Where the Devil Hides
By Lawrence Kadzitche
Betina -A girl of between 25 and 30 who is usually dressed in oversized cast away clothes given by Mrs Gobede
Mrs Gobede -A bible carrying big fat badly dressed woman who is always quoting bible verses
Mr Gobede -A man of between 40 and 55 usually dressed in suits
Janet -A tall thin woman who is Mrs Gobede’s best friend.
Anna -Betina’s elder sister
Daniel -A man of between 35 and 40.
Papa -A sharply dressed prophet of between 30 and 40 who wears a wig and uses make-up
Church Elder 1 -A man of between 40 and 55
Church Elder 2 -A man of between 40 and 55
SCENE 1: AT NIGHT INSIDE A HOUSE
The play starts by a close up of the bible on Isaiah 48: 22 where we are able to see to read the words ‘THERE IS NO PEACE FOR THE WICKED’ following fingers that will be moving along the words. We will note that the bible is heavily marked with red pens and other colours. Then we will see a wall clock hitting 9 o’clock at night. Then we will pan down to a woman reading a bible who picks up a phone and looks at the time. She does not glance at the wall clock.
Mrs Gobede: (To herself shutting the bible) This wicked man is late. (She gets up and yawns while stretching. Then aloud) Betina! (There is no answer but we can hear water and kitchen utensils banging in the kitchen. Then angrily) Betina! Betina!
We now have a view of the kitchen . We see Betina cleaning plates. She stops when she hears Mrs Gobede’s voice. With a plate still in her hand, she turns off the tap. Then we distinctly hear Mrs Gobede calling)
Betina :Yes, madam. Coming!
She drops the plate in the sink, wipe her hands on her oversized dress which is obviously something she received from Mrs Gobede and then rush to the sitting room.
Mrs Gobede: Be of quick hearkening like Samuel otherwise next time it will be the Lord calling and you will miss his call, heathen!
Mrs Gobede: (Cuts her by waving her hand) Uh…uh…uh… I’m going to bed. Mr. Gobede is driving from a meeting in Mangochi. Make sure that he gets hot food when he arrives.
Betina: Madam, may I?
Mrs Gobede: (Looks at Betina as if she’s looking at a distateful insect) What is it?
Betina: Bwana is always saying I should not wait for him…
Mrs Gobede: Bwana is always saying you should not wait for him! (Angrily). Do you know that I’m a Christian woman, Betina?
Betina: Yes, I know, Madam…
Mrs Gobede: Do you know that I live by the bible?
Betina: I know, Madam…
Mrs Gobede: My Bible (she pats here bible) says obedience is better than sacrifice (she pauses and glares at Betina). Do I need to say more?
Betina: No, madam…
Mrs Betina: So if the devil sent you here to kill my husband with cold food, by this good book (she shows her bible) it shall never happen!
Mrs Gobede: Shut your mouth, Satan and do what I say!
Mrs Gobede imperiously walks to the bedroom clutching her bible while singing a gospel song. She stops at the bedroom door as if to return then decides to proceed. Betina returns to the kitchen to continue washing the dishes. We keep on returning to the clock. 10 o’clock. It’s 11 o’clock when we hear Mr Gobede’s car arriving. At that moment through we see Betina quickly take food from the kitchen to the dining table. By the time Mr Gobede is entering, the table is set. He is smartly dressed in a suit.
Betina: (Relieving him of his briefcase at the door) Welcome sir. (Motioning with her hands) Food is ready.
Mr. Gobede: I’ve always said you must not wait for me, Betina. Just leave the food on the table and go to bed.
Betina simply smiles and quietly retreats to the kitchen.
The wall clock shows 11:30. Mr Gobede goes to the bedroom. Betina goes to remove the plates and wash them in the kitchen. The clock hits 12:00 when she finally goes to bed.
SCENE 2: EARLY IN THE MORNING
We first see the clock at 5:00 am. Betina wakes up and starts cleaning the house. After that she prepares breakfast and lays it on the table. After that she goes sweep outside. Then she picks a waste basket and starts washing clothes.
The clock strikes 9:00. Mrs Gobede wakes up. Dressed in a pajama she goes to the sitting room.
Mrs Gobede : Betina! Betina! Where the hell is this deaf girl!
