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HomeAction Stories Fuel Season 1: Episode 26 - Bayede Inkosi

Fuel Season 1: Episode 26 - Bayede Inkosi

Series: Stories of the Fuel Speedway

King Mandla looks to show his dominance over the series while dealing with his father's stern hand.

Inkosi: A Zulu word for King or Chief, a supreme ruler over a people or land.



6th of April - Season 1

"You're a King, Mandla. Act like it." Formula-X King, Mandla Xulu had never been prouder hearing these words. And how could he not be when they came from the King of the Zulus. He'd been given the extraordinary honor just two days ago when the Zulu tribe leader had invited him to have Saturday tea with him. It was during that "tea" that the Zulu King told Mandla that he was proud that a Zulu man like himself was representing his people so proudly. When Mandla had suggested that it was nothing compared to his exaltedness, the Zulu King had dismissed Mandla's humility, telling him to act like the proud King he was.

Currently, Mandla was in the back of a BMW X5 on his way to the Fuel Speedway. In truth, it was his father's car, who insisted on dropping him off at the speedway like he was a primary school child. Mandla hated it. He hated a lot of the things that his father did but understood most of them as being necessary in order to play politics. After all, he wasn't just the Deputy Mayor of the City of Ngelosi. He was also the leader of the most powerful political party on the island: the Congressional Metropolitan Alliance.

"So," said his father, "are you headlining Fuel this week?"

Mandla refrained from rolling his eyes. "I told you I don't know, Baba. We usually don't know until Fuel starts." They'd had this conversation before.

The D.M. scoffed. "What kind of businessman hopes to keep his business alive when he can't even let his own staff know what's going on." This wasn't a question.

"Well, I think Moodswing's going for suspense. By keeping us in the dark too, it adds to that feeling that anything can happen."

This time the D.M. clicked his tongue. "That's nonsense. Moodswing and Glen need to show a measure of control. That's how success is bred."

"And you need to show less control," said Mandla. When his father looked at him, Mandla showed him the Formula-X newsletter article which had a picture of his father at a political rally on Saturday. "Re-election season started?"

"You know it has," said his father, barely looking at him. "Your point?"

"My point is that you might want to reduce how many times you mention me in these speeches, Baba." This time his father did the opposite of what he did last by looking at him but not speaking. "You mentioned me more than ten times. And that's just the article. I don't want to know how much you actually said about me."

The D.M. scoffed again. "You should be proud, Mandla. I am. And I'd like people to know about it."

Mandla wasn't buying that for a second. "Baba, you said that I was doing the country proud. Really, Baba? The country?"

"Look at the context, Mandla. I was talking about your leading by example."

"Regardless Baba. Do you think you could mention me less?" His father just looked at him again. "Please?"

It was clear that the D.M. was not impressed with him. "Mandla, you're acting like everything that I'm doing, I'm doing for myself. And I'm not. You know that. You know where my loyalties lie." While he posed it like a question, Mandla didn't answer because it wasn't. "They lie with the C.M.A. I'll do whatever it takes to show why we've run this island since the turn of the millenium. And I expect you to do the same."

It was at this point that Mandla felt like the little boy that he was when his father first started introducing him into the world of politics. Despite his father telling him what he expected of him, Mandla still didn't know... what he wanted him to do. "What do you expect me to do?"

"It's simple: dominate." His father then turned away from him as he spoke his next words. "You're a King, Mandla. Act like it."



As his father made use of his special priveledges as F-X King and dropped him off in the paddock, Mandla thought about his father's last words and how when he said them, that they made Mandla feel so small in comparison to the King of the Zulus. Luckily for Mandla, he was immediately welcomed with a round of applause. It wasn't shocking that Moodswing had circulated the news that he'd represented Formula-X by meeting the Zulu King and broken new ground in the process. Of course, according to his father, this didn't mean anything if he didn't show dominance over his own racing kingdom.

It didn't take long for Mandla to figure out how he was going to do it. In one of Moodswing's promotions of major events during the two week break, he played a recording of a radio interview he had with national Azania FM on-air personality, D.J. Mthathe where he made mention of three things. First was how skill and popularity played major factors in the series. Second was the preparations being made for The Formula-X Grand Prix. And the third was that Touch Mkhize was the biggest box office draw in the series.

Things were simple after that. Mandla quickly got the authority to go to the middle-stage from Glen who assumed he was going to speak about meeting the Zulu King. He then proceeded to do what his father expected of him... rule. "As you all probably already know by now," he said to the capacity crowd, "I recently met the King of the Zulus. And one thing he taught me was to know when to show your people just what kind of King you are. And I'm going to do just that, by showing all of you that I'm a fighting King."

Mandla then proceeded to say that he would be facing Jim Kieck again tonight for the title. "And the reason I'm doing that is so that the Playboy doesn't come back for more at Sunday Night Easter. Because, you see, I have plans for Sunday Night Easter. I heard the radio interview that Moodswing gave just a few hours ago where he named Touch Mkhize as the biggest box office draw. Well as King, that doesn't sit well with me. As King, I want to see what this box office draw is made of. As King, I want me and him to square off and see who's really got it."



Mandla had been secretly ecstatic when he got off the middle-stage to a smiling Moodswing who immediately sanctioned his race with Jim as the feature race of the night. Clearly, Mandla's taking initiative in producing intriguing sports entertainment was what Moodswing wanted to see. While he didn't say anything about his challenge to Touch Mkhize for Sunday Night Easter, Mandla wasn't worried. Even he knew that Moodswing would sanction it. If Touch was the draw that he claimed he was, it was a smart easy-money decision. But it didn't hurt to get the ball rolling.

With Touch's race taking place directly before his, Mandla made a calculated assumption and made his way to the entrance of the Winner's Circle just as he once had at Show-Down in Downtown and waited. His assumption proved spot on when a victorious Touch made his way to the Winner's Circle only to find Mandla. Mandla then proceeded to enact a staredown with the loudmouth which was met with much approval from the crowd, especially when he lifted his crown up to show what it was all about. Now it was on.

Now that the crowd knew that he wasn't lying about being a fighting King, it was time to prove that he could back it up by defeating Jim Kieck. The race started off fast, with Jim taking control in the early going. It was clear that Jim didn't want to squander this opportunity. Unfortunately for Jim, he didn't have a father like Mandla's to motivate him. As Mandla raced on, he thought about his father's words, using them as fuel to push ahead.

Mandla thought about how his father was using him to cast a spotlight on himself. He thought about how his father had basically dictated his future by inducting him into politics before he could decide for himself what he wanted to do. He thought about how his father had made the C.M.A. his gospel and disallowed anything that didn't have to do with making the C.M.A. proud. And Mandla thought about how he was going to use his success here in Formula-X to finally make something for himself.

In the end, Mandla captured the lead and picked up the win. It had been hard-fought and Mandla was glad for it. The fact that Jim had made him work for it would make his earlier statement resonate even more. If he was going to prove his dominance over the series, he was going to need his claimants at their best. Whether it was Solo and his never-ending hunt for the title; Darcy Stevens and that devil on her shoulder named Thawn whispering in her ear; John Kloof and his momentous search to prove himself or Touch Mkhize and his penchant for getting everyone to underestimate him. He needed them at their best so that when he beat them, everyone would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was worthy of being King!

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © All stories are Copyright © 2016-2020 by S.T. Kubheka (also known by the pseudonym Bernard "Beesting" Bayede). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This story or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

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