he kicked the tray.
He put fire on the cock head with a lighter.
Barnes cried, “Stop it!” and helplessly watched him destroy the charm.
Some days later, those nine stones believed to be a missing portion of the Cullinun diamonds were left with Barclays and Gembo owned the property in Cape Town. John Barnes denounced apartheid sensing there must be a right of races, cultures and colour to coexist with a concept of equity. Barnes became an outstanding critic against the apartheid government in the 70’s.
Barnes desperately needed the witchdoctor to heal his old leg. Art Gembo returned with a white cock. He slaughtered the cock, poured the blood on Barnes aching knee, dipped its head in embrocating oil and left it on the silver tray to rot. Barnes felt relieved when this charm remained in the sun. More it got decayed, better he felt.
In 1976, Rosemary was sixteen when she joined the Black Consciousness Movement. Same year on 16th June, Rosemary joined the students’ rally to Orlando Stadium and got shot in her arm when pandemonium broke out. They started a peaceful march from Soweto, some forty schools and many thousands of students, in protest against the Afrikaners Nationalist Party. In some way they faced the police and all hell broke loose.
It was midnight when she heard a battered car rolling into the tiny lanes of the sweaty Soweto spraying mud on the fences from the puddles. She crossed to the gate. It was Gembo who climbed down. He was drunk.
“Rosemary. I want you to wear this talisman, recite your prayers and visit your grandfather. Soon you will inherit everything John Barnes owns and your little sister gets nothing.” Art Gembo wanted to snatch her grandfather’s property through his daughter. He paid nothing to the bank in so many years and the diamonds remained with Barclays. And if not for Bill Haliday, the bank manager, Barclays would make no deal with any black man like Gembo. He began to practise black magic on his own daughter. Meantime, Elizabeth in Durban got a three-year daughter.
“I’m not willing to do that. I don’t deserve any help from you.”
“Ah! I forgot, you are half white but you don’t look like one.”
“I am black, alright. Colour doesn’t matter. The world is black and white everywhere but red inside. You give me nothing. Grandpa looks after me and not you.”
“Your grandfather is an old man. He is sick. He will die soon.”
“I’m not falling into your tricks.” Rosemary told him.
“Look into my eyes.” He was holding her hands and she stared into his eyes. He blew twice into her eyes and she felt sudden shocks. Rosemary saw the big moon in the sky. She felt hands attaching the talisman around her neck. He left kissing a ring on his finger.
That night she had a bad sleep in the wooden hut. Her head got scorched with heat. She couldn’t wake up. She had a series of nightmares. She saw the stones inside a residence in Johannesburg, locked behind glass, protected with burglar alarms and she knew its owner was the bank manager. She could read an endorsement her father signed with the manager that those stones belonged to him upon failing to recover the debt by the year 1972. And that date had long passed. Rosemary desperately wanted to pick them in her dream but she couldn’t.
Meanwhile, 466th prisoner in Robben Island who arrived in 1964 saw a bird flown into the cell that night and took shape of a brown girl.
A seagull wings across the sea,
Broken silence is what I dream,
Who has the words to close the distance,
Between you and me?
Asimbonang’ u Mandela thina,
Following afternoon, Rosemary Gembo visited her grandfather. He was in his bed fallen very ill. She told him where the stones were and he wanted them to be returned before his death.
With this new development, Art Gembo knew the charm was working on her. He continued to recite his prayers to let the spirit rise in Rosemary.
A year later, on 18th August 1977, Stephen Biko was captured by the police and taken to Port Elizabeth. He was chained to a window grille in police room 619. On the 7th September she witnessed brutal treatment on him carried out in police custody. She saw faces clearly. Nearly a month later, Rosemary’s telepathy advanced to follow a Land Rover that carried Biko’s naked body to a prison in Pretoria. She got no vision of what happened to him minutes ago. She followed the vehicle some 1200 kilometres. It was an extremely dark night. Steve Biko was pronounced dead just hours after arrival on the 12th morning.
She told how it happened to her grandfather. She mentioned names of the prison officers. It was John Barnes who passed it again to Art Gembo. And he knew Rosemary was under the influence of Anzala Fahsha.
Gembo visited her slum and told her that she should undergo a ritual to transform her soul into an invisible spirit that would allow her to pick those stones from the bank manager’s residence. She declined. Art Gembo visited Barnes and asked him to convince the girl. The old man wanted them badly and told Rosemary to protect their heritage. A ritual was organised for the 27th of the month during the full moon anticipated with a lunar eclipse.