The camera goes out to show Betina putting the clothes on a drying line. She hears Mrs Gobedes call.
Betina : Coming!
She goes into the house and respectfully kneels.
Mrs Gobede: Can you bring me the breakfast here.
Betina brings the food from the dining table to the coffee table. She pours a cup of coffee.
Mrs Gobede : (Stirring the coffee) Turn on the TV
Betina goes to turn on the TV. Mrs Gobede tastes the coffee using her tea spoon.
Mrs Gobede : The sugar is not enough….
Betina: You said I should always put only one tea spoon of sugar…
Mrs Gobede: I said one full tea spoon, the one you put was not full. Add a half tea spoon more.
Betina adds a full tea spoon and stirs it. Mrs Gobede tastes it and spits it out at the floor.
Mrs Gobede : I said a half tea spoon! You want to kill me with BP?
Betina : Sorry, madam…
Mrs Gobede throws the coffee at the floor.
Mrs Gobede : That should teach you to follow instructions. Now clean it up.
Betina brings a mop and cleans the floor. At that time there’s a knock on the door. A woman comes in. Mrs Gobede rises up to greet Janet.
Mrs Gobede : Welcome, Janet. How are you my friend?
Janet eyes the coffee on the floor.
Janet : What happened?
Mrs Gobede : (Hands her bible over to Janet) Read Proverbs 13:24 aloud for me, sister.
Janet: He who spares the rod hates his son…
Mrs Gobede: (Repeating) He who spares the rod hates his son…
Janet: But he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Mrs Gobede: (Repeating) But he who loves him is careful to discipline him…Do I need to say anything more?
Janet: I understand what you’re saying, sister
Mrs Gobede: Can you believe that she was trying to poison me!
Janet: The devil is a liar!
Mrs Gobede: Imagine instead of a tea spoon for my tea she gave me two full tea spoons!
Mrs Gobede: I feel sorry for this unbeliever!
Janet: (To Betina) The devil has a spot in hell with YOUR name on it!
Mrs Gobede: (To Betina) B-E-T-I-N-A, the devil is writing the name. Repent before he finishes writing it, unbeliever.
Janet : You are a good woman, Faida. How many women can treat a maid the way you treat her? You’ve her welfare at your heart.
Mrs Gobede: Look at the dress she’s wearing; it was one of my favourite church clothes but I gave it to her. Who does that?
Janet: (Shrugs) None that I know of!
Mrs Gobede : My Bible tells me God created all of us equal and we must therefore treat each other equally. So although she’s the Lord’s lowest creature, I do my best to treat her well and lead her in the ways of the Lord.
Janet : But that does not justify her abominable behavior. She might be a detestable creature, but what will happen if the Lord decides to get his hands dirty and pass judgement on her?
Mrs Gobede: I’m a Christian woman, Janet. As the Lord, commandeth, I will not spoil the child by sparing the rod.
Janet : Alleluai, sister. Our bible says there should be no peace for the wicked!
Mrs Gobede: Louder sister!
Janet: And I’m happy your efforts are bearing fruits and you have turned her into a good maid. (She looks around the house). She keeps this house very well.
Mrs Gobede : (Snickers and turns to Betina) Make me another cup of tea, heathen!
SCENE 3: IN THE BEROOM
We see Mrs Gobede in bed reading her bible. Then a rat appears. She gets up, bible in hand and start praying. We see that the bedroom is badly kept)
Mrs Gobede: (to the rat) I know who you are! It’s you Betina! So because I reprimanded you, you want to harm me! But it won’t be so. No weapon formed against me shall prosper! By the blood of Jesus, I bind you! Away you devil! Away! You are a liar. (she continues praying in tongues)
SCENE 4: INSIDE
Janet arrives in the morning.
Mrs Gobede: As I told you on the phone, the devil has been attacking me, Janet.
Janet: The devil is a liar!
Mrs Gobede: First it was birds landing on the roof, then cockroaches and flies.
Janet: No weapon formed against us shall prosper!
Mrs Gobede: Now it’s rats. It attacked me last night. But I know who it is.
Janet: God forbid!
Mrs Gobede (Lowers her voice) It’s Betina. I think it’s because of the reprimand we gave her yesterday. I called you to help me pray sister before it gets worse.
