Where does the story of obhombi begin?  For me, it goes way back over a decade ago.  In primary school, my friends and I attended a school in town which was a kilometre away from where we lived.

Normally our parents would give us taxi fare however, as kids we would rather keep the money then walk in a group and spend the money on food (eats) for the road.  One of the eats we spent the money on was obhompi. Those days were just awesome!

As the school bell rang, we ran to the nearby house that sold obhompi.  Sometimes we would be told “they are not frozen yet” That would result in disappointed and sad little faces.

What is ubhompi?  It’s a drink (it can be any drink) poured into a transparent plastic bag, tied on top then frozen.  Some would say it’s the township version of ice lollies. They are sold at different prices depending on the amount of drink poured in the bag.  Back in the day we would prepare a drink with Oro Crush, now I’ve seen and tasted the commercialised version and they are prepared with fruit juice.  They are actually very nice but a tad expensive than the normal ones.   You get people going around selling them and yelling “ice” like the mealies lady on Madam and Eve.

In high school, it was the same.  We bought bompies especially at this time of the year.  The funny thing we would hit them up against a hard object to crush the ice without tearing the bag.   I’m not sure what’s nicer, sucking the ice or crushing the ice with your teeth.

Last month at my mom’s place it was very hot and the cooldrinks weren’t doing the job so I made them up.  As I was sitting outside enjoying my bompie my brother saw me on his way out, he immediately went straight inside the house, right into the kitchen.  I asked what he was looking for.  He opened the freezer then asked “can I have one?” hehe!  My mom told me he loves them and I didn’t even know that, but then again he is in high school and he walks from school with a group of friends.  I’m sure they buy them on their way back.

Everyone growing up in the townships of Mzansi grew up buying obhompi.  They are called different names due to language differences.

Personally, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.  The long walks back from school sucking and enjoying obhompi with friends.  I made them up with my nephew and he was overly excited!  So, making bompies is something you can do with the kids …for the kids.  I bet they won’t be asking for money to buy them.


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