Rosemary listened to the radio news on the 25th about the funeral and burial of Stephen Biko in King William’s Town. She had not seen the dark blue coffin. That night, out of the ordinary, she stepped to the gate after washing many squalid dishes. A magnificent moon climbed mid sky. A long road stretched before her and the city of Johannesburg out of eyeshot. It was dead and quiet, pretty dark too but the moonbeam cast silver on the mud puddles. She knew people were still alive and awake in Soweto town. Rosemary knew a black couple was expecting a baby in an instant in the house before her.
Suddenly, she noticed a shadowy speck in the distance moving towards her. It was a dark object that moved rapidly from the direction of the city. As it grew bigger and closer she realised it moved in mid air with no harness to support a mechanism to touch the earth, over the puddles. The object reached few blocks from her. It shaped out a huge chest. It floated in space at a constant speed, reached her and passed by keeping to the middle of the road. It was a coffin and a black thing but the moonbeam created a hint of dark blue coating in her eyes. She saw the arms resting on the lid. Though she did not know it was the coffin of Biko.
Soon the casket passed by and reached too far out into the darkness. She realised a glow of moonlight encrusting the coffin. She heard cries of a newborn and the silence was broken for the moment.
Then the night grew violent when the battered car arrived. It stopped a block away. Art Gembo climbed down and reached his daughter standing by the gate. “Rosemary! I see trouble in your eyes.” At Gembo lit a cigarette.
Abruptly, the car flashed its beams, engines running, she knew there were others inside. It raced up to them and Gembo grabbed the girl. Another person caught her ankles. She started screaming. They gathered the girl into the backseat and drove away. Some people heard her furious cries and rushed to the gates but they were too late. They watched the speeding car splashing mud to the fences, headlights jumping and fleeing away awkwardly.
It was a full moon night. Few miles away from the slums of Soweto it served barbeque and merriment, wild boars on the grills, Zulu folks singing and dancing playing drums around bonfires. Rosemary was dressed in a white robe tied to a tall post. Witchdoctors wearing wooden masks danced around the girl with their spears. It was a voodoo night and the chatters were louder than drums. Even John Barnes attended in a wheelchair to follow this ritual of a black people convention.
It was midnight when the eclipse commenced. Gembo entered the dance. His body painted. Dancing girls threw wild orchids of somewhat large sizes and the platform got covered. Art Gembo placed a necklace of elephant tasks around her neck. In a moment, Gembo stabbed the unconscious girl over her white robe in the chest. She wasn’t bleeding. He ripped her white cloth to expose her tits. He ripped again but something went so wrong. She was not fastened to the post – she vanished leaving behind loops hanging loosely around the pole. Drums and voices stopped abruptly. In the meantime, the eclipse ceded and the moon gave light.
Gembo dropped his head knowing he had not completed the process of voodoo. He knew the spirit would return after his blood. He could divert the evil cause to another somebody. And Gembo was moving towards John Barnes. He raised his knife at Barnes but it was Rosemary’s black aunt who stabbed Gembo on his back. He fell down. Greta was his sister and a powerful sorceress who practised superstition. Only she could explain what was happening. They gathered to treat his wound. Dancing girls munched the orchids and spat the chew on his wound which started to heal quite instantly. Gembo was not in a serious condition.
However, the spirit cursed him somewhere. By the morning he felt his skin burning. He got scorched and skin turned dry in minuscule cracks as if he got a disease of leprosy. He was hurriedly taken to a hospital in Johannesburg and received a harsh treatment. He was wrapped in shroud like a mummy and locked in an air-conditioned chamber. Gembo could no longer expose to daylight, worse sunlight and ultraviolet rays. The black man covered in white dressing and blue pyjamas. Art Gembo could only come out during a night.
Bill Haliday, Barclays’ bank manager, returned home during midday. It was Wednesday. Haliday drove through the path to his mansion. Jacarandas trees stood abreast this pathway. He passed his coat to the butler and climbed the steps to the third floor to his private office, fully furnished in pink, all the walls and floors. A glass showcase stood at the far corner. Gold and rich jewellery glittered in the white lights from the ceiling.
Rosemary reached the third floor just before Bill Haliday arrived at his house. She was prepared to use her spell to pick those nine stones. She removed her clothes and like a miracle she was invisible. She stepped in through the wall to his all-pink office. She picked the diamonds from the glass-fitted showcase by sending her invisible hands through but there was no burglar siren at all. In her next attempt, she searched for a folder that contained the testimony. She left the diamonds on his desk and searched the drawers when unexpectedly the bank manager opened the door. She could not close one of the drawers. He entered the room undoing his tie and noticed the diamonds left on the table.