Janet: You know I’m always with you, sister. Let’s go and pray where it happened.
They go to the bedroom. We see that the bedroom is badly kept. There are left overs of food in the room and heaps of clothes.
Janet: Before we start praying, let’s first clean the room, sister….
SCENE 5: OUTSIDE
Betina is boiling water for bathing in a pail. Mrs Gobede appears from the house.
Mrs Gobede: What’s going on here?
Betina: I…I’m boiling water for bathing…
Mrs Gobede shakes her head and claps her hands
Mrs Gobede: You’re using my charcoal to boil water for bathing?
Betina: Madam, the charcoal was left over after cooking the beans…
Mrs Gobede: Times are so hard and yet you want to waste my charcoal and water for bathing?
Mrs Gobede; (Pointing at Betina) You should take the bath after you’ve finished all your work.
Betina: But madam, when I don’t take a bath you say I do it deliberately to make you look bad to your friends.
Mrs Gobede: Of course, you want them to say I mistreat you?
Betina: When I take the bath you accuse we of wasting water…
Mrs Gobede: I am not saying you should not bath. What I am saying is that you should only bath after you’ve finished your work.
Betina: I understand, madam but the work will take me the whole day…
Mrs Gobede: (Eyeing Betina critically): Who are you trying to impress? The way you look, no amount of bathing is going to make you look any better. You should take the bath after work. Go and work lazy girl. I am going for mid-week prayers. When I come back I should find everything spick and span (After a pause) And don’t think you can deal with me by turning into rats. Just know I am into you. The wrath of God shall deal with you.
SCENE 6: INSIDE THE HOUSE
Mr and Mrs Gobede are sitting in the house. Mrs Gobede is saying something about the bible. Betina comes in with a tray of tea and sets on the table. She picks the flask to pour water when Mr Gobede stops her.
Mr Gobede: You can go, we can do that ourselves.
Mrs Gobede: Let her do it, Baba Demora. I am the one who works when you’re not here.
Mr Gobede: Mama Demora…
Mrs Gobede: (Raises her hand) Baba Demora, you don’t know what I go through when you are not here. I’ve to pray and fast so that I chase away the demons that are always attacking us….
Mr Gobede: Mama Demora…
Mrs Gobede: My bible says pray without ceasing, so I am always praying…
Mr. Gobede: Mama Demora…
Mrs Gobede: (Picks her bible) Baba Demora, are you trying to go against this beautiful holy book?
Mr Gobede: No, but what I can’t understand is….
Mrs Gobede: (Cuts him by raising her hand) I don’t blame you, Baba Demora. It’s already written in this sweet book (Showing her bible). What’s hidden from the wise and prudent (she points at Mr Gobede) has been revealed to the babes and suckling (patting herself on the chest)
Mr Gobede: (Scratches his head without saying anything)
Mrs Gobede: Then I need say no more. (She opens her bible and starts reading).
Mr Gobede sighs and shakes his head sadly. He motions Betina to leave and pours the water himself.
SCENE 7: OUTSIDE
Betina’s sister arrives early in the morning. Finds Betina finishing cleaning the sitting room.
Betina: (Hugging) Welcome sister
Anna: Thanks. How are you?
Betina : I’m good. What about you?
Anna : I’m good too. (Picks a cloth and dusts the TV)
Betina : How’s mum?
Anna : She is very fine.(After a pause) And how’s the ‘madam Betina do this’?
Betina : (Smiles) Ornery as always but fine.
Anna: Still living by the old good book?
Betina : (Imitating Mrs Gobede) The book of the law should never leave your mouth.
Anna : (Also imitating Mrs Gobede while laughing) I am a Christian woman, Betina. I live by the book…
Betina : We’re done here. Let’s go and have breakfast together.
Anna: Thanks, sis. I’m famished.
They sit down on the verandah. Betina pours the tea with bread. At that moment, Mrs Gobede appears in the door. She looks at the two in surprise.
Mrs Gobede : What is happening here?
Both Betina and Anna stare at her in surprise. They look at each other not knowing what to say.
Mrs Gobede snatches the cup of tea and pours its contents on the floor. Then she throws the pieces of bread on the ground and stamps on them.
