Read: Mr Shabalala's garden( in English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sepedi, Sesotho and Afrikaans)
Mr Shabalala lived on a big piece of land. He had a lovely house, an apple tree, hens and a vegetable patch. The apple tree was very big. The branches stretched far into his garden and over the wall into the field behind the wall. Sometimes there were so many apples that he didn’t know what to do with them all. Read on...
Mr Shabalalas Garden (Supplied)
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This story is brought to you by Nal'ibali, which means Here's the story in isiXhosa. Nal'ibali is a storytelling initiative that aims to establish a culture of reading for enjoyment in children.

Scroll down to download the PDF story in English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sepedi, Sesotho, and Afrikaans.

Mr Shabalala’s garden (English)

Mr Shabalala lived on a big piece of land. He had a lovely house, an apple tree, hens and a vegetable patch.

The apple tree was very big. The branches stretched far into his garden and over the wall into the field behind the wall. Sometimes there were so many apples that he didn’t know what to do with them all.

His hens gave him large, brown eggs. He could not eat all the eggs that his hens laid, so some eggs hatched and he had more chickens than anyone else in the town.

The vegetable patch was always full of wonderful things to eat, but sometimes there were too many pumpkins, mealies, potatoes and other vegetables.

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But Mr Shabalala was not a very nice man. He did not like to share. If anyone came near his house and garden, he became very angry. So Mr Shabalala did not have any friends.

Some things made him so angry that he would shout. When people sat in the shade of theapple tree in the field behind his wall, they made too much noise. When the apples fell off the tree behind his wall, the children would pick them up. They played, ate apples and made too much noise. Sometimes his hens escaped through a little hole in the fence. When they did, they laid their eggs in the field behind his wall. He heard the women talking when they found the eggs and knew they were taking his eggs home. But worst of all, sometimes a little boy would knock on his door and ask for seeds from his vegetable patch.

One day Mr Shabalala was so angry that he decided he was going to stop everyone from bothering him. He grabbed his saw and cut down every branch of the apple tree that hung over the wall. He blocked up the hole in the fence so that the hens could not escape. And he was so angry that he dug up his vegetable patch.

“At last I will have peace and quiet without anyone bothering me or stealing anything,” he said.

It did not take long before there were too many apples on the tree. There were too many hens, chickens and eggs. And because there was no vegetable patch, there were no vegetables for Mr Shabalala.

But there was something that was even worse than that. It was now so quiet that Mr Shabalala got a headache. Poor Mr Shabalala, he didn’t know what to do with all the quietness. So he opened his front door and shouted the loudest shout that he could, just to make some noise.

Suddenly the people ran up to his house.

“Are you alright?”

“Have you hurt yourself?”

“Can we help you?”

“I … I …” Mr Shabalala didn’t know what to say. Even though he had been so nasty and unkind, everyone had come to see if he was alright. Mr Shabalala felt so bad he started to cry. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”

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“We’re sorry for making a noise in the shade of your tree,” said someone.

“We’re sorry for taking apples,” said the children.

“We’re sorry about collecting eggs,” said a woman.

“Oh no,” said Mr Shabalala. “I was so selfish and rude and I am sorry. Please, all of you come inside and I will share everything.”

From that day Mr Shabalala did share everything. He also promised to let the branches of the apple tree grow over the wall and to leave a little hole in the fence for the hens and chickens.

When everyone left he smiled happily because now there were happy noises outside.

Then suddenly Mr Shabalala realised that he still had no vegetable garden. At that moment there was a soft knock, knock on his front door. He opened the door and there stood the little boy.

“Aaah,” he said, “you are the boy who always asked for seeds.”

“Yes,” said the boy, “but I know you don’t have a vegetable garden now. Can I help you plant one?”

And for the second time that day, Mr Shabalala had tears in his eyes. But this time they were tears of happiness.


To read the story in another language, download a pdf below:

Download the English pdf here

Download the isiZulu pdf here

Download the isiXhosa pdf here

Download the Sesotho pdf here

Download the Sepedi pdf here

Download the Afrikaans pdf here

Ingadi kaMnumzane Shabalala (isiZulu)

Translated by Busisiwe Pakade

UMnumzane Shabalala wayenomhlaba omkhulu. Wayenendlu enhle, isihlahla samahhabhula, izikhukhukazi kanye nesivande semifino.

