Even the terrorizing of Thugwane's family in the township is debated. Sindani says the matter has been settled quietly. The measures taken cannot be discussed "for security reasons," he says, but there will be no problem. Is that true? At least one source says he has heard a rumor that the local government is behind the threats, on the theory that a scared Thugwane is a compliant Thugwane. Whom to believe? Thugwane knows only that he still hears about the threats. He is still nervous. He notices that there is no fence behind his rented house, that anyone could approach at any time.
"Josia should be nervous," Makhubedu, the security guard, says. "There are bad people around. I have four sons, and I tell them if they are jealous of someone owning something, say they are jealous of someone who has a car, they should simply work as hard as they can, and someday, if they are lucky like Josia, they will have what they want. Some people just can't wait. They just take what they want."
Thugwane could leave, of course. People tell him that all the time. Posso tells him to come to the U.S., live in Albuquerque and train. How could he do that? This place in South Africa is what he knows. Its people are the people he knows. His mother and father live in his old tin house in the township. His 90-year-old grandfather lives on the veld. This is the home of his tribe, his customs, his beliefs. Where else would he fit? If he is the face of South Africa, shouldn't he be there?
These are his roads. This is his life.
"Where do you usually run on your workouts?" the face of South Africa is asked.
"I run all kinds of routes around here," Thugwane says, clicking his Ndebele words to a translator. "I have different routes for different days. I run up the coal piles for the big hills. I run the road toward the township for the long runs, 20 kilometers to the Oliphants River, 20 kilometers back. Sometimes I used to run straight, the 40 kilometers to the township. I don't do that anymore. I can't."
Take a look. Happiness should be a simpler, earthly matter.