It has taken me a long time to confront this demon that has held me at ransom, for so long and had me living in the fear of love.
I fell in love once. I fell hard and I got VERY heartbroken. So heartbroken it changed the way I viewed every man.
I was 27. The craziest thing was about to happen. My childhood celebrity crush was about to enter my world and alter it.
‘Thula’ first came to me in the form of a dream. The dream manifested within that week. I was out having lunch with my sister when ‘Thula’s’ car pulled up.
Naturally my heart was doing somersaults, I had always loved this guy so deeply….but so did the many others.
Thula was the biggest male celebrity at the time. With a beautiful heart that cared for the well being of people, Thula was not only a media darling but also the people’s darling. A very rare combination. Thula and my sister are peers so much of the conversation centred on them. I just sat there still, with butterflies in my stomach.
Their chat was brief and in that moment somehow, silently our spirits were chatting too. He left and life continued.
A few days later, I was doing my groceries and I again bumped into Thula. This time he asked for my phone number and asked if he could come by for a visit. Obviously I was elated. Like I said, this was my childhood crush. My head was in the clouds and my heart was in the future.
He called a few hours later and so began one of the most over-powering connections I have ever experienced. From Day 1 Thula and I spent lots of time together. There were many warning bells I should have heeded. Many voices in my head I should have listed to. I just loved him so much and, wanted things to work out so badly.
Thula has a gift of words so he always said things to soothe my heart. He had a way of making me feel like he was always telling the truth.
I was quite secretive about the relationship. I guess deep down inside I knew that there were things that didn’t make sense to me. Like how most of the relationship was happening at my flat, and he didn’t like it when I went to his house. I have a rebellious nature so there would be times I would pitch up at his house anyways….most of those times, had I not been in denial, I would have noticed that he was always edgy.
Besides the holes I was refusing to acknowledge, the relationship was lovely. On the one or two times we went out together, I really felt special. I don’t think I was blind but I think I loved Thula more than I loved myself. I was willing to keep the relationship inside my garden and accept the crumbs I was being given. He convinced me that it was safest to keep our relationship out of the public eye. He said he was keeping me safe.
He had had some ugly break ups that were splashed out in the papers. That was also enough for me not to want to be associated with the mess.
Besides, I had become accustomed to the long, deep chats into the night. He was a very spiritual man so when he spoke, he spoke to the god in me. His mother being a traditional healer also made me more comfortable with African spirituality and my own gift.
I then started getting this recurring dream. He was paying Lobola for another woman, and I was in his backroom crying. The same dream, over and over again.
Everybody around me asked me, ‘Ntsiki, what are you doing with Thula?’ I ignored them. Except my 2 sisters, I had a more direct approach with them. I sent them a group email which basically said ‘BACK OFF!!!! I LOVE HIM!!!!’ They never responded to the email but they later told me they had a nice, long, fat chat about that email.
With stars in my eyes I continued to walk into a love that would change me.
During all this loving, I was plagued by Thula’s baby mamas. They were my worst nightmare. They played him like a fiddle and I always came last. One of the hardest moments was, when one got their child to call me and swear at me.
I am a strong, opinionated woman……but I am not ghetto. I don’t know how to put down my pride and take it to the streets. This kind of display was a bit of a shock for me.
But it was nothing like when I got an invitation to a Cup of Nations soccer game by this lovely woman. Later that night she broke down and told me that Thula is her man too. I don’t know why I believed him when he said she was lying. I knew it was true.
I will never forget coming back from a road trip from Mozambique. I was with a group of my friends and we stopped at the 1st South African gas station. There was Thula on the cover of Drum Magazine with his other babymama. The headline ‘We are happy together.’
My heart crashed and splattered on the floor as it got REALLY awkward for I had been speaking about Thula the whole holiday.
I spent the remaining 5 hours of the road trip in dead silence, holding back a storm of tears. I was overcome by a tsunami of pain. And feeling…..so humiliated.
I had no choice but to break up with him. It was ugly and teary. He would often pitch up announced at my house. I would be on the other side of the burglar door swearing at him and speaking from places of pain I never knew I had. I had never felt so betrayed.
What made it worse is that, I spent so much time with him; I didn’t know where he had found the time.
A few months went by and I started to heal. But as you know, the heart does not always agree with the mind. I don’t remember how, but we started speaking again. I started to get comfortable in lies again. I was back to my addiction.
One day I was coming from a gig. I was in the parking lot carrying all my ‘stage stuff.’ I had just had a good show and was feeling my ‘NTSIKI MAZWAI’ swag.
My phone rang, it was a private number. I answered. And this is what was said…
‘Hi Ntsiki, this is ………. from Sunday World, I am doing a story here on Thula. We know that you have been dating for a while now. We need some comments from you. How do you feel that your man has impregnated two women?’
My heart shatters for the last time. I hang up the phone. I hang up the phone coz I am about to break down. I do break down. Right there in the middle of a parking lot my whole world crashes. I cried that day….even for all the times I had not cried. I cried like somebody had died…and to me, it did feel like that.
When your man makes 2 women pregnant there is nothing left to do but to leave. You have overstayed your welcome and the experience is ejecting you.
To add insult to injury various journalists were calling me trying to get the scoop. They tried to convince me that it’s to ‘warn other women.’
I didn’t see why hanging my painful laundry in public was going to add value to my already broken dream. The drum magazine editor at the time said to me, they will only put me on their cover if I give them the exclusive on the relationship.
I found ways to heal in time. A lot of my mental wellness was restored when I moved away from that toxic space of needing Thula.
I’m 35 now and have since lived out this fear in all my relationship. I have lived in the fear of betrayal and public humiliation.
I am telling my story so that I can off load and create space in my heart for those who do truly love me.
I don’t wanna have issues that get in the way of me being a LOVER anymore.
How 1 broken man treated me CANNOT speak for ALL men.
Love does not thrive in fear….