Isihlahla samahhabhula sasisikhulu kakhulu. Amagatsha aso ayenabe kakhulu engadini yakhe naphezu kodonga aze afika engadini esodongeni olungemuva. Ngesinye isikhathi kwakuba namahhabhula amaningi kangangoba wayegcina engasazi ukuthi enze njani ngawo wonke.

Izikhukhukazi zakhe zazimkhiqizela amaqanda amakhulu, ansundu. Wayengakwazi ukudla wonke amaqanda ayezalelwa izikhukhukazi zakhe, ngakho amanye amaqanda ayechamsela nokwakwenza ukuthi abe nezinkukhu eziningi ukudlula wonke umuntu edolobheni.

Isivande sakhe semifino sasihlale sigcwele izinto eziningi ezimnandi ezidliwayo, kodwa ngesinye isikhathi kwakubakhona amathanga, ummbila, amazambane kanye neminye imifino okuningi kakhulu.

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Kodwa uMnumzane Shabalala wayeyindoda engenamusa. Wayengathandi ukwabelana nabanye abantu. Uma kwakukhona umuntu owayesondela eduze nendlu kanye nengadi yakhe, wayethukuthela agane unwabu. Ngakho uMnumzane Shabalala wayengenaye noyedwa umngani.

Ezinye izinto zazimdina kakhulu kangangokuthi wayeze athethe. Ngesikhathi abantu behleli ngaphansi komthunzi wesihlahla samahhabhula ngemva kodonga lwakhe, babebanga umsindo kakhulu. Uma kuwa amahhabhula esihlahleni esingemva kodonga lwakhe, izingane zaziwacosha. Zazidlala, zidle amahhabhula zibange nomsindo omkhulu. Ngesinye isikhathi izikhukhukazi zakhe zaziphuma ngembobo encane esocingweni. Uma zenze kanjalo, zazizalela amaqanda azo ensimini ngaphandle kodonga. Wayezwa abantu besifazane bekhuluma ngesikhathi bethola amaqanda, futhi wayazi kahle ukuthi bagoduka namaqandaakhe. Kodwa okunzima nakakhulu ukuthi, ngesinye isikhathi kwakuye kufike umfana omncane azocela imbewu evela esivandeni sakhe semifino.

Ngelinye ilanga, uMnumzane Shabalala wayethukuthele kangangokuthi wanquma ukuthi uzoyekisa wonke umuntu ukumhlupha. Wathatha isaha lakhe wanquma onke amagatsha esihlahla samahhabhula ayelengela phezu kodonga lwakhe. Wavala imbobo ocingweni lwakhe ukuze izikhukhukazi zakhe zingaphumi. Futhi wayethukuthele kakhulu kangangokuba waze wemba isivande sakhe semifino.

“Ekugcineni ngizohlala kahle ngokuthula kungekho muntu ongihluphayo noma ongintshontshela okuthile,” kusho yena.

Akudlulanga sikhathi eside kwaba namahhabhula amaningi kakhulu esihlahleni. Kwakunezikhukhukazi, amatshwele namaqanda okuningi kakhulu. Njengoba kwakungasekho sivande semifino nje, wayengenamifino uMnumzane Shabalala.

Kodwa kwakukhona enye into eyayinzima kakhulu kunalokho. Kwase kuthule kakhulu manje kangangokuthi uMnumzane Shabalala waze waphathwa ikhanda. UMnumzane Shabalala wabantu, akazanga ukuthi angenzenjani ngakho konke lokhu kuthula. Wavula umnyango wakhe wangaphambili wase ememeza kakhulu ngendlela ayengakwazi ukwenza ngayo, ukuze kube nomsindo.

Ngokushesha, kwagijima abantu beza endlini yakhe.

“Ngabe konke kuhamba kahle?”

“Ngabe uzilimazile?”

“Singakusiza?”

“Ngi… Ngi…” UMnumzane Shabalala akazanga ukuthi athini. Noma wayenonya futhi engenamusa, wonke umuntu weza ezobheka ukuthi konke kuhamba kahle yini. UMnumzane Shabalala waphatheka kabi waqala ukukhala. “Ngiyaxolisa,” kusho yena. “Ngiyaxolisa.”

