Who is TiNyiko?
....... The silence intensified as the students held their breath. The heat sizzled and the room reached boiling point.
Then his (the teacher's) gaze was arrested by one girl who was gazing out of the window, oblivious to her surroundings, and a picture of a springbok, poised for flight—alone, majestic, yet with all its senses alert, sprang into his mind.
Sixty-three pairs of eyes followed his gaze and the atmosphere in the classroom became electric.
TiNyiko, whose beauty and inner strength were apparent in every fiber of her being, remained aloof and lost in her thoughts. Everyone knew TiNyiko but never had they seen her so contained, so focused and so still. The mood deepened as every student felt the impact of her sorrow until the charged atmosphere penetrated her thoughts and she turned to find herself looking straight into the eyes of the teacher.
She saw his unspoken message of deep sympathy and tears welled up in her eyes. The students held their breath and watched, fascinated. Everyone knew TiNyiko’s circumstances. Her mother was now in a critical state. She was one more victim of the dreaded ‘disease of the people’ that no one was allowed to talk about.
What was Teacher Cleopas going to say? What could he say?
Suddenly the stillness was shattered.......