“1. An act or process of closing something, especially an institution, thoroughfare, or frontier, or of being closed,
2. a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote,
3. A sense of resolution or conclusion at the end of an artistic work,
3.1. A feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved” the Oxford Dictionary
It could also be;
4. The edges of petticoat lace.
5. The fringe hiding receding hairlines or a finish on a lace wig,
6. The dog ears on the last page of a book etc.
And this is how Jojo’s journey to closure began on a cold winter Sunday morning, if he were to be given a name his name on this day would have been Audacious. On this particular morning he did the most godforsaken thing any child could do at home.
Jojo, being an early bird, woke up at 5am, sneaked out of the room he was sharing with his cousin Zime (the zulu word for Queen), removing the steel iron that kept the wooden door closed Ugogo was still asleep in the room adjacent to them and the kitchen next to it connecting into the sitting room, three internal frames in one house and only two of them had doors. He dragged his blanket with him, switched on the television set and muted the volume. Channel O was still on, his favourite cartoons oGundi no Mazwi, two little rats that spoke forever and always had something to say before uMalume came along in his bus to whisk the kids away to a story telling session, were not on yet. He would increase the volume a little when uGundi no Mazwi were playing so he could sing along with them.
His mother was sleeping in the same room as uGogo. She woke up while Jojo was still watching his cartoons to prepare porridge for the household. Jojo had started behaving like a little brat lately, so instead of being a good child and greeting his mom he pretended as if he had fallen asleep while watching TV. Mother greets him regardless, sleeping Jojo doesn’t respond. He only “wakes up” when the porridge is ready, at that time his cousin Zime was also up and wrapped in her blanket and watching TV on the two seater couch, Jojo always took the three seater.
Since it’s Sunday, mother immediately heated water in the largest Hart pot in the house to prepare bath water. As she was preparing the water she shouts and says, “Ngicela ningilandele indishi yokugeza emnyango zingane.” Jojo looks at Zime in the eye once and she gets the message, she gets up reluctantly to fetch the large plastic basin that was kept just next to the toilet built 200 meters from the main house adjacent to the neighbour’s premises, a small cubicle with a toilet seat and cistern on the one side and a shower head on the other (it only ever works in summer).
On Sunday, uGogo usually takes a bath first in her room, then uMa who takes the basin out to use the bathroom outside, after which Zime baths and Jojo is usually the last to bath in the kitchen. Just as he realized it would soon be his turn to wash Jojo slowly ran outside in his pyjamas and hid behind his uncle’s ikoyi cottage so he wouldn’t be seen. Familiar with his tricks, his mother immediately shouts to tell him the bath water is almost ready, as soon as she hears his footsteps running past Gogo’s bedroom.
Jojo pretends as if he didn’t hear anything he hides behind his uncles ikoyi. In clear view of his neighbours who see right through the fence from the backyard but hidden from his mother. Of late, he has become a little nuisance, rebellious, it seems his balls are becoming greener with audacity. He now has the audacity to pull a frowning face at Mother, stomp his feet in protest, make exaggerated shrugs (shrugs so wild he even smashes his head against the couch if he’s sitting on it), and drags his feet with slouched shoulders as he attends to the assigned chore.
Young Jojo and his green balls, the size of marbles, recently got a backhand smack from mother recently after breaking a cup while making heavy metal music in the kitchen as he washed the dishes, throwing the spoons against the plates, plates against plates and beating at the pots splashing water all over the floor. He received a warning from the sitting room concerning this dishwashing concert he was having, so when the cup splashed onto the floor, as quick as lightning the backhand slap stung on half his face. A classic end to a rebellious show, red eyes and tears dripping from the rupture of flames flying right in the performer’s face.
He hid behind the ikoyi, hoping not to be seen by Mother. It was getting late, and everyone was almost ready for church except for the rock star who was hiding behind the ikoyi. “Jojo! Woz’ ogeza. Sizoba late esontweni.” Silence in the yard, where is this child Mother thinks to herself. “Jojo!” She goes to check at the bathroom, there is no sight of the young man. Just as she turns to leave he sees him right there hidden in plain side between his uncle’s ikoyi and the fence. “Woz’ ogeza, sihambe siye esontweni wena ngane, angazi ucasheleni lapho.”
1. A willingness to take bold risks
2. Rude or disrespectful behaviour, impudence
So Jojo’s growing green balls have made him start a rock band in the kitchen, after recieving that smack one would think that he has learnt his lesson and be an obedient young man. Coming out of his hiding place with a sullen face he mumbles, “Angifuni ukuya esontweni mina.”
Mother’s eardrums twitch, she shakes her head as if to make sure that whatever sound that went through her inner ear and registered to her brain was indeed correct. “Excuse me?! Am I not your mother?”
Audacity stomps, shrugs, drags and slouches slightly as if conforming but he lifts his heads up in a second, “I am not going to church ma!” No words spoken but a hot clap from mother comes thereafter, stinging on Jojo’s face, Jojo cows back, visually shocked but instead of walking away his balls grew a shade greener. He whimpered once but instead of running away with a tail between his legs, he bore his teetth and leaped at his mother with a slap on her face then he ran out of the yard through the hole in the corner of the gate which mischievous stray dogs use to get into the yard.
So, Jojo, didn’t go to church that day, he spent his morning with the very friends he was prohibited from playing with, he got a newspaper tattoo (a print of Wilson’s Champion Toffee), had bread dipped in tea for breakfast, played marbles in the dust and even peeked through a hole in an ikoyi to see two adults on top of each other as the lady was moaning and the kids playing outside could hear them. He thrived in audacity that morning, even when the family had come back from church, although he saw them he made sure not to return home due to the sins he had committed.
Hunger got the better of him, after a while he yearned to go home to eat and wash his favorite cartoons. He lurked around and hid behind a tree to check whether the coast was clear for him to enter the yard. Eventually, he found the perfect opportunity and ran into the kitchen, quickly opened the pot and used his dirty little fingers to pick a piece of meat out of the pot and three slices of bread. Like a thief, he ran out as quickly as he had come in to avoid being caught.
Zime saw him as he slipped through the gate and shouted after him, letting him know that Mother has beeeeen looking for him, and how furious she was that he didn’t go to church.
He only returned home at night that day, he walked in crying looking like a homeless kid with dark ashy feet. Despite his cry of guilt he got a proper hiding, deserving of his foolish behavior.
The following day he got a good scrubbing from Mother, with an orange orange sack and a pumice stone, right in front of the yard for all the world to see. Green balled Jojo was embarrassed at this feat as he felt he was too old to be bathing in public. That evening he was given the responsibility of ensuring that the gate was closed and locked in the evenings before everyone went to bed.
And so closure, only happens when you come back after wandering around the world looking for answers to face the truth, account for your behaviour and then locking the gates you had left unlocked after taking the due responsibility for your actions.