I first heard about Hlomu the Wife from a friend who some-what forced me into reading it. The excitement in her eyes as she tells me a bit about the book was enough for me to want to read it. From the first page of the book, I was hooked! I was reading the book on my way to work and later on my way home, simply could not put it down.
Hlomu the Wife is based on a story about a young journalist, Hlomu, who is from Kwa-Zulu Natal and lives in Johannesburg for work purposes. Hlomu then meets a taxi driver, Mqele, who won’t stop pestering her about them being together and living happily ever after. Their relationship starts off really well, with Mqele making sure that Hlomu gets everything she wants, when she wants it. However, just like any other relationship, there are some complications and conflicts. Mqele is also from KZN and has 7 older brothers.
Furthermore, Mqele has a dark past which goes way back to the Apartheid wars. After his parents were torched to death by the community because of conflict, Mqele and his brothers had to find their way to Johannesburg and make a living for themselves. They became taxi drivers and later on became successful taxi owners.
Hlomu came into their lives and sort of had to help them build a complete home for themselves, she became the mother to them all, the brothers and their children. Hlomu helped them grow their business to being more than just about taxis. Mqele and Hlomu then get married and have their children.
As the story progresses, new characters are introduced into the second book from the series, Zandile- the Resolute. Zandile is the wife of the older brother, Nkosana and they too have their own story. Zandile has been in prison for many for murdering her mother who tried to kill her and the baby she was carrying at the age of 16.
Zandile and Nkosana had their own children, but they couldn’t have their happily ever after as Zandile’s past soon came back to haunt her and she was sent to prison. She was taken away from raising her children and being Nkosana’s wife. Zandile’s story is about resilience and having the courage to always fight for what you love.
The last story, Naledi, introduces Qhawe’s story, one of the brothers who too meets the love of his life Naledi who changes his life and brings new life into the family.
These books are such a thrill! The minute you finish the one, you immediately want to read the next one. Well that’s how it was for me. I enjoyed the books because they tell true African stories that people deal with day to day.
The lessons that I have taken from this book are that, firstly, every relationship is complicated, it takes two people who are will to work at it for the relationship to make it. Secondly, family is important, you do everything for each, even die for each. And that loyalty is everything!