This afternoon I’m sitting quietly in an office adjacent to the staff room, preparing a lesson. (Okay: I was reading the August edition of Newsweek that came in my latest care package. Catching up on my Mitt Romney gossip. Sue me.) In the staff room, two older male teachers, Mr. Baladzi and Mr. Mdoka, are sitting.
Suddenly, Mr. Baladzi starts singing in a raspy voice. It’s in Tsonga, but the tune is Frère Jacques. After a moment, Mr. Mdoka joins in:
“Hi twa ndlala, hi twa ndlala,
Lamula le kwihi? Lamula le kwihi?
Hi ta dya, hi ta dya.”
“We are hungry, we are hungry,
Where’s the orange? Where’s the orange?
We will eat. We will eat.”
I don’t think they knew I was there.