Indaba ekhohliwe yezingane eziyisithupha ezaphukelwa umkhumbi iyaxoxwa ekugcineni

Arthur Greene

Sekuyiminyaka engaphezu kwengama-50, enye yezindaba ezimangalisa kakhulu ezikhona emhlabeni, zokusinda nokubambisana kwabantu, yasala ingachazeki ngasogwini se-Pacific island of Tonga.

Kodwa ngonyaka owedlule, uRutger Bretman, isazi-mlando esidumile saseDashi, wathola ngenhlanhla kwiphephandaba ngabafana besikole base-Thongan abayisithupha – omdala uneminyaka eyi-16 ubudala – abaphukelwa umkhumbi esiqhingini esincane esasingenamuntu.

Ngowezi-1965, abafana babenesifiso esikhulu sokubaleka isikoleni sabo okuhlalwa kuso. Ngakho ngobunye ubusuku, ‘baboleka’ isikebhe esincane soseyili kuTaniela Uhila, umdobi wendawo owayengathandwa abafana.

Bahamba baya olwandle, behlose ukuya isiqhingini sase-Fiji esiqhele ngamakhilomitha angama-500. Ebuzwa engxoxweni abe nayo ne-CBS ukuthi babenayo yini ikhampasi noma imephu yokuhlela umzila wabo, omunye wabafana, uMano Totau, wahleka. “Cha.”

Ngemuva kwamahora ambalwa kuphela besolwandle, kwaba nesiphepho. Amagagasi anamandla abhidliza useyili nelawuli labo lokuqondisa. Ngaphandle kwamandla okuqondisa, bebengakhukhuleka kuphela.

Ngemuva kwezinsuku eziyisishiyagalombili, abafana bebebuthaka ngenxa yendlala nokuphelelwa amanzi emzimbeni. Babezikhohlisa ukuthi ukubhujiswa kwabo kubalindile.

Kwabe sekuqhamuka ibala emkhathizwe. Indawo yakhula kancane kodwa ngokuqinisekile futhi ngokushesha abafana bazithola bengena ogwini lwase-Ata, isiqhingi esincane esingamakhilomitha ayikhulu ukusuka eTonga.

Ekuqaleni, uMano nabangani bakhe abahlanu basinda ngokuphuza igazi lezinyoni nokumunca amaqanda ezidlekeni zazo.

Lapho sebethole amandla abo, bakhuphukela esicongweni sesiqhingi sentaba-mlilo. Lapho, bakha indawo yokucupha isikhashana. Leli qembu elinamasu lakha iqhugwane, ihhogo lezinkukhu, indawo yokuzivocavoca eyenziwe okwesikhashana kanye nomlilo ongakaze ucishe isikhathi esingaphezu konyaka.

Abafana babenentshisekelo yokubuyela ekhaya, kodwa abavumanga ukuthi ukudangala kwabo kungene phakathi kwabo. Ngenkathi bephikisana, babebeka isikhathi sokuphuma, futhi ngamunye babebamba iqhaza – ukupheka, ukuqapha, ukuzingela – okwakubalulekile ekusindeni kwabo.

Ngemuva kwezinyanga eziyi-15, umdobi we-lobster obizwa ngoPeter Warner wahamba ngomkhumbi eduze kwesiqhingi. Esebenzisa izibonakude, wabona ayengakulindele, abafana abayisithupha bebhukuda bebheke kuye.

UPeter wabiza u-opharetha wase-Thongan, owamtshela ukuthi laba bafana kucatshangwa ukuthi bafile ekhaya, futhi bonke sebancwatshwa bengasekho.

Ngenkathi befika ekhaya, abafana baboshwa ngokushesha u-Uliha ubesacasukile ngesikebhe sakhe esintshontshiwe.

Kepha uPeter wakhokhela ukuthi bakhululwe, futhi kungakapheli sikhathi esingakanani bebuyile ekhaya wahlela iqembu labasebenza ngamafilimu ukuthi lihambe nabafana babuyele e-Ata ukuyolingisa indaba yabo yokusinda, imidwebo yabo esaphila nanamuhla.

Ngenkathi uBretman ehambela e-Australia eyofuna abafana abayisithupha base-Tongan, indaba yabo okwase kuyisikhathi eside ikhohlwe kwabezindaba, wathola ukuthi uPeter noMano bahlala eduzane nomunye. Laba bobabili kuvela ukuthi bahlala bengabangani impilo yabo yonke.

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