A Gathering of Bald Men by Mandla Langa

A Gathering of Bald Men by Mandla Langa

In the modern world people have a lot of worries that did not exist a hundred years ago. It can be a lack of money or a stupid annoying boss. The daughter dates some guy who is not good enough for her. The wife does not understand and does not want to make contact. At work situation is bad too. No one listens, even when there are good offers. Caleb lives that way. He is a little over forty. Caleb has two teenage daughters, a house and pets. But he is not very happy. The man sells insurance to customers, but they rarely want to pay. And he worries about the money owed to the bank. Recently he noticed that he started going bald. Caleb’s uncle died and now he hopes to get an inheritance, which will help him a little in this financial situation.

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A Gathering of Bald Men by Mandla Langa

Modern life is full of worries – money problems, your daughter’s unsuitable boyfriend, your wife who doesn’t understand you, your boss at work who doesn’t listen to your good ideas…

Caleb Zungu is not a happy man. He sells insurance to people who don’t want to pay for it, he worries about the money that he owes the bank – and he discovers he is going bald. A man can only take so much…

A Gathering of Bald Men by Mandla Langa

Caleb Zungu was forty-three years old, married to Nothando for thirteen years, with two girl children – Busi, who was eight, and Khwezi, who was fourteen. He owned a house in Johannesburg, a car, and two dogs. He was a salesman for a large insurance company, Allied Life, where he had worked for five years. He owed money to the bank, and hoped that God would help him, perhaps with the death of a long-lost uncle, who would leave him some money. Nothando had a full-time job at Transtar, a bus company. The girls were on school holidays, as it was April, and the dogs, which no one called by their real names, were happy with life.

On this Monday, Caleb woke up, took a shower, brushed his teeth, and put his clothes on. He looked handsome, and frighteningly well dressed, in his dark blue suit, white shirt, and black shoes. He drank his coffee quickly and went back to the bathroom. Nothando almost dropped her coffee cup when she heard a scream coming from there. ‘Perhaps he’s ill!’ she thought, and ran to see what the matter was.

She found Caleb in front of the mirror, feeling the top of his head with his hand. He had discovered a bald patch, the size of a coin, and he was very miserable about it.

‘What babies men are!’ thought Nothando. To her husband she said kindly, ‘But Caleb, baldness just shows how strong and sexy you are, every woman knows that! You’re looking very good today!’ He did not reply.

Later she waved to him as usual as he drove away in his bright pink car, an old Renault which he had never found the time to repaint. But she knew that he was still deeply worried, because he hadn’t even taken his mobile phone.

While she was getting ready for work, she thought about her daughters. Khwezi spent too much time talking to her friends on the phone and listening to her favourite music. Now she’d even written ‘I Love JM’ on her trainers. ‘Who the hell is JM?’ thought Nothando. ‘Probably one of those awful boys who wait around on street corners, watching the girls. My daughter is not going to have a boyfriend like that!…

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