Few glances and he knew somebody misplaced them. In an instant those stones were no longer on his table either. He saw a woman standing behind the desk – a half-naked brown girl holding the diamonds and her eyes white. She wore a golden necklace that reached her navel. He reached for a button and rang an alarm. The woman undid her black wrap and she vanished into thin air. His security staff gathered and the place was under watch.
Rosemary failed to find the folder that carried the testimony. She also left her dark blue jeans and a turquoise blouse in the adjacent room.
Later, the security staff produced a photograph captured by one of the spy cameras. A rear shot of a girl who wore those clothes left in the next room. Private detectives discovered something peculiar. While other objects did create a shadow, she did not. It was not a bright sunny day thus cloud cover could have obscured her shadow.
Bill Haliday knew Art Gembo was behind it. He quickly located him under care at Old Fever Hospital.
Two hours later, he managed to get a pass from a doctor and with two private detectives and a nurse girl they stood inside the chamber by the bed. “Somebody has stolen my stones.”
“My stones!” cried Gembo, “You mean you have lost my stones! How dare you tell me that?”
“I asked you to kill him.” And the nurse girl got shocked to hear it. “Now where is the old man?”
“How do I know? He’s usually at home.”
“How do you get locked up here?”
“I really don’t know. This is how I woke up this morning. Get me out of this place! I want my diamonds back, please!” Gembo clutched at the bank manager’s shirt trying to get up. The detectives moved to put him back to bed. The nurse rushed to get some help from an attendant. By then his skin turned 20% parched under the bondage. Art Gembo was advised to drink a lot of water in the air-conditioned chamber.
“Those gems don’t belong to you. It’s mine. I’ve got evidence, a micro-film and testimony. If you don’t find those stones, I’m going to take over your property in Cape Town.” He left the chamber.
Bill Haliday arranged to kill Barnes as soon as he found the diamonds. For nobody would ever claim over them ones he was dead.
Rosemary had teleported all the way to King William’s Town. She put those nine stones inside a doll and buried in the grave of Steve Biko which was still loose soil in the pit and unmarked without a memorial stone. Rosemary returned to Johannesburg by train. She called John Barnes and told that she hid the stones at a haven, “in the grave of the black consciousness master.” John Barnes warned her not to return to Soweto. Barnes wanted to pass her some money and asked her to see him immediately.
Eventually, when she arrived at his villa house in Vaal River, she was under the spell again. Art Gembo put his ring into a glass of water and began reciting his voodoo in the chamber. She walked hundreds of steps to reach the gate on the long fence that reached out of eyeshot up and down. She wore a gothic red dress.
John Barnes sat inside the elegant house with wide doors open to the portico and green grass in the lawn. Barnes saw her approaching. She carried the silver tray in one hand raised to her shoulder. Barnes instantly knew she was under the spell. He reached for the phone placed on the side table but by then she was standing inside the lounge. John Barnes spoke, “Rosemary! What are you up to?”
Her eyes turned white. She could not talk. She looked like a red hen in that dress. She bit the cock head and chewed it down. John Barnes cried with pain. Rosemary picked the envelope on the table before him enclosed with the money he promised. She walked out of the house.
Mrs Barnes watched her from behind a curtain. She rushed to his aid with some ice to treat his aching knee. “It’s Art Gembo. She’s under his spell.”
“I must see Greta. See if she can do anything to stop this girl. He’s going to use her in every evil, kill me, kill my daughter. He wants everything I got.”
“How can you trust Greta?” Mrs Barnes asked.
“She saved me. She said if he stabbed the knife on me, I’d be killed by my granddaughter.”
“Rosemary almost killed you eating that charm. Now only Greta can hopefully do a charm on you.”
They drove to Soweto to meet Rosemary’s aunt. She was in no mood to help them because she knew the only way to stop her was to kill Art Gembo or otherwise he would use his powers and control his voodoo child. Something happened that night and Greta changed her mind. She called John Barnes in the midnight.
It was Saturday night, everyone was drunk. Bill Haliday came with police officers looking for Rosemary. Greta was alone in the house. Police raided the place, broke everything to pieces and she was beaten brutally. They got angered because they couldn’t find Rosemary or anything from here. When they were gone, Greta ran to a telephone booth and called John Barnes.
This morning Greta visited her brother at Old Fever Hospital, speaking in whispers, “Art, you must kill Haliday.”
