READ: The house with the golden windows (in English, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu and other official languages)
Sita lived in a small, square house, on a narrow street, on the side of a hill. Her family all worked very hard. Her mother made beautiful saris for women and her father made smart suits for men. Read on...
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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, SeTswana, Xistonga and Afrikaans.

The house with the golden windows (English)

Sita lived in a small, square house, on a narrow street, on the side of a hill. Her family all worked very hard. Her mother made beautiful saris for women and her father made smart suits for men.

Because her mother and father were very good at what they did, many people asked them to make clothes. There was always a lot of work to do, so Sita and her sister helped their parents with the sewing. The two girls sat in the tiny bedroom they shared and worked together. But sometimes there was just not enough space for both of them AND the sewing and they would start to argue.

One day Sita had an idea. It was a lovely summer evening and she decided to take her sewing up to the flat roof of their square little house. Up on the roof she could see the town below and in the distance a hill. But instead of lots of houses on that hillside, there was only one house built right on the top.

As the sun went down and Sita finished her work, a golden light caught her eye. It was the house on the hilltop, and it was beautiful. The windows were shining like gold.

READ: The house with the golden windows
       


“Oh,” said Sita. “I wish I lived in a house like that. I bet they have big rooms and lots of space in that house. It must be so much better than ours.” And that night Sita dreamed of the house with the golden windows.

The next morning, Sita and her family had breakfast together at the tiny kitchen table. “Both you girls have worked very hard,” said their mother, “so we thought that the two of you should have a holiday today. Go and do whatever you wish!”

“Yes,” said their father. “Enjoy your day and use it well.

Sita’s sister shrieked with excitement. “There are so many things that I want to do! I can’t choose what I want to do first!” and she rushed out of the kitchen.

Sita smiled. She knew exactly what she wanted to do. She was going to go and find the house with the golden windows.

As she walked along the road, she imagined what the house would look like up close. She had never seen real gold before. She walked for a long time until finally she arrived at the top of the hill. She was surprised to see that the house was not much bigger than her own home … and she could not see any golden windows.

“Perhaps I should walk around to the front,” she thought. She got to the front door, but there was no gold at all.

Just then a small boy opened the door. Sita told the boy how she had seen the house with the golden windows from her rooftop. She asked him if he knew where the house was.

“Yes, I do!” he said excitedly. “You are looking in the wrong place. Follow me!” He took her to his favourite tree. “You can see it from up there.” He pointed to the highest branch. Together they climbed to the top of the tree.

“Can you see it?” he asked.

Sita was looking hard for the boy’s house. “No,” she said sadly.

The boy laughed. “Why are you looking at my house? Look over there …” and he pointed to the hill in the distance. It was the hill that Sita lived on. She could see all the square little houses on the side of the hill and she could see her own house. The light of the setting sun made the windows of her house shine a beautiful bright gold.

“I see it!” she laughed.

“It looks like such a special place,” said the boy.

“It is,” she smiled and they both climbed down from the tree.

It was nearly dark when Sita got home. She could hear her mother, father and sister’s happy voices coming from inside. She felt happy to be home.

“Did you have a good day?” asked her father.

Sita smiled. “Oh yes!” she said. “And I learnt that we have such a lovely house, and sometimes it has golden windows.”

Then, they all sat down at the kitchen table and Sita told them about her day and how happy she was to live in their little square house, on the side of the hill.

READ: The house with the golden windows

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

Indlu enamafasitela egolide (isiZulu)

Translated by Dumisani Sibiya

USita wayehlala endlini encane, eyisikwele, emgwaqeni ongumncingo, eqeleni legquma. Bonke abomndeni wakhe babesebenza kanzima. Unina wayethunga amasari amahle abesifazane kanti uyise wayenza amasudi amahle amadoda.

