Handing over your car to a complete stranger is not something most people typically do. But when a desperate mother’s car broke down at the petrol station where he works, Clement Nciki didn’t think twice about lending her his own car so she could get to school in time to fetch her kids.
Laine Herman (34) was rushing to fetch her five-year-old daughter and four-year-old son from Southcity Christian College in Margate in KwaZulu-Natal when a warning light came on in her car.
Unsure of what to do, she stopped at a petrol station for help. Clement (29), one of the petrol attendants, saw how frantic she looked so he handed her his car without expecting anything in return.
“I’m so thankful he trusted me with his prized possession without knowing my name or driving abilities,” Laine shared in a post to the popular Facebook group #ImStaying.
Her post has since gone viral, spreading beyond South African shores. One American man even contacted Clement asking for his bank account details to thank him for his selfless act of kindness.
“I never expected something this beautiful,” Clement tells YOU about the response he has received. “I can’t even explain how happy I am. I am very grateful.”
Laine was on the highway when she felt her two-year-old Audi A3 lose power. She noticed on the car’s dashboard that the oil level was low so she decided to stop at the nearest petrol station.
Three petrol attendants, including Clement, approached the car.
“I asked one of the guys to put oil and petrol in,” Laine recalls. “I even asked him to hurry because I had to fetch my kids.”
Laine started her car but as she attempted to drive off, she realised the gears weren’t working.
“I couldn’t seem to put my car into gear. Clement asked where I needed to go and I explained that I needed to fetch my kids from school.
“He then asked if I know how to drive a manual car and I said yes. He pointed to his red Toyota Corolla and asked if I could drive that car. I said yes again.”
Before she knew it, the car was parked next to her with the keys in the ignition.
“I grabbed my bag, got in the car and went to fetch my kids. Only once I was in the car and halfway there it dawned on me what just happened. I was stunned.”
Laine, who works for her husband’s company Liquid Gold Africa, returned to the petrol station after fetching her kids and asked Clement if she could take them home before returning the car.
“All he said was that this is a safe place. I should use his car and come back once I’ve done everything I needed to.”
Her husband, Orion (36), later accompanied her to the petrol station to fetch her car. Clement gave them the number of a tow-truck driver and referred them to a mechanic to have the car fixed.
“He sorted us out properly,” Laine says.
The Herman family had just moved from Johannesburg to Margate and knew no one in the area so they were really touched by Clement’s act of kindness.
Although he only bought his Toyota five months ago and it’s the first car he’s ever owned, he didn’t hesitate to hand the keys over because he believes it’s important to help others.
This isn’t the only time he’s lent the car out to people in need.
“The other day I was on my way to work when I found two guys along the side of the road,” Clement says. “They had two flat tyres and needed help fixing it.”
He lent them his car so they could go off and buy replacement tyres.
Lending a helping hand seems to be in Clement’s nature and Laine believes we can all take a leaf out of his book.
“It starts with you,” she says. “Always try to see where you can help the next person. If we all could do one good deed a day, South Africa would be a better place.”