Kid Playboy by Casey Motsisi
In Kid Playboy by Casey Motsisi we have the theme of appearance, loss, suffering, responsibility, trust, fear, selfishness and anger. Narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises after reading the story that Motsisi may be exploring the theme of loss. Several of the characters in the story have lost something. The narrator has lost his first love to Kid Playboy. The young woman with the baby at the wedding has loss the chance of rearing her child with a father (Kid Playboy) and Kid Playboy’s bride has lost the opportunity to live a happy life with Kid. What is interesting about each character’s loss is that the reader becomes aware of the loss at Kid’s wedding, an event that is commonly associated with a union or togetherness. Yet there is no comfort for any of the characters in the story. Each in their own way suffers. It is also through suffering that the reader realises that the narrator has never gotten over his first love and rather than blaming the girl herself the narrator blames Kid. As though the girl had no responsibility. Kid too takes no responsibility when it comes to his child. He and those at the wedding are shocked by the young mother’s actions of handing the baby to the mabalane. It is as though Kid does not want to know about the baby. Possibly viewing the baby as a hindrance to his life with his new bride.
There is also a lot of anger in the story. The narrator is angry when he sees Kid because it reminds him of what Kid done to him. The young woman with the baby is obviously angry that Kid has not taken responsibility for his actions and Kid’s bride on seeing the baby is also angry. Which is not ideal when it comes to a wedding. Not only are wedding a union between two people but they are also supposed to be happy occasions. Yet there is no happiness being shown at Kid’s wedding. If anything events are not going as planned. Kid’s bride realises that kid is a playboy and that he has fathered another woman’s child which in essence suggests that Kid’s bride is not really going to be Kid’s main priority. It is as though Kid’s bride cannot trust Kid which in reality if she were to trust him would only lead to an unhappy marriage as trust is one of the cornerstones of marriage. The narrator too may be somewhat naïve as he appears to have trusted his first love before she ran away with Kid. If anything the narrator is placing his first love (as many men do) on a pedestal.
Kid’s reaction to his baby’s mother is also interesting as he is full of fear. This fear is probably derived from the fact that Kid realises that his past has finally caught up with him. Any plans he may have had for happiness with his bride are dashed. The wedding itself is a lavish affair but it has gone to waste. Kid’s past has been exposed very publically which would play on the theme of appearance. Kid can no longer portray himself as the playboy he would like others to see him as. His image is now one of a man who does not take responsibility for his actions. He is prepared to abandon the mother of his child in favour of a prettier woman (his bride). At all stages of the story Kid has thought of nobody but himself which suggests that Kid is selfish. The most important person in Kid’s life is not his child, the child’s mother or his bride but himself. An event (wedding) that was supposed to be filled with happiness has turned into a nightmare for Kid.
The end of the story is also interesting as the narrator appears to be relieved that Kid has been found out. It is as though justice has been served at least in the narrator’s eyes. His resentment towards Kid wanes and he no longer appears to be upset by Kid’s previous actions (taking his first love). The reader is also aware that the cause for the narrator’s sense of happiness is the fact that Kid has returned to his home town never to be heard of again. A once flamboyant man has been broken by his past. Much to the delight of the narrator. Kid’s bride also appears to be living a less than successful life. Though she felt as though her lawyers would get enough money from Kid in order for her to be able to live a comfortable life. This is not the case. Rather she spends her time drinking in Aunt Peggy’s which suggests that she may not necessarily be living a happy life. The fact that the narrator also considers it appropriate to drink with Kid’s bride in Aunt Peggy’s with Kid’s bride on his lap suggests that the narrator may not truly value women. It is as though he wishes to rub salt into Kid’s wounds and at the same time demean women. Just as Kid has done. In reality there may be more than one playboy in the story.