Campaign launched to save Scotland's happiest man’s job

By Drum Digital
02 March 2015

Residents of Scotland’s town of West Dunbartonshire have signed a petition calling on the council to end a ban stopping Nkosana Mdikane from high-fiving schoolchildren.

Nkosana (74), a South African who works outside Aitkenbar and St Peter's Primary Schools, has reportedly been told to stop high-fiving children as they cross the road to school.

Nkosana is known as "Scotland's happiest lollipop man" because he sang and danced while working, the BBC reported.

However, the West Dunbartonshire Council ordered him to stop giving out high-fives due to safety fears.

The council said in a statement that all patrollers are instructed to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards while children cross the road.

This ensures that they are seen and also provide a barrier between pupils and traffic.

The council added that this is national guidance and the policy has been in place for a number of years.

However, parents have started a Facebook campaign and online petition to try and reverse the move, questioning the council's logic.

Nkosana’s supporters have launched a campaign called Reverse the decision to allow our Lollipop man to give high fives! – with over 5 000 people signing a Change.Org petition in just one day.

The lead petitioner, whose was named by BBC News as David Dufton, writes on Change.Org: “The kids are so disappointed with this decision [to stop Nkosana’s high-fives]. He encourages our kids to cross with him […] The traffic always stops.”

Nkosana said he was baffled by the council's decision and was "quite down" about it. When he asked the council what he was doing wrong he was told he was not concentrating on the traffic.

According to the Daily Mail, Nkosana moved to Scotland with his nurse wife, Zoli, in 2003 and worked as a delivery driver and chauffer before retiring.

He found retirement frustrating and lonely so when he heard about the lollipop man job in 2013 he applied for it.

It's the best job he's ever had, he told the newspaper.

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