Ngoba uyise nonina babengochwepheshe ezintweni abazenzayo, abantu abaningi babebacela ukuthi babenzele izimpahla zokugqoka. Kwakuhlale kunomsebenzi omningi okumele wenziwe, ngakho uSita nodadewabo babesiza abazali babo ngokuthunga. La mantombazane amabili ayehlala ekameleni lokulala elincane abelane izinto abuye asebenze ndawonye. Kodwa ngezinye izikhathi yayingekho indawo eyanele yabo bobabili KANYE nokuthunga ngakho babegcina sebeqala ukuphikisana.

Ngolunye usuku uSita wafikelwa umqondo. Kwakukusihlwa kusehlobo, wayesenquma ukuthatha umthungo wakhe aye nawo ophahleni oluyisicaba lwendlu yakubo encane eyisikwele. Lapho esephezulu ophahleni wayekwazi ukubona idolobha laphaya phansi bese kuthi kude lena abone igquma. Kodwa esikhundleni sezindlu eziningi eqeleni legquma, kwakukhona indlu eyodwa vo eyayakhiwe phezulu egqumeni.

Ngenkathi ilanga lishona noSita ewuqeda umsebenzi wakhe, isibani esisagolide sakhanga iso lakhe. Kwakuyindlu eyayiphezulu egqumeni, yayiyinhle. Amafasitela ayekhazimula njengegolide.

READ: The house with the golden windows
 



“Hha,” kusho uSita. “Ngifisa sengathi ngabe ngihlala endlini enjengaleya. Ngikholwa ukuthi banamakelo amakhulu nendawo eningi kuleya ndlu. Kufanele ukuthi ingcono kakhulu kuneyakithi.” Ngalobo busuku uSita wayiphupha indlu enamafasitela egolide.

Ekuseni ngakusasa, uSita nodadewabo badla isidlo sasekuseni ndawonye etafuleni elincane lasekhishini. “Nobabili mantombazane ami nisebenze kanzima,” kusho unina, “ngakho sicabange ukuthi nobabili kumele nibe neholide namuhla. Hambani nenze noma yini eniyifisayo!”

“Yebo,” kwasho uyise. “Luthokozeleni usuku lwenu niluchithe kahle.”

Udadewabo kaSita wamemeza ngenxa yenjabulo. “Kukhona izinto eziningiengifuna ukuzenza! Angikwazi ukukhetha ukuthi yini engizoyenza kuqala!” waphuma eshesha ekhishini.

USita wamoyizela. Wayekwazi kahle afuna ukukwenza. Wayezohamba ayofuna indlu enamafasitela egolide aze ayithole.

Ngenkathi ehamba eceleni komgwaqo, wayezakhela ngamehlo engqondo ukuthi indlu yayibukeka kanjani uma ususeduze. Wayengakaze alibone igolide langempela phambilini. Wahamba isikhathi eside kwathi ekugcineni wafika phezulu egqumeni. Wamangala ukubona ukuthi indlu ayinkulu kakhulu kunekhaya lakubo … futhi akukho mafasitela egolide awabonayo.

“Mhlawumbe kufanele ngihambe ngizungeze ngiye ngaphambili,” kucabanga yena. Wafika emnyango wangaphambili, kodwa lalingekho nhlobo igolide.

Ngaso leso sikhathi umfana omncane wavula umnyango. USita watshela umfana ukuthi ubeyibone injani indlu enamafasitela aligolide esophahleni lwakubo. Wambuza ukuthi wayazi yini ukuthi ikuphi indlu.

“Yebo, ngiyazi!” kusho umfana ngenjabulo. “Wena ubheka endaweni okungeyona. Ngilandele!” Wamthatha wamhambisa esihlahleni sakhe asithandayo. “Ungayibona uma ulaphaya phezulu.” Wakhomba igatsha eliphezulu kunawo wonke. Bendawonye bacaca baze bafika phezulu esihlahleni.

“Uyayibona-ke?” kubuza umfana.

USita wayeyicinga ngamandla onke indlu yakubo kwamfana. “Cha,” esho ngokudangala.

