Refugee car guard gets job as teacher

2012-02-09 09:33

Johannesburg - A Congolese car guard, who is also a qualified maths teacher, has been given an assistant teacher's post at the Sunward Park High School in Boksburg, according to a report on Thursday.

Fernando Brice Olivier Ogadi, 35, left the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2004 to escape political upheaval and came to South Africa.

Ogadi, a passionate maths teacher, worked as a car guard in the parking lot of the Zomerlust Spar in Paarl, Beeld newspaper reported.

He put up a rudimentary blackboard and would enthusiastically explain mathematical equations to any shoppers who cared to listen. He was featured on the kykNET programme Kwêla, which was seen by Sunward Park headmistress Ansie Peens.

"If somebody is so passionate about something that he's prepared to leave his country for it, he deserves to be helped," she said .

"Not everybody has the ability to explain maths, but his method is quite unique."

Ogadi started his new job on Monday morning, and has been given accommodation in the boarding school, where he offers extra classes and tuition in the afternoons.

  • Luke - 2012-02-09 09:41

    Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

      carmelledoualla - 2012-02-09 12:35

      you are right. i dont know who the hell puts a thumb down fro this article. i guess some idiots out there

      dejagermeister - 2012-02-09 18:15

      Great news! Our nation needs to embrace the influx of foreign africans - many of them are more skilled and better educated than our own people. This thing of xenophobia is hurting us and them.

      gbbfg - 2012-02-09 19:34

      Here's final proof that for every 217 people, 10 are braindead. Who the hell votes down on this?

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:44

      @luke quotias will quote...

      Ian - 2012-02-10 11:08

      you sir, are awesome!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-10 13:48

      Who cares about the god damn thumbs up and down rubbish...Speak you speak and to hell with everyone else ;)

      John - 2012-02-10 16:48

      Much Better than 200 000 Drug Dealers and Slave Traders from Nigeria!

  • Desika - 2012-02-09 09:43

    That is fantastc!!! Well done to Fernando Ogadi as well as the Head Mistress for giving him a chance!

      Ziggie - 2012-02-09 11:28

      Yes, well done to him AND the Head Mistress!!

      Marc - 2012-02-09 15:00

      Yes it is wonderful Desika - a truly worthwhile individual to bring value to this country as an immigrant. The title of the article infers that he was refugee and thus his immigration status maybe in doubt. I hope Home Affairs have done the necessary. On the other hand, we have countless lazy teachers and corrupt "educators" at an administration level in education that we can surely afford to send to the Congo - just to learn what hardship their indolence will eventually bring.

      Heinrich - 2012-02-09 22:59

      I work with Mrs Peens often at the school and she is a woman of real integrity and an EXCELLENT headmistress. I watched Kwela when Ogadi was on and it is a great decision from Mrs. Peens to give him this opportunity. People in South Africa should learn from this.Good luck Ogadi!

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:44

      well done to everybody, you all did well.

  • attie - 2012-02-09 09:43

    An awesome story! Mr Ogadi I applaud you!

      Merven - 2012-02-10 09:32

      It is a pity that Mr Ogadi is going to be a victim or xenophobia. If you are a 'sit-and-sleep-in-the-class' local teacher and suddenly a foreigner arrives that actually have a passion for his job, and suddenly they must also start to work, they are not going to like this.

      Ernica Stanford - 2013-04-23 13:15

      I second that.

  • Liam - 2012-02-09 09:43

    Get that man a Bells!

      Bob - 2012-02-09 10:08

      I think he is the kinda guy that would prefer a box of chalk!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-10 13:49

      Give that man a pi

  • munyaradzi.ncube - 2012-02-09 09:44

    "If somebody is so passionate about something that he's prepared to leave his country for it, he deserves to be helped," she said. Honestly? Did he leave DRC so that he could come and tech Mathematics or he fled the war there? Madam i think you lost it here. And to think of it, you are the headmistress!!!!! To the Maths teacher....You go boy! Keep doing what you love!

      KyleAssassin - 2012-02-09 09:54

      Well I'm sure she knows more about this man's circumstances than you or I, so she is qualified to comment, isn't she?

      Dewald - 2012-02-09 09:57

      what a crap comment mate!! He SAID on TV he left DRC with a dream to continue to teach Math - as that chance has been taken away in his own country. BIG up to this Head Mistress - and Afrikaans woman - giving this man a chance. I think you can now apologise to the "madam" and congratulate her for her GUTS to give this guy the chance.

      yolie.Landa - 2012-02-09 10:02

      SHOT OP MUNYARADZI, you left your country as well

      thozi - 2012-02-09 10:41

      @munyaradzi.ncube One wonders why any right-thinking person would find fault with the way in which the headmistress has accommodated Mr Ogadi's talents and skills for the benefit of her learners. The same goes with those who give thumbs down to all positive comments in this regard. Are our opinions really that vastly different? Or is it simlply a shortage of... shall we say, grey material upstairs?

      dumisiledee - 2012-02-09 12:02

      aren't you a foreigner also Mr Ncube? you sure sound and look like one and you might not even be needed here. On the other hand Fernando is very much needed :p

      Andreas - 2012-02-09 14:52

      FYI,he is from congo brazaville not DRC eisHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:46

      ah its teach not tech...