Mrs Gobede: How can you be having breakfast when you’ve not cleaned the house yet?
Betina: Madam, I’ve already cleaned the house.
Mrs Gobede: You’ve already cleaned the house? Knew it! Whenever this savage of your sister visits you something bad happens. (She hisses and grabs Betina by the collar of her dress) Let’s go and see.
Both Betina and Anna follow her into the sitting room. The room, which was spick and span when she left it, was now littered with leaves and flower petals which the wind had blown in through the open windows.
Mrs Gobede: You call this room clean? (She asks dragging Betina around the room)
Betina: I cleaned the room, madam; it’s the wind that has blown the leaves in.
Mrs Gobede : I am a Christian woman. I do not lie. I live by the book!
Mrs Gobede lets go of Betina and slaps her:
Mrs Gobede: The room was clean! What is this?
The camera shows what she’s pointing at. They had all stepped on the tea she had spilled at the veranda and as a result left their footprints as we moved about the living room.
Mrs Gobede: Then why are these footmarks here if you cleaned the room?
Anna: Madam, we’ve just made these prints ourselves and as for the leaves, they’ve been blown in by the wind. The room was clean before then. As a matter of fact, I helped her in the cleaning.
Mrs. Gobede: Ah, now I know the source of her laziness-it’s your mother?
Anna: How does our mother come into this?
Mrs Gobede: Oh, you don’t see? A person’s actions are as a result of his or her upbringing. Someone brought up in a pigsty cannot see any filth here. And since both of you cannot see the dirt then I can safely assume that you were brought up in a dump!
Anna: Mrs. Gobede, our mother keeps her hut cleaner than this house, doing all the cleaning and household chores by herself. All you know is to scream Betina do this, Betina do that; between you two, who’s lazy?
Mrs Gobede: You dare ask me that question?
She moves closer to Mrs Gobede that their faces are almost touching.
Anna: I will dare you whatever I like! And who do you think you are? If Mr. Gobede hadn’t made the mistake of marrying you, you would just be a nobody selling badly brewed spirits in your home village.
Betina : Anna please…
Anna : Shut Up! You shouldn’t let this witch get away with everything. You should teach her to respect you. If not as a human being then as a worker. In any case she’s a savage who’s just lucky she married a well to do husband!
Mrs Gobede looks so shocked. Her mouth moves but no words comes out. Then she turns and storms out of the house. We hear her car drive away.
Betina : (Looking shocked) How could you say that to my employer?
Anna: Relax little sister. I just told her the truth. She has neither the looks nor manners that justify her being Mrs Gobede.
Betina : Anna…
Anna : Women who mistreat others the way Mrs Gobede does, do not deserve a good husband. You are beautiful and well mannered. Like Esther in the Bible, you can easily grab her husband.
Betina : I came here to work and not wreck a marriage…
Anna : Esther had no plans of wrecking Vashtis marriage until Vashti by her own actions provided the opportunity. Mrs Gobede, by mistreating you has forfeited your trust and loyalty.
Betina : What are you trying to say?
Anna : Being a house maid does not mean that one is not endowed with the assets that men crave for. We take you out of the nanny uniform, you are a knockout, with a body that would make any normal man salivate with desire
Betina: I don’t get what you are trying to say…
Anna: I know, little sister. But when I’m gone, think about what I have said and perhaps you’ll have picked something beneficial from our conversation.
Betina (Takes a deep breath, thoughtfully) Anna, Anna, Anna…
SCENE 8: INSIDE A HOUSE
Mrs Gobede arrives at Daniel’s house very agitated. We first see Daniel dancing to pop music while drinking brandy. He sees Mrs Gobede. He changes the music to gospel music, rushes to a book shelf and picks a bible which he drops on a stool. At that point Mrs Gobede appears.
Daniel : What is it, elder sister?
Mrs Gobede : Pour me a glass of brandy, Daniel.
Daniel: (The glass of brandy falls from Daniel’s hand with surprise) What?
Mrs Gobede: A shot of brandy, Daniel, my nerves are frayed…
Daniel : I know you are upset but calm down, sister…
Mrs Gobede : You know I’m a Christian woman, Daniel…
Daniel: I know, sister. And I also know that you do not touch any liquor.