Umfana wahleka. “Kungani ubuka indlu yakithi? Bheka laphaya ngaphesheya …” wayesekhomba egqumeni elilena kude. Kwakusegqumeni uSita ayehlala kulo. Wayekwazi ukubona zonke izindlwana eziyizikwele eqeleni legquma futhi ekwazi nokubona indlu yakubo. Ukukhanya kwelanga elishonayo kwakwenza amafasitela endlu yakubo akhazimule njengegolide elihle elikhanyayo.

“Ngiyabona!” kuhleka yena.

“Ibukeka njengendawo ekhethekile,” kwasho umfana.

“Kunjalo,” wamoyezela, base behla bobabili esihlahleni.

Kwase kuqala ukuba mnyama ngenkathi uSita efika ekhaya. Wayewezwa amazwi athokozile ephuma ngaphakathi, elikanina, elikayise nelikadadewabo. Wakuthokozela ukuba sekhaya.

“Ngabe ube nosuku oluhle kodwa?” kubuza uyise.

USita wamoyizela. “Ewu, yebo!” kusho yena. “Futhi ngifunde ukuthi sinendlu enhle kakhulu, ngezinye izikhathi iba namafasitela asagolide.”

Emva kwalokho, bonke bahlala phansi etafuleni lasekhishini uSita wabaxoxela ngosuku lwakhe nokuthi wayekujabulela kangakanani ukuhlala endlini yakwabo encane eyisikwele, eqeleni legquma.

READ: The house with the golden windows

Umzi oneefestile zegolide (IsiXhosa)

Translated by Mlamli Matshingana

USita wayehlala kwindlu encinci, eyiflethi, kwisitalato esixineneyo kwelinye icala lenduli. Usapho lwakhe lonke lwalusebenza nzima kakhulu. Umama wakhe wayesenza iisari ezintle kakhulu zoomama eli lixa utata wakhe enza iisuti zamadoda ezikwantle.

Ngenxa yokuba umama wakhe notata wakhe babewenza kakuhle kakhulu umsebenzi wabo, babebaninzi gqitha abantu ababebacela ukuba babathungele iimpahla. Kwakusoloko kukho umsebenzi omninzi gqitha ofuna ukwenziwa, kangangoba uSita kunye nodadewabo kwafuneka ukuba bancedise abazali babo ekuthungeni. La mantombazana mabini ayehlala kwigumbi lawo elincinci ayelala kunye kulo, asebenze kunye. Kodwa ngamanye amaxesha kwakungekho sithuba saneleyo sabo bobabini KUNYE nomthungo owonele bona bobabini, nto leyo yayibaxabanisa kakhulu.

Ngenye imini uSita weza necebo. Kwakungokuhlwa ehlotyeni, kuzole kamnandi waza wagqiba ukuba aye kuhlala ngaphezulu kophahla lweflethana leyo yabo, athungele khona. Eluphahleni apho wayekwazi ukubona idolophu ezantsi kunye nomgama oya endulini. Kodwa endaweni yezindlu eziyinqwaba ezazifanele ukwakhiwa kuloo nduli, yayinye qha indlu eyayakhiwe, neyayiphezulu kanye enkcochoyini.

Lithe xa ilanga litshona, uSita ewugqibile umsebenzi wakhe, ilithakazi eligolide latsala iliso lakhe. Yayiyila ndlu isenkcochoyini yenduli, kwaye yayintle ngokwenene. Iifestile zayo zazibengezela okwegolide.

READ: The house with the golden windows



“Owu,” watsho uSita. “Akwaba bendihlala endlwini efana naleya. Ndiqinisekile banamagumbi amakhululu nendawo eninzi yokuhlala kulaa ndlu. Inokuba ingcono kakhulu kunale yethu.” Ngobo busuku uSita waphupha ngendlu eneefestile zegolide

Ngentsasa elandelayo, uSita nosapho lwakowabo batya ibrakfesi kunye kwitafilana encinci esekhitshini. “Nobabini mantombazana nisebenze nzima kakhulu,” wancoma umama wabo, “ngoko ke sicinga ukuba nobabini nifanelwe kukuphumla namhlanje. Ningenza nantoni na enifuna ukuyenza!”