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“Siyaxolisa ngokubanga umsindo emthunzini wesihlahla sakho,” kusho omunye.

“Siyaxolisa ngokuthatha amahhabhula,” kusho izingane.

“Siyaxolisa ngokuthatha amaqanda,” kusho owesifazane.

“Cha bo!” kusho uMnumzane Shabalala. “Bengizicabangela mina nje futhi ngedelela; ngiyaxolisa. Ngakho, ngiyanicela, ngenani nonke ngizokwabelana nani ngayo yonke into.”

UMnumzane Shabalala wabelana ngayo yonke into kusukela ngalelo langa. Wethembisa futhi nokuthi uzovumela amagatsha esihlahla sakhe akhule eqe ngaphezu kothango, nokuthi uzovula imbotshana yezikhukhukazi namatshwele ocingweni.

Wayemamatheka ngokujabula ngesikhathi sekuhambe wonke umuntu, ngoba kwase kukhona imisindo yabantu abathokozile ngaphandle.

Kusenjalo uMnumzane Shabalala wakhumbula ukuthi akanaso isivande semifino. Ngaleso sikhathi wezwa umuntu ongqongqoza kancane emnyango wakhe ongaphambili. Wavula umnyango wakhe wabona umfana omncane emi lapho.

“Awu bakithi,” kusho yena, “ungumfana obehlale ezocela imbewu.”

“Yebo,” kusho umfana, “kodwa ngiyazi ukuthi awusenaso isivande semifino manje. “Ngabe ngingakusiza usitshale?”

Kanti kwaba okwesibili ngalelo langa, uMnumzane Shabalala echiphiza. Kodwa ngalesi sikhathi kwakuyizinyembezi zenjabulo.

Isitiya sikaMnumzana Shabalala (isiXhosa)

Translated by Nobuntu Stengile

UMnuzana Shabalala wayenomhlaba omkhulu. Wayehlala endlwini entle, enomthi wama-apile, efuye neenkukhu kwaye enaso nesitiya semifuno.

Umthi wama-apile wawumkhulu kakhulu. Amasebe awo ayemade kakhulu kangangokuba ayenabele phakathi esitiyeni, aze aphinde aqabele nangaphezulu kocingo, ade afikelele nasesitiyeni asingasemva kocingo olo. Ngamanye amaxesha ama-apile ayebamaninzi kakhulu kangangokuba wayede angayazi into amakayenze ngawo.

Inkukhu zakhe zazibeka amaqanda amakhulu amdaka. Wayengakwazi ukuwatya onke loo maqanda azalelwe ziinkukhu zakhe, ngoko ke zaziwaqandusela amanye amaqanda, waza waneenkukhu ezininzi ukodlula wonke umntu kuloo ngingqi.

Isitiya sakhe semifuno sasisoloko siyokozela zizinto ezimnandi zokutya, kodwa ngamanye amaxesha ayede adlulise ngobuninzi amathanga, umbona, iitapile nezinye iintlobo zemifuno.

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Kodwa ke uMnumzana Shabalala lo wayeyindoda engenabubele kangako. Wayengakuthandi nokucelwa izinto zakhe ngabantu. Wayengakuthandi tu ukwabelana ngezinto nabanye abantu. Xa kukho ubani othe wasondela endlwini yakhe nasesitiyeni sakhe, wayesiba nomsindo kakhulu. Yiyo ke loo nto eyabangela ukuba uMnumzana Shabalala angabi naye nomnye umhlobo.

Ezinye izinto zazimenza umsindo kakakhulu kangangokuba wayeye ade athukisele. Abantu xa behleli emthunzini womthi wama-apile, ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, babemenzela ingxolo eninzi. Xa ama-apile ewile emthini ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, abantwana abancinane babewachola. Babedlala, besitya loo ma-apile ze benze ingxolo enkulu. Ngamanye amaxesha iinkukhu zakhe zazithubeleza ezikrobeni elucingweni. Xa zithubelezile, zazizalela amaqanda azo kwezo gadi zikufutshane. Wayebeva abafazi bethetha xa befumene amaqanda, kwaye wayesazi ukuba bagoduka nawo amaqanda akhe. Kodwa, eyona nto imbi nangaphezulu, ngamanye amaxesha kwakubakho inkwenkwana enkqonkqoza kwakhe, ize kucela izithole ezisesitiyeni sakhe.

