A well rested crew headed to Seshego, Polokwane, where we met a young lady named Mosima, who recently opened a Kota shop because the covid-19 lockdown forced her to become resourceful so that she can maintain her standard of living.
Mosima makes it obvious that she want to be much more than just an owner of a Kota shop. She has dabbled in tv presenting, acting, modeling and intends on growing her Kota shop into a restaurant. When she talks about her dreams, it is clear that her dreams do not include herself alone, but they include her children. Her children live with her parents, while she works closer to the city.
We actually followed Mosima as she went about her morning errands before she opens up her shop. This includes, going to town to buy potatoes and bread for her famous kotas. She gets her potatoes from a particular place, and she refuses to compromise. This is why her chips are the best; because she carefully selects the potato.
We finally got to see where all the magic happens, when we pulled up to this little zinc shack that Mosima has been renting for the past two months. The first thing she did when she went in, was wash all her tools and containers. Then she started on the potatoes. She and her friend (who apparently helps her in this kitchen), were peeling potatoes. After peeling the potatoes her friend disappeared, just as mystically as he appeared.
Then when the cutting of the potatoes was happening, I saw where the elbow grease came in. Mosima has this system where she uses this potato cutting mechanism, which drops the cut potato into a bucket of water below it. The lever on that mechanism requires upper body strength to pull, and Mosima proved herself worthy for such a task.
Before lockdown, she wouldn’t have imagined owning a kota shop, or doing manual labour of this kind, however watching how this woman’s survival instincts kicked is another of example of how black women fight until the bitter end. She just rose to the occasion.
The lever sounds like what I would image a guillotine to sound. Loud and sharp. Then the sound of a load being embraced by water follows. This becomes an audio-sensory experience for me, as I become hyper aware of the way that my brain is responding to these sounds. I begin to think about how we recognize unique sounds, then also how we get stimulated by certain sounds. A combination of sounds cause our bodies to do things that are visually beautiful and feel beautiful. This is called music.
The sound I was hearing in that moment was doing something to the way I inhabited my body. I began to feel my skin without touching it, and the tips of my fingers would tingle. I think the weather also contributed to my state of mind at the time.
Twiggy thought it would be a good idea to visit Mosima’s children to get a better idea of what her life is like. Rama then arranged for it to happen the following day. However, in the mean time, we got a chance to taste the kota that had been hyped up the entire day. Definitely the best one we have had so far, because we had quite a mediocre one in Scado’s neighborhood.
One of the things that we were laughing about in the car that day were the phone calls that Uncle Evans would get everyday from a little girl called ‘Munchie’, who also happens to be his daughter. Everyday, whenever he would answer her calls, it was “Hello, Munchie,” with such admiration.
Uncle Evans is such a present father in his children’s life, and that is not the bud of the joke. In fact, it’s one of the things we respect most about about him. When we say he is a present father, we don’t only speak about the bills that he pays and the financial support he gives his children. We are also talking about how present he is emotionally in his children’s lives. He takes pride in truly knowing his children, and you can tell by the way he speaks about them.
We head back to the guesthouse and off-load from the day we have had. We sat outside in this common area with benches, to debrief and relax.
However, when all four of us were outside eating, we had somewhat of a ghostly experience. An old man passed us and he smiled at me almost as if he had been zombified. I had to know if it was just me who had that feeling, but the others had also picked up that lingering stare and shadowy essence. I began to think that my reaction was a bit nonsensical, but then Rama and Twiggy told me that the man had offered them ice.
Ice? Ice for what?
Maybe we were just being irrational, but wouldn’t you get more out of reading this if you believe all our suspicious?
To top it all off Twiggy, Rama and Uncle Evans spotted a frog, and apparently it was within close proximity to me. I had previously made fun of Rama’s fear of dogs, withholding the fact that I have a pathetic fear of frogs.