“Ewe,” watsho utata wabo engqina. “Nilonwabele usuku lwenu, ze nilusebenzise kakuhle kuba niluzebenzele gqitha.”

UdadeboSita watswina ngenxa yovuyo. “Zininzi kakhulu izinto endifuna ukuzenza! Andikwazi nokukhetha ukuba ndiqale ngeyiphi na!” waze waphuma egqotsile ekhitshini.

Wancuma uSita. Wayesazi ngqo ukuba ufuna ukwenza ntoni na yena. Wayeza kuhamba aye kukhangela umzi oneefestile zegolide.

Njengokuba ehamba endleleni nje, ingqondo yakhe yayibethabethana ziingcinga zenkangeleko yendlu leyo xa sele esondele kuyo. Wayengazange tu akhe ayibone igolide yokwenene ngaphambili. Wahamba ixesha elide wade ekugqibeleni wayokufika enkcochoyini yenduli. Wothuka kakhulu akuqaphela ukuba indlu leyo ayikho nkulu kangako kunaleyo yakokwabo … kwaye zange abone kwafestile zagolide nakakade.

“Mhlawumbi kufuneka ndijikele kucango lwangaphambili,” wacinga njalo. Waya kucango lwangaphambili, kodwa kwakungekho golide tu apho.

Kanye kweso sithuba inkwenkwana ethile yavula ucango. USita wabalisela inkwenkwe indlela athe wabona ngayo le ndlu ineefestile zegolide xa echophe eluphahleni lwendlu yakokwabo. Wambuza ukuba ngaba uyayazi na ukuba iye phi na indlu leyo ebeyibona.

“Ewe, ndiyayazi!” watsho echulumancile. “Ujonge kwindawo engeyiyo. Ndilandele!” Wahamba naye wamsa kwindawo enomthi awuthanda kakhulu. “Uyakwazi ukuyibona le ndlu xa uphezulu phaya emthini.” Wakhomba kwelona gatya liphezulu lomthi. Bekunye, bakhwela emthini baya kutsho enkcochoyini yawo.

“Uyayibona ke?” yabuza le nkwenkwana.

USita wayejonge eqwalasele ekhayeni lale nkwenkwe. “Hayi,” watsho ekhathazekile.

Inkwenkwe yahleka. “Kutheni ujonge ekhayeni lam nje? Khangela phaya …” wamkhombisa endulini emgama. Yayiyinduli uSita ahlala kuyo le amkhombisa yona. Wayekwazi ukubona yonke imizi eneeflethana ezincinci kwelinye icala lenduli kwaye ekwazi nokubona kokwabo. Imitha yelanga yamaxa kutshona ilanga yayisenza iifestile zendlu yakokwabo zikhazimle okwegolide entle ekhazimlayo.

“Ndiyayibona!” wahleka esitsho.

“Ibonakala iyindawo ekhethekileyo,” yatsho inkwenkwe.

“Yiyo nyhani,” wancuma baze bobabini behla emthini lowo.

Kwakusele kuqala ukuba mnyama ukufika kukaSita kokwabo. Weva amazwi abazali bakhe nodadewabo onwabileyo ngaphakathi endlwini. Wayekonwabele kakhulu ukuba sekhayeni lakhe.

“Ubunosuku olumnandi ke?” wabuza uyise.

USita wancuma. “Ewe kunjalo!” watsho. “Kwaye ndifunde ukuba sinendlu entle kwaye ngamanye amaxesha iba neefestile zegolide.”

Emva koko, bonke bahlala phantsi etafileni ekhitshini waze uSita wababalisela ngosuku lwakhe nendlela onwabe ngayo kwiflethana yabo, esecaleni kwenduli.

READ: The house with the golden windows

This story was retold by Kirstin Hartmann and Natalie and Tamsin Hinrichsen (Illustrators)

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