      Andreas - 2012-02-11 12:46


  • David Bennett - 2012-02-09 09:45

    Great story. We need more like this in SA. And all those quick to point out that he is a foreigner taking the job of a local, just remember that it takes skilled people to help create jobs for unskilled people. SA is critically short of skilled employees.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 11:17

      Just watch this space . The follow-up story within a week will be SADTU demonstrating outside the school demanding that he be fired and one of their own incompetent members who probabably can't even pass grade 7 maths themselves, be appointed in his position.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 12:56

      MOST local teachers are hopeless and are not skilled or dedicated enough, if a foreigner WANTS to and CAN then I say bring them all...

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-09 09:45

    I doubt he will strike. If only we can find more dedicated teachers to add to our existing pool. Then we could get rid of the usless lot that have no interest in teaching, only furthering themselves.

  • thomascmyk - 2012-02-09 09:48

    what an incredibly inspirational story! you go dude! WELL DONE!

  • Anthony - 2012-02-09 10:03

    Good for You

  • customdesign - 2012-02-09 10:05

    There are many brilliant minded refugees living on our street- people with degrees who cannot get work locally.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 12:58

      I say kick the local no-good lazy bums out and employ the refugees who are dedicated.

  • Yuri - 2012-02-09 10:08

    Make the little things count...teach midgets math.

      Ryan - 2012-02-09 10:25

      Hehehe. Nice. I'm gonna use that one .

      Marius - 2012-02-09 12:59

      good to see someone can see the funny side also.

  • Sechaba - 2012-02-09 10:09

    good Lord, the almighty works in mysterious ways, he did something and he got noticed, our fellow South Africans are seating at home with their qualifications expeting govermnent to come give them jobs, we have turned into being a nation of free everything (house, food, education, toilet paper and open toilets) and we sit at the corner complaining about "guavament" not giving us jobs, am not saying government shouldnt help but we should also help oursefves. i bet its few South Africans who with Maths degree will work as car guards. This is the wonderful story indeed

      Vusi - 2012-02-09 11:24

      Who are these sour pieces of trash that would sit here and give Sechaba's comment a thumbs down? Please stand up and show us who you are. I bet you work for the government and got everything free. It is because of all of these issues Sechaba has raised that we have this almighty mess we have.

      Omrisho - 2012-02-09 11:37

      @ Vusi... i'll say it again, news24 must remove the thumbs down button... let the clicking begin

      Annette - 2012-02-09 15:29

      You are so right. Everyday you see more and more hobo's on the street corners just waiting for hand outs. Sorry they get nothing from me as this country has just become give give give. If you offer them work they say no thanks. Good that this man has found a decent job.

      thozi - 2012-02-09 15:53

      @ Sechaba You have forgotten free "Condoms" (albeit with holes in the case of the Free State), but "free" all the same.

      Lara - 2012-02-09 19:54

      Vushi, let me guess. People who object to him using the phrase 'good Lord'. Or those who want the handouts.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:50

      @ lara seriously is that what you think it is? i doubt it...

  • WigzellRM - 2012-02-09 10:09

    Good job!

  • Breinlekkasie - 2012-02-09 10:10

    Great story!

  • Adrian - 2012-02-09 10:13

    Fantastic story! This guy didn't just plomp himself at the nearest robot with a piece of cardboard stating his woes, he got himself a job as a car guard, and due to his passion, started helping others rather than just thinking of himself. An inspiration to everyone, and it just goes to show that you get out of life what you put into it!

      Hugh - 2012-02-09 10:27

      the key to the story was his math teaching ability. Somthing our teachers lack. Good on him.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:02

      Actually the key to his story is also his DEDICATION

  • Frank - 2012-02-09 10:19

    How many beans make five? Half a bean, a bean and a half, two beans and a bean, easy hey!

      Ryan - 2012-02-09 10:26

      You've "bean" smoking something weird, dude.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-10 08:51

      frank is right though...well done!

  • Pierrette - 2012-02-09 10:20

    WHAT A NICE FEEL GOOD STORY...Nice to see people helping each other. We need good maths teachers in this country. I wish him luck...

  • Jacobus - 2012-02-09 10:20

    I could'nt help but shed a tear, what an amazing event.

