Another epic lovers' tiff
The bright sun was gradually disappearing into the mountains, leaving a beautiful golden radiance over the Basotho and Nguni's villages. This beautiful nature's feature was noticed by a few, who managed to look at it. The normal business of the day was marred by yet another random land protest amongst the two opposing villages. As a result activities in the village had to be on a standstill; the herders were barred from letting the cows graze in the swelling green fields shared by the villages, young girls couldn't fetch water for cooking and other stuff from the river, women couldn't fetch the vegetables from the fields and the men spent most of the day in the traditional courts trying to solve the day's skirmishes. It was a known fact that it normally took these protests to demolish any form of friendship and peace amongst the villages or annihilate personal worth as some people got killed.
It is in the two villages that two lovers lived, a gentleman affectionately called Pule and a lady called Busi. They loved each other for as long as they can remember. Pule was a handsome, brave and humble son of a local influential chief. Given his position in the village, Pule always thrived on his duties with dedication and good skills. As a result, Pule had been a hero for his people’s various battles. But what made the people like him was the way he had a modest connection to people from all walks of life. Busi, on the other hand, was a very attractive woman and daughter of a retired teacher and nurse. Even though there were other beautiful women in her village, Busi was the most stunning as she possessed a special strong inner dignity and strength which made her transcend various kinds of trials and tribulations that came her way.
They lived in these two different villages which were a few miles but adjacent from each other. One belonged to the Sotho people of which Pule was the heir to the throne. The other belonged to Busi’s clan, the Nguni people. The villages were both covered with undulating green landscape, with beds of different flowers appearing during the summer and winter season. One would also be attracted to the colourful display of flowers for every season. The villagers used the other part of the land for cultivating maize and various vegetables. What made a walk around the village fun were the different types of apple and peach trees that appeared around the fields. The trees did not only provide the abundant fresh fruits they produced, but were used as some kind of shelter and resting place one would need to cover from the seething summer sun and harsh winds in winter.
While walking from one village to another you would also be lured by the echoes of an ever flowing river which mysteriously flowed from the mountains in a far distance. But overall, this part of land marked a historical battle and division amongst the two villages. There were always arguments as to who the rightful owner is and this brought more deeply embedded and rather crass cultural believes. This was far from a lie, as it normally took one small mention over land usage and that would fuel raging protest and division amongst the villagers. The tenets of the arguments were strong as one would hear opposing village elders arguing as to which village had a hero who was betrayed and killed in the past in order to gain access to the land. Overtime these battles were always a bone of contention in both traditional and judicial courts.
The river always had fresh water with a certain smooth protruding rock in the middle in one part. While sitting on the rock, you had overlapping trees offering some kind of shadow and would be surrounded by the beautiful sight of the river and far away fields. The rock which was also large had been Pule and Busi’s rendezvous for a long time.
The couple had been dating for long, it was on this day as the villagers faced another land protest and while sitting by their rendezvous that a quarrel ensued. Busi broke the usual cheerful lover’s conversation as she suddenly felt the need to voice her concern about the relationship. This has been bothering her for months.
Busi: ” I am getting tired of your jabbering---Wouldn’t it be nice to take you
on a cruise…wouldn’t be nice to live in a beach house.--I am tired
of your empty promises.”
Pule: “They are my fantasies. You are always starring in them. I don’t
make rash promises.” He said and sounding nervous but calm at the same time.
He sits uprightly and looks attentively at Busi’s big brown eyes. Besides her charming
smile, her big brown eyes have been the most enchanting and mesmerizing feature.
Busi: “My mind is made up. I don’t want you near.” She said and sounding very angry.
Pule: “That has been my fear.”
“But you must know that you’ve always been my only dear”
Busi: “Please… don’t complicate anything.”
Pule: “What we have is something. You mean everything.”
Busi: “I can no longer pretend-“
Pule: “No you have to comprehend. . .” Pule interrupted and stood up with a stern gesture.
Busi: “Don’t sound like you now care.”
Pule: “Life without you I cannot bear. What we have is rare.”
Busi: “We have got to make things right.”
Pule: “I think about that every night. We have to stop this fight.”
Busi: “I need space. I want to straighten my life.” She muttered as she stood up.
Pule: “I want you to be my wife.” He said as he knelt before her.
Marriage has long been on Pule’s mind, since the day he set eyes on Busi. The day remains very clear to him. It was the day he was assigned to attend one of the traditional courts over land dispute. As he sat with his royal entourage across the room from the Nguni opponents, he saw a woman of alluring beauty. Busi was the true beauty. She had a perfect body stature with curves in the right places, flawless brown skin, perfect nose and enchanting big brown eyes which complimented her smile. For the whole meeting he couldn’t concentrate that day. Never in his life had he seen such a stunning beauty .
