The daily commute can sometimes be painful but one MyCiTi bus worker in Cape Town has become renowned for easing people's woes with his friendliness and willingness to help out.
Siyabonga Jubeju, 37, did not even think twice about putting himself in the line of danger when he recently ran to extinguish a car that caught fire outside the Adderley station where he works.
He's also helped return a lost cellphone, found someone's bags with important documents, and regularly carries heavy bags for the elderly from the bus station to the long-distance bus terminal a short walk away.
"When people are at work, they often say 'It's not my job.' I just help out and do what is needed. I like to help people," he told News24 at the station on Wednesday afternoon.
The City of Cape Town received so many compliments from commuters about the married father of three that they gave him the "MyCiTian Award" for outstanding customer relations this week.
'Always do more and be better'
Jubeju works for Table Bay Rapid Transport, a subsidiary of Golden Arrow, which is an official Vehicle Operating Company for the MyCiTi service.
Born in Crossroads, Nyanga, he's come a long way since his youthful days spent helping his construction worker dad Khalingaphi.
"I feel great," beamed Jubeju after receiving his award. "My father taught me to always do more and be better."
Sadly, his dad died last year.
"He wanted me to be a lawyer or professional but due to finances, I couldn't go further."
Instead, he worked hard to prove himself in the construction and security industries.
He graduated from being a licensed driver of a road surfacing machine to obtaining his licence so he could drive MyCiti buses.
Jubeju was then promoted to regulator. With a smile and jokes thrown in, he assists commuters with logistical needs, alternate buses and other queries.
"The one time, this guy left his bags with important documents and passport in the bus. I phoned all the depots and eventually found it in Dunoon," he recalled.
The man had been on his way to the airport to catch a flight to Spain for a new job.
"I felt very great. This guy wanted to cry because he got the job through those working certificates in the bag. He said if it wasn't for me, there would have been no Spain."
Another commuter, Simon Gwegweduka, said he was inspired after capturing a video of Jubeju running to put out a car on fire last month.
"The family was shell shocked as the car started burning. Everyone was watching helplessly then came my hero for the moment," Gwegweduka said.
"The dude left his station , rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire by himself. Well done, everyone in my bus saluted this guy."
News24 showed Jubeju the video for the first time on Wednesday and he chuckled.
"I saw the fire and thought of my old car. I always imagine what would happen if it burns like that. So I grabbed a fire extinguisher out of the bus and went to help," he said.
Transport Mayoral Committee Member Felicity Purchase said Jubeju's story warmed her heart.
"He is a true gem by going out of his way to help people in need – from our MyCiTi commuters to motorists. A plus is that he expects nothing back," she said.
"He sets an example to all of us to be more caring and kind to our fellow Capetonians. I am very proud of Siyabonga for always going beyond the call of duty and giving our commuters a pleasant experience. Siyabonga kakhulu Siyabonga."
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