Mrs Gobede: Yes, I do my best to live by the good book (Tapping at her bible)
Daniel: I know, I know…
Mrs Gobede: Is being a good Christian a bad thing?
Daniel : No, it’s not.
Mrs Gobede : Then why do people always try to take advantage of me?
Daniel : What has happened, sister?
Mrs Gobede : Betina’s elder sister came this morning. I found her having breakfast with Betina. And from nowhere she started shouting at me.
Daniel : God forbid! Shouting at you? While eating your breakfast?
Mrs Gobede : Yes. Can you imagine anything more insulting than that?
Daniel : I can’t. But I have always known Betina to be a good maid, how did that happen?
Mrs Gobede : Er.. It wasn’t Betina herself but her sister.
Daniel : I see…
Mrs Gobede : But Betina was there and didn’t do anything.
Daniel : You said it was her elder sister so there wasn’t much she could do. Betina is a very good maid and good maids are very hard to come by.
Mrs Gobede : I know and that’s why I put up with her.
Daniel: Another thing, sister, you should try to treat Betina a little better…
Mrs Gobede: (Rises to her feet, arms on her hips) Are you insinuating that I treat her badly?
Daniel: No, I am not saying that…
Mrs Gobede: Do you know that I treat her like my own daughter? She eats what I eat. Imagine I even give her my own best clothes. Who in this world does that?
Daniel: I know you deduct the cost of the things you give her from her wages. In addition, you are too harsh in the way you speak to her, sister.
Mrs Gobede: (Opens her bible) I’m too harsh, I’m too harsh…Read Proverbs 13:24…
Daniel : (Cuts in) Yes, yes I know the spare the rod bra, bra, bra stuff…But…
Mrs Gobede: No buts, little brother…You know I’m a Christian woman and I live by this (patting her bible) good old book. Do I need to say anything more?
Daniel: (Exhales) I guess not. But remember big sister that before you employed Betina your maids rarely lasted 6 months.
SCENE 9: DAY
We see Betina walking. Past abuses flash in her mind. Then her talk with Anna. She arrives at a tailor who measures her and cuts some of her oversized dresses. She also buys some make up from a vendor. She goes home and tries one. Out comes a vision of beauty.
Betina: (To self) Mrs Gobede, now let the games begin.
SCENE 10: DAY
We see Mr Gobede reading the Bible. Betina brings some water in a perfectly fitting dress. We also note that her hair is well done and her face made up slightly. We see Mrs Gobede eyeing her suspiciously like a dog.
SCENE 11: DAY
Mr and Mrs Gobede are studying the bible. Mrs Gobede calls for water. Betina deliberately delays. She enters the sitting room and trips splashing Mrs Gobede with water.
Mrs Gobede: Betina, bring me some water!
Betina calculatingly delays, knowing it would raise Mrs Gobede’s temper.
Mrs Gobede: What is this lazy girl doing? (She complains to Mr. Gobede, then she calls again, her voice a note higher) Betina, I said bring me a glass of water or are you trying to kill me with thirst, wicked girl?
Betina: I’m coming, madam (She answers in a sing song voice, banging pots)
Mrs Gobede: Stupid girl, I said bring me water!
Betina rushes into the sitting room and deliberately slips as she nears Mrs. Gobede. The water tips out into her lap.
Betina: I’m sorry, madam…I…
Mrs Gobede slaps her once. Then again. The third time, Mr. Gobede catches her hand.
Mr. Gobede: What are you doing? Can’t you see it was an accident?
But Mrs. Gobede is on the warpath. She breaks free and kicks Betina with her feet. She does not resist, only protected her head with my hands. Mr. Gobede gets hold of her and pushes her away from Betina.
Mr. Gobede: What’s wrong with you, Mama Demora? What wrong has she done?
Mrs Gobede: I’m a Christian woman…
Mr. Gobede: What has that to do with what you’re doing now?
Mrs Gobede: I live by my bible. And my bible says spare the rod and spoil the child. Alleluiah!
Mr Gobede: My question is: what wrong has she done?
Mrs Gobede: Are you backing that lazy creature?
Anger flashes in Mr Gobede’s eyes.