  • fezisa.mdibi - 2012-02-09 10:21

    what a great story! :)

  • tebogo.mereyotlhe - 2012-02-09 10:21

    Brilliant...thats how its done..hope Education Minister is reading this article...

  • Genee - 2012-02-09 10:21

    What an encouraging story a miracle for someone in need! wow I'v been blessed. May he be blessed and those heteaches thrive under his tutoring. Thank you all who made this possible for him. Our counrty needs skilled and talented teachers.

  • Brad Frank - 2012-02-09 10:22

    'feel good' article of the day! amazing what perseverance, determination, passion and good old hard work can do! very inspiring :)

  • jaclynwds - 2012-02-09 10:23


  • Jasper - 2012-02-09 10:24

    On the one hand a nice story on the other - how did we as a country become so useless that we need Congolese to come and teach us math?

      Hugh - 2012-02-09 10:29

      I think the same reason we need Cuban Doctors and have no new nurses coming throught the system.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:06

      @ Jasper; IGNORE his nationality, look at his skill, dedication and passion

      Heibrin - 2012-02-10 00:04

      @Andreas: No, this is the legacy of your beloved ANC closing the Teacher's Colleges. Remember those?? IF they, together with the Nursing Colleges and police training acadamy's had been left in place SA would be a different place today: teacher who could actually teach (and not the bunch of lazy twats we have now), nurses who were actually able to provide care (and not the ignorant, obnoxious bunch we have now), and a professional police force (and not the... you get the idea!).

  • Hannetjie - 2012-02-09 10:28

    All the best to Ogadi - someone with that kind of passion, even if he is from another country, deserves a chance!!!!

  • Cate - 2012-02-09 10:28

    Well done and all the best!

  • Monica - 2012-02-09 10:31

    Best feel good story I've read in YEARS!! Love it.

  • Moi - 2012-02-09 10:31

    Great story! Hope he has a long and successful teaching career!

  • lisa.evansdominick - 2012-02-09 10:32

    Fantastic a good news story for a change, far better than the state of the nation address... Well done to Ansie Peens for giving this dedicated man a chance....

      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:08

      Ansie needs a medal for recognising talent and giving this man a chance.

  • Zodwa - 2012-02-09 10:41

    Gob bless Africa and its talent;

  • Susan - 2012-02-09 10:43

    What a heart warming story!

  • jade.bulley - 2012-02-09 10:45

    This story made me smile! So happy for him

  • Fuad - 2012-02-09 10:45

    The best part of this article is the comments section. It is refreshing to read the positive words coming from all colours of our Nation as opposed to the usual racially charged comments that inevitably ends in mindless slander.

      idille.borchers - 2012-02-09 14:20

      I was just thinking exactly the same thing. I do believe there will be hope for our country if we could learn to be more tolerant and kinder to one another. I do wish Mr Ogadi well. What a role model for our youth!

  • Peter - 2012-02-09 10:51

    Just awesome!!

  • Jeslin Bekker - 2012-02-09 10:51

    We do have remarkable people among us no matter what race or background they might have. True example.

  • Perfume5 - 2012-02-09 10:52

    Brilliant news!!!!

  • Wendy - 2012-02-09 10:56

    Yay, good news at last .. hope it goes well and many benefit from your teaching ..

  • Patrick Ngassa Piotie - 2012-02-09 10:57

    I'm a qualified medical doctor living in SA for 5 years now. I already completed 2 postgraduate diplomas (with distinction) at the University of Pretoria and I'm currently busy with the Master of Public Health (MPH). Should I give free consultations in the streets for the Department of Health to see how passionate I am about doing what I've been trained to do???? There is such a heavy shortage of qualified professionals in SA but the foreigners are despised and left to do 'jobs'. I myself was a waiter for 2 years, impossible to get a decent job.

      Linda - 2012-02-09 12:30

      Hence you have to start heading back to your country, Patrick. Get going.

      Mzwakhe Mnguni - 2012-02-09 12:38


      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:13

      Pat my boy, the only difference is that this man was a CAR GUARD and not even a waiter and I doubt if he knew what an outcome it would have. He did what he LOVED doing and that is TEACHING. If you loved giving free consultations and dishing out free treatment you would have joined "DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS" but obviously you are in it for the money only.

      TJ - 2012-02-09 13:33

      This man loved teaching so much that he actually sat in the car park and gave people maths lessons FOR FREE while watching cars at the same time. He didn't sit around waiting for a hand out. He earned his keep as a car guard and at the same time shared his special talent with others who were in need of someone with his talent. I say well done.

      phangolicious - 2012-02-09 13:52

      @ Patrick, one of the main reasons you'll find it difficult to cut in our country is the fact that, where U come from, your skill is needed 100 times more, but because you want to leave your people to suffer, you want to help South Africans, who already have a high rate of unemployed professionals!! besides, U can start your own practice, why do U want to be employed by Governement & earn peanuts, whilst U can make R3000 per day charging 10 clients R300 as a doctor ..... Grow Up!! then pay Tax

      thozi - 2012-02-09 16:07

      Linda behave please.

