What Happened in Namaqualand?
by Leila Green
A twelve-year-old boy shows up to his father’s doorstep with one pair of jeans, two t-shirts, a toothbrush, a hairbrush and a bar of soap. He’s come from Cape Town to Namaqualand with everything but memories; he’s never met his father. But he got invited and his mother insisted, so he boarded a bus and held his breath.
He knocks on the door. It opens. The father, Mychal, stands with his arms anxiously ajar. Wisps of rain sneak through the threshold as the boy, Shane, enters the neat home: a tiny rondavel on the edge of a vast veld. Farmer’s quarters. For one month, this will be his home. After, school will start again, and he’ll take the bus back to his mother’s home in Cape Town.