Mr. Gobede: Mama Demora, I’ll not have anyone speak like that to a human being in this house.
Mrs Gobede: I’ll speak to her in any way I want.
Mr. Gobede: As Christians we’re supposed to treat everyone with respect and dignity. Isn’t that what we were discussing just moments ago? Isn’t that what the bible tells us?
Mrs. Gobede: I know what the bible says; I live by that sweet old book. But that miserable creature must learn her place in this house.
Mr. Gobede: My point is that as Christians we must live by example….
Mrs. Gobede: We must live by example, my ass! My bible says there should be no peace for the wicked!
Mr. Gobede: Shut up! I said I’ll not have such language used in this house.
Mrs. Gobede: We must live by example! (she repeats sarcastically while clapping her hands insolently). Don’t think I haven’t noticed the dirty looks you throw at this bitch, hypocrite!
Mr. Gobede: You’re calling me, Joseph Gobede, church elder, a hypocrite?
Mrs Gobede: Yes, I’m calling you a charlatan and adulterer! I know you’re hankering after this garbage and that’s why you’re always defending her.
Mr. Gobede: You dare accuse me of being a charlatan? An adulterer?
Mrs. Gobede: Yes, you’re an impostor and a philanderer. And just know the Lord is watching! (makes a sign of pointing at her eyes with her fingers then pointing at Mr Gobede)
Mr. Gobede: Don’t mention the Lord’s name in vain!
Mrs Gobede: (Laughs insolently) What do you know about the bible? (She produces her bible and waves it at Mr Gobede’s face) I’m a Christian woman, my bible says in the book of Joshua that this book of the law (waving the bible) shall not depart from your mouth. I live by the bible!
Mr. Gobede: Which bible? Mama Demora, you think I don’t know what goes on here?
Mrs Gobede: (Threateningly) What goes on here?
Mr Gobede: Mama Demora, I thought you were a pious woman. But I was wrong. You’re a wolf in a sheepskin.
He bends down and touches Betina on the shoulder.
Mr Gobede: Go to your room, Betina.
SCENE 12: PROPHET’S HOUSE
We see Mrs Gobede at the Prophet’s House. The prophet is dressed in a pink suit and has on a wig. His face also shows that he uses make-up.
Papa: I warned you my daughter that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers
Mrs Gobede: You warned me, papa. My husband and I are no longer talking. He has even moved out of our bedroom…
Papa: I had warned you about your maid…
Mrs Gobede: You did papa but I don’t know where I went wrong. I always gave her unfashionable clothes and prevented her from bathing so that she should look like something from the museum…
Papa: I know it didn’t help, my daughter.
Mrs Gobede: For a time it seemed to have been working. All of a sudden she’s changed. She is taking her bath early in the morning and tailoring her clothes so that she looks as if she’s going to a fashion show.
Papa: (Shaking his head) She’s not what you see. That young woman is a queen of evil under the ocean where the devil and his demons meet…
Mrs Gobede: Abomination, prophet! I have always tried to tell my husband about this but he doesn’t believe it…
Papa: I’m sorry that I have to be direct now. Your husband is a prince of darkness. He and the maid meet under the ocean…
Mrs Gobede: Now you’ve opened my eyes, man of God. You know he has always forbidden me to come and see you. I come here by force.
Papa: He was afraid I would tell you who he and his dear maid really are, my daughter.
Mrs Gobede: So what should I do, anointed of God?
Papa: This man is not your husband. He is slowly eating your soul to feed it to demons!
Mrs Gobede: I bound that in Jesus name!
Papa: He worships Moloch, the ancient god of fire. To deal with this powerful evil god, you will have to sow equally powerful seeds.
Mrs Gobede: I am ready for anything, papa…
Papa: So what seed are you going to sow, my daughter?
Mrs Gobede: I pledge my car. It is in my name so the evil worshiper of Moloch will have no say over it.
Papa: A decision made from heaven, my daughter. We’ll start the prayers once we are done with the change of ownership papers.
SCENE 13: DAY, IN THE HOUSE
Mrs. Gobede complains to the Church Council. Marriage counsellors from the church comes to discuss the matter. Betina hides in the corridor to eavesdrop on the discussions.
Mrs Gobede: We’ve become total strangers in this house.