Later on, through his enthusiastic inquisition he managed to get to know who the mysterious beauty was. Soon they met and as the saying goes, the rest was history.
According to one village passerby, the lovers' tiff that day had proceeded to almost sunset. Besides overhearing the conversation, he had apparently witnessed the most amazing loving faces of the couple.
Subsequent to the lovers' argument, marriage preparations and negotiations began. Pule had gathered his delegation of uncles to go ask for Busi’s hand in marriage. Of course, these were the strong royal Basotho representatives and thus royal protocol was observed. During the preparation, an argument ensued as to whether the young woman, Busi, will be the future queen of the Basotho clan. One third of the royal house felt that she was a commoner from another tribe and therefore was not suitable for the prince. They also brought up the fact that the two villages had been on an ongoing war over land ownership and usage. This one third of royals felt that she will bring more dispute and they would seem like they betraying the tribe.
“We just cannot take the risk of having a commoner from them. What about our people?” protested one stout uncle during a meeting they were having.
“Without interruption. I agree. We have to take into account that we have lost some warriors, cows and other livestock over the land protest against them.” said one of the burly looking uncle.
“We will seem like we are throwing the towel. There must be other beautiful maidens around. Why her?-” continued the other uncle as he catches the sight of Pule walking in. He has been standing near the door the whole time and was able to hear the ongoing conversation.
Just as the uncle was walking towards him to comfort him from what he might have heard, Pule retorted and said loudly,” I don’t believe you…you are just unbelievable.”
He takes a few steps back, throws his hand in a bang like motion and he runs to the wilderness. He finds himself almost in tears. In time he finds himself walking a familiar road towards the rendezvous. He decides to proceed to this secret place. He sits there for a while and starts to think things over. In that moment, the place felt somewhat empty as it was missing a major part- Busi. As he was sitting there and being conscious of the melodious flow of the river, chirping of birds, swishing of trees, he also felt the sobbing of his heart. He felt downtrodden as he was more in love and saw more than his uncles’ reasoning. He just couldn’t imagine life without her.
That night when he gets home, he heads straight to bed, without saying a word to his parents and royal attendants.
In the morning he walks into the dining room to find his father looking pensive but had a rather satisfactory gaze.
“Son, come over here we need to talk. We couldn’t talk last night.” said King Nokeng in his stern voice.
Pule plunges into a chair unenthusiastically like a puppet. He was expecting more discouragement from his parents. King Nokeng starts to congratulate him on his decision. He straightens himself up as he listens. To his surprise the other two third together with Pule’s parents were for Pule’s interest as they had seen how in love he was. Besides, they conceded that Busi had the beauty, integrity and dignity of the future queen.
“I have thought deeply about this. Anything above that we think she will be groomed over the years to be the tribe’s queen.” stated King Nokeng as he was finishing the long conversation with his son. In that instant Pule felt very warm inside. If his parents approved, then nothing can stand on his way. Not his uncles, the nation or the ongoing land protest. Somehow he deeply felt that the marriage will be a step in building a historical relationship between the two tribes.
In that regard, marriage and lobola negotiations began on a harsh but smooth in the end note. It was harsh in the beginning because of the uncles’ reluctance to meet with Busi’s family and have a proper conversation. But upon seeing the beautiful bride to be, their anger eventually subsided. A reasonable amount of cows were sent to the bride's home and they were beffiting the future queen. The couple were engaged for six month and then a wedding was announced.
The wedding was the most notable and colourful event ever between the two villages. It attracted thousands of people from the two villages and around. Village elders, traditionalists and youth took turns to entertain the bride, the groom and the guests. Large amounts of gifts, enough to fill a room were presented to the couple. The event was a showcase of the best, interesting and colourful traditional attires and customs. Amongst the youth, young maiden showed off their brilliant and flamboyant beadworks while dancing and the young warriors joined in the festivities. Older men cheerfully drank beer, while women were ululating all the time as people danced the night away.
Following the lovers’ colourful wedding and a story from the village passerby who overheard the lovers’ tiff on that day, the rock was subsequently named “lovers' rock”. It was believed to be a source of good luck and motivation to live happily ever after, like the couple. Over the years one had observed how previous protests and battle amongst the villagers over the joining piece of land, had evaporated as they automatically learnt to peacefully share that piece of land.
The marriage of the two lovers had indeed brought love, prosperity and restored peace between the two villages.