Spur waiter who got R4 tip has big dreams after strangers donate R4 444

2019-04-20 12:44
Restaurant bill. (File photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Restaurant bill. (File photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

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A Spur waiter who was left R4 tip from teenage customers from "hell" says he was shocked and in disbelief after a local traveller stopped at the restaurant to leave him R4 444 tip and a note.

News24 reported last month that Xolani Mbalo, who works at the Las Vegas Spur Steak Ranch in Hemingways Mall in East London, was taunted by customers who left a measly tip and note on the till slip saying the money was "for hungry Africans".

But Mbalo was shocked when he arrived at work recently and found a substantial tip and note waiting for him, he told New24 on Saturday. 

The man who left the note for Mbalo said the tip was from a group of people, none of whom knew him.    

In the note, he wrote: "I am sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you today. Please accept this small tip of R4 444 for 'hungry Africans' because what this country needs more of, is hungry Africans. Hungry knowledge, hungry for justice, hungry for hope, hungry to know that they are seen, known and valued."

He also wrote that Mbalo should know that he is seen, known and valued and that he should not allow the "bigoted actions of a few make you doubt yourself..."

letter written to spur waiter

                                                                (Photo: Supplied)

According to TimesLive, the man who was on holiday visited the same restaurant earlier in April in an attempt to hand over his tip before departing for Cape Town – but Xolani was not on duty.

The publication quoted the man as saying: "The incident left me unsettled and enraged. I knew that I wanted to do something about it. I spoke about the incident with a few friends and shared my frustration, and also an idea that I had." 

Mbalo told News24 that he has kept the note and keeps reading it "just to keep myself motivated".

Shocked and in disbelief

"I was shocked when I got the money," he said.

"I saved a little bit of the money for my graduation next month. I would like to thank them. I appreciate it." 

Mbalo said he was initially in disbelief at the kindness of the gesture.

"There are people out there who are nice. There are few people who would do such things out there," he said. News24 previously reported that police are investigating a case of crimen injuria against the three customers. 

Mbalo said it was not about the tip but more about how he was treated by the customers. 

"They discriminated [against] me and that affected me emotionally. I was really hurt. They looked at me as a hungry African. When I served them, they asked me to eat their left overs. They said I look hungry," he said.

Mbalo said he has bigger dreams for the future, which includes finding an internship and looking after his grandmother financially.

"I was a waiter and doing my diploma at the same time. I chose to work on weekends so that I can have pocket money. But now I would like to get a job in [Information Technology] and look after my grandmother – my parents are not alive anymore," he said.  

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