Mr. Gobede: Of course, we’re total strangers. I thought I knew her. This woman is evil, more wicked than Jezebel and I wouldn’t have such a woman as my wife.
Elder 1: But the bible gives adultery as the only grounds for divorce apart from death…
Mr Gobede: The same bible tells us that if your eye makes you sin, remove it. I’ve realized that if I continue staying with my wife I’ll live in sin, so like the eye, I’m removing her.
Elder 2: Elder Gobede…
Mr Gobede: Elder Phulani, the bible is full examples of great men who fell because of sticking to the wrong women. Samson and Ahab are excellent examples.
There is silence, then the arguments resumes. Betina decides to stoke up the fire a little bit more. So, she takes a jug of juice and some tumblers on a tray and slides into the sitting room She slowly set them on the table. She gyrates her hips provocatively as she leaves the room, aware that only Mrs. Gobede’s eyes were following her. At the door, she turns, purses her lips, points her my finger threateningly at her and then makes the sign of cutting the throat with her fingers.
Mrs Gobede: And another thing, (Mrs Gobede howls, getting to her feet and pointing at Betina). I think he’s fucking that bitch.
There is shocked silence in the room.
Mr Gobede: See what I meant? These’re the true colours of the woman I married. I’d rather enter the kingdom of God a bachelor than go to hell just to save a marriage.
Mrs Gobede: Knock, knock, knock-the Lord is knocking at your door hypocrite. He is the lawn mower and you’re the grass.
Mr Gobede: (Whispering) Shut Up!
Mrs Gobede: I’m a Christian woman…
Mr Gobede: (Louder) Shut Up!
Mrs Gobede: I live by the bible…
Mr Gobede: Which bible? All you see is witches and demons in rats, cockroaches and flies. What kind of Christianity is that?
Mrs Gobede: (Angrily) You dare question my bible?
Mr Gobede: If by being a Christian and living by the bible means what you do, then I dare question the bible! When is the last time you cooked food for me? Or cleaned the house? Our bedroom looks like a war zone.
Mrs Gobede: (Shaking her head while clutching her bible to her chest) I see you’re still a child in spirituality, husband. How can I find time to do all that work when I’ve to wrestle against principalities and powers? My bible says in the book of Ephesus that rejoice always, pray without ceasing…
Mr Gobede: The principalities and powers being the rats, cockroaches and fires you accuse of being demons?
Mrs Gobede: I won’t argue with you. Papa has already told me who you really are.
Mr Gobede: That man is a con artist out for your money…
Mrs Gobede: Do not dare go against the anointed of God lest God strike you dead, worshipper of Moloch.
Elder 1: Mama Demora, do not hide behind verses. A woman is supposed to take care of her husband. A maid is not the replacement of a wife…
Mrs Gobede rises and moves to the elders one by one.
Mrs Gobede: Elder Fikisa, you think I don’t see the way you look at the choir girls? So disgusting for a church elder. (Turns to second elder) And you elder Gomondo, you think I don’t know of the string of girl friends you got stashed in different places in town? No wonder you are siding with your fellow sinner. I’m done with this nonsense! (She goes to her seat and starts to turn the pages of her bible)
Mr Gobede: So you think this is nonsense? (He stands up and goes out the room. He re-appears with traveling bags)
Mrs Gobede: (Jumps to her feet alarmed) What is this, Baba Demora?
Mr Gobede: This marriage is over. Get out of my house!
Mrs Gobede: Baba Demora…
Mr Gobede: I said out of my house. Don’t forget I’ve been weighed, judged and found lacking. This marriage is over…
Mrs Gobede: Baba Demora, where will I go…
Mr Gobede: (Pushing her out) That’s not my concern. What are you going to be doing, to borrow your own words, in this pit of vipers?
SCENE 14: DAY, OUTSIDE
We see Mrs Gobede cleaning here house, cooking and providing food to Mr Gobede. Then she leaves for the market. We see that she goes to a shop owned by Betina. We see them talking but at first we don’t hear the words but finally we hear Betina saying: ‘Thanks for the money you gave me to start this business. May God bless you always.” Mrs Gobede smiles and says: I have you to thank for opening my eyes and saving my life, Betina darling.’