Lonwabo Tsotsobe helps reunite lost child with parent

2016-01-06 06:00
Former Dolphins fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe was a hero on New Year’s Day when he rescued a young boy who was wandering the beaches of Port Elizabeth on his own. PHOTO: gallo images

Former Dolphins fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe was a hero on New Year’s Day when he rescued a young boy who was wandering the beaches of Port Elizabeth on his own. PHOTO: gallo images

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THE world’s former number one ranked one-day international bowler, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, turned saviour on New Year’s Day when he helped reunite a young child with his parents.

Tsotsobe, who used to play for the Dolphins, was walking in Blue Water Bay, Port Elizabeth, on the evening of New Year’s Day when he saw a young child running. He thought it was one of his neighbours’ children.

“When I got close to the child, he stopped in the middle of nowhere and I saw that he was crying. I went to him and asked him what was going on. I could see he was sad and devastated,” the left-arm paceman said.

“He told me that the football coach that had taken them to the beach had left him behind. I asked him where he stayed, what his name was, I asked him all the details.

“Especially in Johannesburg, you know that those kinds of things can be scams. Those children want you to take them home and then you get mugged. I was very cautious. ‘What’s your name? What’s your surname? Who is your mom? Who is your dad?’ Age, phone numbers, but, obviously, he didn’t know the cellphone numbers of his mother and father.”

When in need of good advice, Tsotsobe­ turned to his most trusted source, his mother. He then took the child home with him, gave him something to eat and drink and tried to calm him down. He also posted a picture of the child on Twitter, asking for assistance in tracking down the boy’s parents.

“I assured him that he was going to get home safely,” Tsotsobe added.

He learnt roughly where the child lived on a farm in Greenbushes, but was hesitant to drive out there at night, so approached the police for assistance.

There was a happy ending to the stor. “The police found the boy’s mother.”

Reflecting on the incident, he said there was an important lesson to be learnt. “The thing is I promote the idea to parents to try and teach their children at least one [phone] number for cases like this, that if your child is lost, he or she knows your number off by heart.

“I promote the idea to schools to do this and if this is done, I don’t think there will be problems like these.

“They can go to the nearest adult, ask for a cellphone and call a parent.”

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