“I don’t like it when she does that. It isn’t right.”
“Ag, come on, Vetfaan, it’s all a bit of a joke. She does it every year, on the first Friday. Last year she raised R615.50 for the orphanage in Grootdrink. She wants to do better this year.”
“But isn’t it wrong? Like horoscopes and false prophesies and such?” Vetfaan eye Kleinpiet critically. “I know Oudoom won’t amused.”
“Look, it’s a joke. She says she unpredicts, which means she’s telling you what won’t happen. That’s not really predicting, I think. And it’s for a good cause.”
The two men watch as people queue up to see the woman on the stoep. The little table is in front of her, the terrarium in the fishbowl is strategically placed. She’s gone to a lot trouble this year, that much is abundantly clear. The heavy turban covers most of her hair and face, while the big, 60’s style dark glasses mask her eyes. The little bit one can see of her features, is hidden behind several layers of thick make-up.
“She tells everybody the same stuff, and then they end up laughing and throwing money into her box. The orphanage will be pleased.” The board behind her says as much. Let me unpredict your future for a donation for the Orphanage. “Even Sammie went to hear what she says.”
Kleinpiet shakes his head. “I don’t understand what she’s told me. She said I won’t have a big fight with Precilla today, and that is still true. And she said it won’t rain too much on the farm this year. Now, I know we’re in the middle of the drought and people are talking about climate change, but how can she say that? And then she went further: she said Zuma won’t be a happy man if they start digging into his financial affairs. I mean: to talk about local stuff is bad enough, but to start predicting the president’s reaction? That is unbiblical.”
“Well, she told me much the same about the weather.” Vetfaan has a faraway look. “But she also said we won’t have the same vice-president for long. She said she sees a large, rich man in the post. Oh, and she told me we won’t have an honest government this year. Or the next. Or even the year after that. I find it quite profound.”
“She even told Boggel he’d never have enough beer in Rolbos. Imagine that? The little man is still smiling: he says business has never been better. And she remarked on his athletic ability as well. According to her, he won’t be chosen for the Springboks. Not even as a water boy. Boggel is so relieved – he says he’d hate travelling so much.” Kleinpiet smiles at the thought and draws a jumping antelope on the counter top.
“She does have her moments of brilliance, though. She told Mevrou she won’t find any fishnet stockings in Oudoom’s wardrobe again this year. That certainly cheered Mevrou up! She jumped up there and then and kissed the turban. Then Mevrou asked if she was sure, and when she got a nod, she deposited twenty Rand into that box. I’ve never seen her so happy. “
“That’s nothing.” Kleinpiet holds a triumphant finger in the air. “Servaas took out a new Mandela R100 for what she told him. According to her, Servaas won’t stop drinking till the day he dies. Servaas has this unnatural fear of thirst, see? Ever since that time he was in hospital and he was forced to drink only water, he is petrified at the thought of having to spend another week without alcohol. Now he knows he doesn’t have to worry about it, he’s a happy man.”
“I wonder how she can say something like that? Suppose Servaas lands in hospital again?”
“I’m sure she thought about that. For her unprediction to come true, she’ll have to smuggle some in for him. But she’s honest enough to do it. Remember last year? She said we won’t believe what the government would do in 2012. And after the school books and Nkandla, I think she was right.
“No, you’ve got to hand it to her: nobody unpredicts the way she does.”
Vetfaan watches as yet another hopeful sits down at Gertruida’s table.
“She’s going to make a fortune this year,” he says with admiration dripping from every word.
“Ja. You’re right.” Kleinpiet orders another beer. “She really is quite unbelievable.”