February 13, 2014 | by Shafinaaz Hassim
Sulenza

Sulenza

“You can’t just bomb Randburg,” Peter spluttered, sending shrapnel of saliva into the tray of hors d’ oevres.
The words were out of his mouth before he had a chance to think of what he was saying. His mind clicked into gear. “What I meant was, there will be no reason to bomb any place, you already have a war on your hands, Flotus!”
“And what is that supposed to mean?!” Juju bellowed. “There are no wars in Africa!”
Peter’s cellphone shrieked a polyphonic rendering of ‘The Final Countdown’, startling everyone around him. He balanced the tray in one hand while he fumbled his track pants for the offending device.
Once retrieved, he swung around in what he thought was a polite fashion, to take the call away from his mixed bag of spectators. It made no sense to think of protocol standing between Obama’s wife, his stepdaughter and the nations beloved Juju bear, when he was about to take a call from his mistress, Clarissa. She had been avoiding him all week, and he wanted to know why.
“Babe! Where have you…”
The tray caught on a basket of flowers that decorated the table in the foyer, sending flowers, pebbles and glass marbles all across the porcelain tiled floor.   Everything happened at once. What sounded like Mrs First Lady shrieking in super high pitch turned out to be Juju in obvious trauma at the wasted food now lying amidst the flowery debris. Adding to the sight that met poor old Peter’s eyes was Corenza looking like she was about to faint. Security and bodyguards were ushered into the scene, looking every bit like one of those FBI secret agent shows on the television. Mrs Obama was ushered out by what seemed a dozen men in black suits. Juju was gone. He might have vanished into thin air for all you knew! Or he’d been raised in some apocalyptic stunt through the roof. It was difficult to look towards the raised glass skylight at this time of the afternoon, a bright golden hue swept into the atrium space and lit up the entire hallway.
“Clear the area, we’re coming in!” More of these toy soldier types filled the area.
Corenza seemed to be in some sort of daze. One of the bodyguards grabbed the satchel at her feet. A blade poked out of it, a spark of sunlight glinting off it alerted the guard that he had found something potentially menacing. He glared at Corenza, but she seemed unfazed still, rooted to the spot like some disheveled Barbie doll. Only when the man reached inside the bag and pulled out the knife that she had hidden inside it, did she finally look up.
Peter reached her just as her knees gave way under her.
He lifted her into his arms, and made his way to the exit.
“Hold it, right there! Where do you think you’re going, Mister?” the man with the satchel said.
“She’s ill. She needs a doctor,” Peter said.
“She wasn’t supposed to carry weapons,” the man said. “We’re taking her in for questioning. She may have tried to assassinate Mrs Obama! And you’re coming with us, too!”
Peter looked towards the lift door that had just opened invitingly beside him. Using Corenza’s limp body as he swung around, he managed to knock the guard off his feet. Once inside the lift he pressed the button for the top floor. He also pressed a few floor digits into the keypad so that they wouldnt know where he had gotten out. And then he dialed his house number. His son Sam would be home alone, Sulenza was only due back home later in the evening.
“I’m in big trouble. Come over to the Sandton Towers. Will send you a text. Just come get me. And don’t tell your mother!” He got off at one of the floors and made his way down the hallway. He tried a few doors. Using a trick he had learned in the army, he managed to pick a lock and quickly made his way into room 1452. He tried to put Corenza down, but she clung to him. He reached for his phone and typed Sandton Towers, Room 1452, and then pressed the send button.
Twenty minutes later, there was a knock at the door, and before he could get to it, the door was broken down. As expected, black suits clambered alongside army suits for a piece of him. And at the front of this mean looking gang, was non other than his wife, Sulenza.
“What do you think you’re doing with my daughter, you sick bastard!” she glared.

Shafinaaz Hassim is a sociologist based in Johannesburg. She is the author of 'Daughters are Diamonds: Honour, Shame & Seclusion -- A South African Perspective' (2007), 'Memoirs for Kimya' (2009), and the critically acclaimed novel on domestic violence 'SoPhia' (2012). Her work has been shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Creative Writing Prize and the prestigious K Sello Duiker Award 2013, and she has been awarded in Hay Festival's category of top 39 authors under the age of 40 in Africa during the London Book Fair 2014. She is also the editor of the Belly of Fire anthologies for social change series, which was launched in 2011. Her research focuses on biographical narrative in the interplay between personal and political spaces and she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has lectured and presented seminars at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

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About Shafinaaz

Shafinaaz Hassim is a sociologist based in Johannesburg. She is the author of Daughters are Diamonds: Honour, Shame & Seclusion -- A South African Perspective (2007), Memoirs for Kimya (2009), and the critically acclaimed novel on domestic violence SoPhia (2012). She is also the editor of the Belly of Fire anthologies for social change series, which was launched in 2011. Her research focuses on biographical narrative in the interplay between personal and political spaces and she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has lectured and presented seminars at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

My Books

Sophia

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Princess Rasgulla and the Ponytail Monster (2017)

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Daughters are Diamonds

Honour, Shame & Seclusion- A South African Perspective
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My Social Profiles
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