I don’t know his name. I never asked.
Yet every morning he is the one smiling and waving at me. No matter how disturbing the news he holds in his hands, no matter how cold the wind in his face or how warm the heat from the tar that stretches before him, an endless road at times – he is there.
Consistent, dependable, ever present – I don’t know his name, I never asked . . . but I know it’s his birthday on 14 September.
He mans the corner on Republic and Silverpine Avenue in Randburg, close the sports grounds, next to the Sasol Garage. Short of giving the GPS coordinates it should be relatively easy to find. And he will be there this Saturday, selling the news, smiling, waving, hoping to be noticed on the celebration of his birthday.
And why should it not be a celebration?
Why should this Saturday not be something special? Why can’t he, for one day, be centre of attention, showered with gifts, appreciated for the human being he is?
I don’t know his circumstance, where he’s come from or what his dreams are . . . but I’ve never seen him miss a day, I’ve not seen him violently protest circumstance and, in the 15 odd months that I’ve driven that route, I’ve never seen him look remotely embarrassed by the job he performs.
It’s his job, and he performs it with admirable commitment and commendable attitude – without complaint.
Most of us can learn a thing or two from this man. Most of us probably need to. . . So this weekend then, gentle readers, I encourage you to take a drive to that part of town, bearing gifts. Bring old clothes, bring a few Rand, bring a cake – bring a smile and a handshake – bring a new opportunity if you have the ability to offer a chance to someone who, from all evidence, will not let you down.
Go Friday, go Saturday, go anytime but do go and meet a South African that deserves our respect.
As for me?
This weekend I will stop, ask for his name, and find out who this smiling man is.
This weekend I will meet someone extraordinary.
I guess, this weekend, the real gift is mine to enjoy.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.