Gembo replied, “I’m doing it. He’s going to take my property in Cape Town. We can do very little but he isn’t going to live. I can bring the diamonds from where she left them. I just don’t know where to keep them.”
“I can keep them in a safe place.”
“No. I don’t trust you, sister. You put me into this mess. Why did you do that? You’ve failed me from stabbing him. Now the curse is on me.”
“You should not kill Mr Barnes. He is the one who paid everything to raise your daughter. What have you given me? Bill Haliday will kill her but can he find the diamonds!”
“Alright, alright, I am after Haliday. He is after the property.”
“You cannot own the land property. All you can own is the diamonds. Do that and stop that girl from your spell. She’s your own daughter.”
Gembo dropped his ring into a glass of water and lay down in bed to do meditation. He controlled the world from his air-conditioned cubicle.
It was Sunday afternoon. Bill Haliday picked all the documents to deal with the property in Cape Town endorsed to Gembo’s daughter from Barclays, legally abiding even if the land was within white area because she was Barnes’ granddaughter. Bill Haliday was going to change everything to his ownership. He could do it without an authorisation from a black girl. He sat with a bodyguard inside his office, another stood on guard on the corridor. He even obtained police protection and a policeman stood at the gate.
This policeman saw some bright flashes on the tall jacarandas trees full of flowers in mauve. It rained and the trees were wet. Sometime later he saw brighter sparks on the electric cables and conclusively reported to the maintenance crew.
Bill Haliday adjusted his glasses and traced the corrections he made. Surprisingly, he found nothing got changed. They appeared as it was before, exactly as the original. He grabbed some other folders on his desk and traced the corrections but nothing changed. He reached the dustbin and looked for torn pages but it was empty. Those pages returned to their original places.
He felt hands on his legs. He saw a brown girl under the desk. It was Rosemary engaged on him. His senses returned, “Look what you are doing, brown girl?” he grumbled and slammed a fist on the table, “Joe! Get out from here! Leave me alone and lock the door.”
His bodyguard left quite unsure.
For a moment he was breathing deeply. Then the telephone began to ring but nobody answered. Two of the bodyguards outside got bothered to hear it ring again for a second time.
Joe rushed in. They found Bill Haliday dead and naked on his chair. His tie loose and awkward, his shirt unbuttoned. His trousers dropped to his ankles. He had climaxed.
Shortly, an ambulance arrived and his body was taken to the General Hospital.
Rosemary Gembo took nothing that belonged to Barclays but she was sure they were in original state. She took the folder that contained the authentication that endorsed the diamonds to Bill Haliday and signed by Art Gembo. Perchance a solicitor, if he had engaged one, might come to know pretty soon about the file and micro-film gone missing.
Art Gembo got this news and he was confident that he could use his voodoo child to get anything. He was demanding. He was accompanied by his bandsmen that day and he promised something to everybody while grinning through the shroud around his face, arms and legs. He didn’t even remove the ring from water and the spell continued to burn inside his evil daughter.
Under the spell that rainy night several things happened. Art Gembo wasn’t aware of these things. Mrs Barnes saw Rosemary’s face over the tall fence outside the villa house during sunset. She called a friend and had company overnight. Still there were knockings on the door and in the midnight a helicopter landed with no light making such a loud noise. It cut off the rotor and remained in the lawn right outside the portico for two hours. There was nobody inside it. Only the signal lights flashed from the cockpit and navigational lights lit up from the outside time to time. It was terrifying to watch an army chopper with a cannon gun pointed at them and loaded with missiles. The telephone was dead.
In the morning, out on the sea, 100 kilometres from Cape Agulhas, a trawler climbed the waves of the roaring forties that turned to shrieking sixties all of a sudden. An abrupt thump broke the ship in two halves. One gone missing and the skipper rescued among the six said, “That night we found a girl on the trawler and she couldn’t talk. She was a black girl around seventeen years, tall, shaggy hair and she sat with us for dinner. She didn’t eat much. I called on the radio and reported to the coastguard. I couldn’t worry about the girl when the wind hit us during the midnight. I sent an SOS. She’s missing now.”
“Does it mean two gone missing?” a reporter asked.
“One, I’m talking about the girl.”
Mrs Barnes contacted a doctor she knew at Old Fever Hospital in the morning and asked for a favour. It happened after many days. A nurse mistakenly injected a poison to Art Gembo who died in the air-conditioned chamber. Art Gembo’s medical report showed 60% skin burn under the medication.
