We will follow Ntuthu a young boy growing up in a small village at the foot of the Bhubesi Mountain. He discovers how the mountain can take his imagination of life in faraway lands and turn it into reality in his own village.
Ntuthu The Mountain's Child
Hello everyone my name is Ntuthu l was born on a smoky morning at the foot of the Bhubesi Mountain. They say the mountain had been burning for a long time until the flames stopped on the morning of my birth. There was so much smoke in the air on that day and the villagers decided to give me the name Ntuthu which means smoke.
As l grew up people started to tell the story of how my birth had put out the fire on the mountain. They believed l should be the mountain’s child because it had burnt all the evil spirits before my birthday this is why l did not have many friends growing up the other children used to treat me differently and they feared me cause of these stories. However l had one good friend Khosi we did a lot together all the time we never believed what the villagers said about me so we did not treat each other differently.
Fighting was the most important skill we had to learn growing up in a time when tribes fought each other for better land and food supplies. We had to learn how to defend ourselves and our village because enemies could come at anytime from anywhere. As l learnt how to fight l was not very strong physically but l could always win my fights by being smarter than my opponent. My elders liked my strategy they always said l would grow up and make better plans for our village.
Our small village was made up of people from all over the surrounding lands who had run to the mountain for safety during wars n raids. The Bhubesi Mountain had a lot of caves they kept the villagers safe but as time went on people decided to build some houses at the foot of the mountain. If they were attacked they could run up to the caves and defend themselves from there.
The people in my village saw my story as a sign that they could have a great and long future at the foot of the bhubesi. Travelers from other villages also heard my story including our enemies. One of them did not like this story his name was Witty he lived across a nearby river. He had always wanted our land but he could not defeat our warriors who always fought from the top of the mountain.
Witty had some warriors who would attack our village but each time the fight would end with our mountain warriors chasing Witty’s soldiers away. The only thing witty managed was to burn our houses but there was a lot of building material around the mountain so people would always manage to rebuild their houses. This made witty angry so when he heard about how much the people loved me his new plan was to capture me and force my people to leave our land. I was told about Witty’s plans but l did not fear him because l knew the mountain very well and l could defend myself with the mountain warrior skills we learnt in the village.
One afternoon while sitting at the top of the mountain with Khosi we were resting after chasing away some baboons from our village garden. We saw some traders that had just passed through our village down on the path that goes across the river, they were being attacked by Witty’s warriors. I knew how important the traders were to our village bringing us supplies. So it was obvious that khosi and l had to do something to help the traders. When we saw that Witty had caught the traders we sat down with khosi to make our plan. Since Witty was not expecting me to leave the safety of the mountain l wanted to surprise him.
I remembered how l had once seen baboons rescue their baby from a pride of lions, we agreed with Khosi that to help the traders we had to think like those baboons. So we took our weapons and moved closer to where Witty’s warriors sat. Then we climbed on top of the trees so high that we could not be reached. Now like the baboons we started throwing stones on Witty and his men while jumping from tree to tree in different directions, in the end our enemies were separated and the traders got up and ran to the mountain causing more confusion. It was difficult for Witty’s soldiers to climb the trees because they were too big.
When the traders had gone on top of the mountain l was left with Khosi on the tree tops witty called all his men to surround us. I saw a black itch bush on the tree that Khosi was on and l quickly jumped to this tree and broke a branch of the black itch. I was very careful to avoid touching the leaves. Witty was too focused on climbing to our tree and he did not see what l had in my hand, as he stretched his hand to grab my leg l shook the black itch leaves on his face. He let go of everything and fell to the ground shouting at his men to carry him to the river before his eyes popped out.
As Witty was taken to the river we jumped down from the trees and ran back to join the traders on the mountain. We laughed so much about what had happened then walked back to our village. It took some time to reach the village as we talked about Witty it was so funny that the traders told the elders the whole story over and over.
After some days one of the traders offered to help us build a small market in our village so that we did not wait for too long for supplies. They said it was their way to repay us for rescuing them from witty. Our elders allowed the market to be built but they warned me not to try and fight witty and his men because they could hurt me and Khosi. We promised them that next time we would tell them if we saw witty making trouble close to our village.