Ngenye imini uMnumzana Shabalala wayenomsindo kakhulu, kangangokuba wagqiba kwelokuba uza kuyiphelisa nya into yokuhlutshwa ngaba bantu. Wathi hlasi isarha yakhe, waza wawasusa onke amasebe omthi wama-apile awayejinga ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe. Wazivala zonke izikroba ezazisecingweni ukuze kungabikho nanye inkukhu ezakuthubeleza. Wayenomsindo kakhulu kangangokuba wayigrumba yonke loo mifuno yayikweso sitiya sakhe.

“Ekugqibeleni ndiza kuhlala ngoxolo nenzolo, kungekho mntu uza kundihlupha okanye andibele nto,” utshilo.

Akuthathanga xesha lingakanani phambi kokuba umthi wama-apile uthwale ii-apile ezininzi kakhulu. Kwabakho iinkukhu, amantshontsho namaqanda amaninzi kakhulu. Ngenxa yokuba sasiphelisiwe isitiya semifuno, uMnumzana Shabalala wayengenayo imifuno.

Kodwa kwakukho eyona nto yayimbi kunazo zonke. Kwakuthe cwaka kakhulu ngoku, kangangokuba uMnumzana Shabalala wayede aphathwe yintloko. Usizana olunguMnumzana Shabalala lwalungazi ukuba lungenza ntoni ngesi sizungu senzolo engaka. Uthe ke wavula ucango lwakhe lwangaphambili waza wakhwaza kakhulu kangangoko anakho, ukuze nje kubekho ingxolwana ayivayo.

Ngesaquphe kuthe wayi-wayi abantu begxalathelana, ukuza endlwini yakhe.

“Kwenzeka ntoni?”

“Ingaba wenzakele?”

“Singakunceda ngantoni?”

“Ndi… ndi…” UMnumzana Shabalala wayexakwe yinto amakayithethe. Nangona wayekhohlakele, engenabubele ebantwini, wonke umntu weza kuqonda ukuba akukho nto imehleleyo kusini na. UMnumzana Shabalala waziva ebuhlungu kakhulu kangangokuba wade walila. “Ndicela uxolo,” watsho. “Ndicela uxolo.”

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“Sicela uxolo ngokungxola emthunzini womthi wakho,” kwatsho umntu othile eqeleni.

“Sicela uxolo ngokuthatha ama-apile,” batsho abantwana.

“Sicela uxolo ngokuqokelela amaqanda,” kwatsho umfazi othile.

“Owu hayi,” watsho uMnumzana Shabalala. “Bendicinga ukuba umntu ndim ndedwa kwaye bendikrwada kuni, ndicela uxolo. Ncedani, nonke ngenani ngaphakathi ukuze ndabelane nani ngako konke.”

Ukususela ngaloo mini uMnumzana Shabalala wabelana nabanye abantu ngako konke anako. Wathembisa ukuba uza kuwayeka amasebe omthi wama-apile anabele ngaphaya kocingo lwakhe, kwaye uza kuvula isikroba esincinane ecingweni lakhe ukuze iinkukhu namantshontsho zibe nokuthubeleza kuso, zizihambele.

Kuthe ukumka komntu wonke kwakhe, wancuma ngolonwabo kuba ngoku kwakukho ingxolo yolonwabo etsho kamnandi phaya phandle.

Ngephanyazo uMnumzana Shabalala wakhumbula ukuba akanaso isitiya semifuno. Kanye ngalo mzuzu kwavakala unkqo, nkqo, nkqo kumnyango wangaphambili. Wavula ucango waza wabona kumi inkwenkwana.

“Aaaha,” utshilo, “uyilaa nkwenkwana ibisoloko icela izithole.”

“Ewe,” yatsho inkwenkwana, “kodwa ndiyazi ukuba awunasenaso isitiya semifuno ngoku. Ndingakuncedisa ekulimeni esinye?”

Okwesibini ngolo suku, kwathi gwantyi iinyembezi emehlweni kaMnumzana Shabalala. Kodwa ngoku yayizinyembezi zovuyo.

The story was written by Wendy Hartman and Jiggs Snaddan-Wood (illustrator).

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