John Barnes died in December. He could not recover from his aching knee.
In the morning of January 1st somewhere on the Lesotho boarder, Rosemary thumbed for a ride and a wagon stopped many yards away from her. A white man put his head out and a priest was driving the wagon.
“What do you want, girl?”
“A ride to Lesotho,” she told him.
“Look, I’ll take you close enough, hop in.”
“Thank you,” she climbed and promptly sensed they were nervous people trying to flee South Africa for some peculiar reason. She wanted to get down but the wagon was rolling. Her eyes stopped focus to a bag that contained a folder. She concentrated on it for a moment and knew its content. It was all about the man, Stephen Biko, photographs of his tormented body in a mortuary. This man was a reporter.
The reporter said, “Few people around. Hope they’re sleeping after a long night during the New Year.”
“Excuse me! Put me down here.” Rosemary told him.
The wagon stopped and she climbed down.
After that incident, she didn’t make to Lesotho. Rosemary returned to King William’s Town and visited the grave. Those who put a memorial stone had scraped the earth and the doll was not in place.
Somebody saw a brown girl standing naked on the grave. She recited a prayer. He blinked and watched but the brown girl was not standing there anymore. He was pretty sure he did not imagine anything. He stood few yards away in a very barren graveyard.
Rosemary woke up when the salt hit her body. She lay on the rocks somewhere along the coast of East London. Two little children were nearby over the rocks picking pebbles. The girl got the doll in her hand she picked from the beach. “Give me that doll. It’s mine.” Rosemary demanded.
“No, this is my doll,” the girl returned.
“Give it to me.”
“No, I won’t give this to you.”
“Give that to me.” Rosemary chased her.
The little girl stumbled over and fell down. She started to cry, “Mom! Look, this naked woman snatched my doll!”
A small crowd gathered on the golden beach. White faces stared at the naked girl who bullied a white child and grabbed a doll. One woman said, “Come child, leave that rubbish. I buy you a new doll.”
And another woman told Rosemary, “You are not allowed to bathe in this area.”
She climbed ashore and reached some fishing nets hung on lines. She sat and wondered if she could ever obtain the Cape Town property, claim for anything that belonged to John Barnes though her grandfather. In her mind she was holding strongly that she would flee South Africa with the stones. Whatever her father did, Art Gembo failed to stab her ending the evil process of a superstitious ritual on the full moon night. And so she still possessed the power of the spirit he called Anzala Fahsha.
Some days later, Rosemary arrived at Durban, stepped on the long beach deserted with only echoes from the Indian Ocean. The address she looked was very close to the beach area and some stonework hit badly and damaged by the waves.
She paused for a while feeling the emptiness on her own and knocked on the glass panel of the narrow door facing the sea. A white woman in her mid-forties opened the door after five minutes, “Yes?”
“I am looking for Mrs Elizabeth Cades,” asked Rosemary.
“Oh! Oh! Rosemary! What…what are you doing here?” she spoke with autism difficulty.
“I’ve got something for you.”
“I, I don’t expect you here,” she walked out of the house.
“I’m sorry.” Rosemary realised she just stepped on the wrong footing. “Have you not heard about me? I’ve got the diamonds, those nine stones that belong to you, inside this doll.”
“I heard about you but you still don’t know that your grandfather left a fortune with you. Go and get in touch with his lawyers.”
“I can’t. I can’t go back to Johannesburg. They are after me.”
“I’m afraid, Rosemary, I cannot get into your trouble. Get in touch with your grandmother.”
So she left the Durban house, left the diamonds with Elizabeth Cades. Rosemary got in touch with her grandmother and there was an arrangement that her property will be maintained by Mrs Barnes.
Her inheritance was transferred to a US bank because Rosemary left for USA.
In Coral Gables, Homestead, 1990, one morning Rosemary listened to the radio while she cleaned the tables. It was hurricane season nearing up.
A bunch of girls arrived early at one table. They ordered for breakfast and Rosemary served them. She learnt from conversation that the girls came from Miami University to spend the weekend playing tennis in the Gables. She also learnt from her miraculous powers of telepathy that one of the girls belonged to South Africa. She was seventeen and a daughter of the Cades.
Rosemary felt overwhelmed. She left the bar soon after work and returned to her cubicle in Glenvar Heights. Hurricane reports continued. Rosemary Gembo heard apartheid being abolished in South Africa since the beginning of this year. She was planning to return home in the following year.
You can blow out a candle,
But you can’t blow out a fire,
Once the flames begin to catch,
The wind will blow it higher.