A Proud Man
He did his job with a smile and pride. Day in and day out he worked hard at his minimum wage job just to keep food on the table.
But when a woman came into his station with a problem what he did next would have far-reaching consequences. Not just for him but his children and the whole family too.
Working to Make Ends Meet
Working as a petrol attendant at a Shell filling station in a third world country. A pump attendant was not the most glamorous job in the world, but in a country with such a high unemployment rate, he was satisfied with just having a job at all.
Nkosikho felt genuinely fortunate, little did he know that something amazing was going to take place…
Just Another Day
Just another day pumping gas, cleaning windshields, pumping up tires, and checking motorists oil and water. Some would feel that the pay was not worth the long hours in any and all weather that The Mother City, Cape Town could conjure.
Still, he didn’t complain, but instead smiled and made his clients smile too. Something was about to make his job a lot more rewarding.
Running On Empty
A young woman, Monet van Deventer, pulled up to Nkosikho’s allocated petrol pump. She was on her way to Cape Town when she suddenly realized that her petrol light was blinking red.
She was dangerously close to running out of gas and being stranded on the side of the highway. Her situation got worse.
Nowhere To Be Found
As Nkosikho waited patiently, washing the young lady’s windscreen, she rummaged through her purse and then her whole bag. Monet’s bank card was nowhere to be found and feeling a bit sheepish and a little anxious at how far her empty car would get her she began apologizing profusely to Nkosikho for wasting is time.
What happened next set everything into play.
A Dangerous Road Ahead
It would have been a particularly bad day for Monet if she had happened to pull up in front of anyone else’s pump, but she pulled up at an uncharacteristically kind and generous gentleman.
Seeing that she wouldn’t get far with what was left in her tank, Nkosikho said, “He just said ‘No ma’am you can’t run out of fuel on the N2 it is too dangerous,’”
Kindness And Faith
Surprised by his generosity, Monet accepted graciously, she had no choice though really because Nkosikho had already pumped R100 in and paid on his own bank card.
“Ma’am, I’ll throw in R100 and then you can just bring back my R100 whenever you are near again,” Nkosikho assured her, he unbelievably didn’t even ask for her number or name.
Gratitude In Her Eyes
Amid a thousand thank-yous, the woman drove off promising that she would be back soon to repay him.
That random act of kindness has changed Nkosikho’s life forever, but still, all he has to say about it is; “I didn’t care about the money. Saw the gratitude in her eyes. And saw that she appreciated what I did. It made me happy,”
Keeping A Promise
Monet did just as she promised, she was back the very next day with Nkosikho’s R100 (no small change in South Africa) as well as a box of chocolates to thank him for rescuing her the day before and that’s not all.
It would be a pretty boring ending if the story ended with Nkosikho getting a box of chocolates…
Nkosikho is being rewarded with serious cash after Monet posted her story on Facebook and set up a BackaBuddy crowdfunding campaign.
In no time the newspaper’s had picked up the story, it was all over the radio, and thousands of people took to donating anything they could towards South Africa’s petrol hero. And you won’t believe how much money it raised!
The crowdfunding set up in Nkosikho’s name accumulate almost half a million rand and in addition, Shell will also donate R500 000 to a charity of Nkosikho’s choice. He was even flown to Zanzibar as Shell’s poster boy for “excellent service.”
“His story will be shared with the Shell global community to inspire others further. We will also donate R500,000 to a charity organization of his choice to pave the way for many others,” Shell announced.
Fame And Fortune
The job turned out to be very rewarding after all. His singular act of goodwill now seems to be catapulting him to fame and fortune. Born and raised in Lady Frere in the Eastern Cape, Nkosikho came to Cape Town at the age of seven.
He was raised his single mother with his younger brother and grew up spending his time in church. Now, what would he become now that he was famous?
Not Under His Watch
“Growing up, I wanted to be a soccer player, but as time went on, I realized that being employed and dependent on money is the root of all evil and all problems we are faced with in the world today.
I am the way I am today because of my faith” he said. And that’ why he couldn’t let a lady take the chance of breaking down… Not on his watch!
A Private Person
“I am a very private person, I don’t like being in the limelight and now that small gesture has turned my life upside down.”
“I highly appreciate South Africans who have embraced me and shown me even greater gratitude than I had ever expected. But,” The 28-year old father of two continued, “I would like to get back to just being me.”
Humanity Still Lives
“What is happening to me now has opened my eyes to a whole new world; it has made me realize that humanity still lives. We as a nation also still need to move away from the notion that apartheid and racism have to form part of our daily lives.
We have to hold each other’s hands and unite as a people, and in that way, the spirit of Ubuntu will grow and live on.”
A People Person
“People treat me like a celebrity now, and I am not – I just helped a fellow human being,” he said. “I love chatting to people and getting new views on life and sharing my views with them.
For me, working here is not just a job, but it is a place where I can grow my knowledge of people in general,” Nkosikho said.
Going The Extra Mile
“Helping customers is what we do; we are here to provide good, quality service. If it means going the extra mile and paying for a customer’s petrol, then that is what we do,” said the newly discovered South African treasure.
Not many other people would even think this way. Monet was just so lucky that Nkosikho believed these words to be true.
Make A Decision
Nkosikho confided that he had not yet had an opportunity to sit with his family to discuss what he would do with the money. “I have been busy since the day this all started and am yet to sit with my mom and the rest of the family to discuss everything.
“I am, however, confident that a sign from above will come and we will make a decision that will not only be pleasing to us but the man above as well.”
The Company Is Proud
“Shell is very proud of Nkosikho’s act of kindness and willingness to go the extra mile in assisting a customer pay for much-needed fuel. We believe that this is a true spirit of Ubuntu. A commitment from our people to make our customer’s journey better.”
Hloniphizwe Mtolo, the company’s chairperson in South Africa, called Nkosikho after all this developed. He congratulated him and give him the news of his selection for cash rewards, awards, and travels.
The young man was overwhelmed and shocked. At first, he thought that this could possibly be true, that it was all an elaborate prank. But as the news sank in he realized that he was living a dream.
Nkosikho had to ask twice whether he was actually going to go to the awards and said someone needed to splash him with water. “Yes brother, it’s because you did the right thing,” Mtolo replied with a smile.