There are many things to be learned from other people and even one`s own life story. The life lessons we choice to ignore today can be fatal for our future later. One such a life lessons that we often forget is that fortune. Only comes with hard work and if you get it easily, then you don`t appreciate it. Until it is all gone and even your previous life experience means nothing. This is what we learn in Thabo Mhlanga`s life story. Where a man with a bright future throughs it all away for the good life and when that good live throughs him away like he threw his life away from the choice to declare defeat is still only Thabo`s Choice.

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Roelof Beukes

Thabo`s Choice

Tales from South Africa

BookRix GmbH & Co. KG80331 Munich

Chapter one


Thabo`s story began in 1993 although his life story started back in 1953 in Zululand, South Africa on the day he was born. 1993 the turn of Apartheid, but also the turn of Thabo Mhlanga`s life. He would not realize this year as the start of it all until 20 years later but eventually it will dawn on him. JANUARY 16 1993.

“First stop Mayfair, Westbury, New Clare- Randfontein train! Randfontein train: first stop Mayfair, Westbury, New Clare Roodepoort; all stations Randfontein! Where are, you going Sir?”

Thabo Mhlanga’s voice sounded loudly on the station platform and in the subways. Masses of people rushed into the train. Thabo was a railway policeman. He was proud to be a railway policeman. The railway and everything connected to the railway industry was close to his heart. He makes a point to always stand in the middle of the passengers crossing bridge and watch the trains coming in and going as the sun comes up with his cup of coffee. For Thabo, there is nothing as beautiful as that scenery and he enjoy it as much as he enjoys calling out the names of stations and sidings. He said them so smoothly, without thinking.

Thabo had a good voice which sounded like thunder in a distance. . He often got compliments over the phone that his deep smooth voice was the perfect for radio and others told him he could be a singer. He did not like the idea so much. He did not know much about singers and singing. He was glad his big voice could useful in his work but secretly Thabo was glad to hear these words of compliments, because it was woman who said them. If woman said such a thing, it must be a compliment. Thabo was not too proud but he had a lot of respect for words that a woman said. Sometimes he thought that he was weak, to respect women`s words so much.

Thabo Mhlanga was also called other things through his life but mainly good things. He heard people say things like: “Isn`t he looking smart in that uniform. Look at his broad shoulders and his big strong hands!” “God does give some people good, big and tall bodies!”

Thabo did not understand why people said his strong body came from God, but it was woman that said these things. So why would he ask questions or doubt their statements. To many things in his life has happened to make him not to believe in God. He always asks where was this mighty God people talking of when his father was shot by the police during a raid or his mother raped in front of him? It is hard for him to believe in the same God as the depressor`s and even harder to believe in the traditional Gods of Africa as to many of their sacred potions killed some of his siblings and friends and family members. No, he is because of his hard works and choices not because of Gods and their favouritism. He knew he was right to be proud of himself and his work.

In his work, he controlled masses of people. He walks up and down next to the train. He made sure that people got into the train. Sometimes in the rush he had to use hard words with someone close by him. Then he had to shout at another person at the other end of the train. And, then again, he had to drag a small boy out of the crowd of people to stop him from getting hurt. Sometimes he must apprehend thieves and tugs that try to hitch a free ride or even steal from the masses and think they will get away with it.