      Danny - 2012-02-09 16:17

      @ Phangolicious - if there are so many unemployed professionals, why do we then have such a skills shortage in SA? Your argument is flawed.

      Lille - 2012-02-11 11:03

      Dear Patrick, sorry to learn of this situation. I don't know you in person, therefore , please treat my comment as a generic one. At times, it's not about the degrees one carries, but rather the carrier of the degrees that matters. Make sure that always you get feedback after your interviews, to identify the gaps and work towards them. Good Luck!

  • Ditantane - 2012-02-09 10:58

    what a great African

      Bokfan - 2012-02-09 12:13

      You should get math lessons bru. I counted TWO great Africans

  • Mpho - 2012-02-09 11:00

    happy for him, but what about the 4000 teachers in the eastern cape who were fired instead of making their posts permanent? charity must begin at home!

      Danielle - 2012-02-09 11:11

      Charity should start at home- I agree. Although I think the focus should be on whats "charitable" to the thousands of children who could not be taught because of their teachers who were too busy striking to care right here at HOME!

      raymond.billson - 2012-02-09 11:21

      Mpho sometimes charity does not begin at home. The majority and I stress the majority do the job because at the moment it is sheltered employment.I work in the DRC and have come to know the people. They have very soft hearts and like our gent here have a passion for what they do. The DRC govt does not have the support structures like the SA component. We need to think out of the box to stabilize our maths and science education to the students moving through our schools. These gents have the passion and determination to carry out the orders given to them and if necessary teach under a tree to educate our people so they in turn are able to contribute to our sectors of the economy whilst they are in school and post matric.i say to the 4000 step aside and let people who have the passion and correct intent do the job in these very trying times of our students careers. I salute you and wish you well on your journey.

      dumisiledee - 2012-02-09 12:04

      Mpho surely there was a reason they were fired as it is we are shot of teachers, i don't think they would have just been fired for nothing.

      Bokfan - 2012-02-09 12:18

      Geez Mpho how many people have you found jobs and accommodation for in the last while. But of course you are righ, thanks to the anc many people have become refugees in their own country. But you could change that at the ballot box. In the meantime give the moaning a break you sound awful when you you whine.

      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:15

      CHARITY should go to DESERVING people.

      Andreas - 2012-02-09 14:46

      The man did it for 7 years without being compensated/CAN YOU?

  • thato.sexybabe - 2012-02-09 11:04

    Munyarazhi??????/ u are ignorant...big up to the head mistress

  • brynvw - 2012-02-09 11:05

    Haven't had time to read through all the comment, so forgive if its a repeat. At least he is a teacher that WANTS to work. Unlike the Eastern Cape teachers that went on strike on the opening day of the year! Good for him (Oprah Hug)

      Marius - 2012-02-09 13:18

      Brynvw, that was an AYOBA comment.

  • Aaron Nkosi - 2012-02-09 11:09

    Can we have such people in SA please - wow thats great, go Ogadi go... his passion worked well for him -

  • Eeny Meeny Miney Mo - 2012-02-09 11:13

    Such a great story! Goes to show that if you are passionate about something you can achieve your goal. Wish we had more teachers as enthusiastic as this.

  • Verity - 2012-02-09 11:14

    Just goes to prove that irrespective of one's background it's possible to make a constructive difference when one is willing, passionate and EDUCATED!!!! A positve role model on a continent strangled by deceipt, corruption, ignorance and lethargy. Eish! All I can say is the very best to both school and teacher. Verity

  • tmango1 - 2012-02-09 11:17

    What a great story...may God bless this headmistress!!

  • Mphotent - 2012-02-09 11:17

    atlteast this doesnt break stupidity record...

  • Renier - 2012-02-09 11:19


      Ernest Conscire Masola - 2012-02-09 11:25

      That is awesome may his wisdom benefit the kids of that school and hope in future he might expand his Maths knowledge to millions of kids in da continent.God also bless the headmistres wat a great gesture

  • dreyer.retief - 2012-02-09 11:24

    He was the car guard at my local Spar really cool guy

      Bertus - 2012-02-09 12:37

      So who's looking after your car now? LOL

      Dave - 2012-02-09 12:47

      @Bertus...... a rocket scientist

  • marissavz - 2012-02-09 11:30

    Fernando, we miss your friendly Afrikaans greetings here in Paarl... but I am soooooo happy for you!! Praise God!!