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A South African – who wishes to remain anonymous – just donated R84 000 to “I have a Name” after the founder was recently held-up and robbed at gunpoint.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (2 March 2020) –  “I have a name” is an incredible photo series showcasing everyday South Africans in the most phenomenal way. Proudly South African… one story at a time!

But the founder of the amazing South African initiative was recently left traumatised, and without her photographic equipment, after being held-up and robber at gunpoint.

On the 21st of February at around 3:30 pm, D and her pup were driving home after picking up Rachel (her daughter) from school. The area that they live in has controlled gates for security reasons, and D decided to use the “back gate” on this specific day as the road is usually open due to the gate motor being stolen regularly.

“I had slowed down because it is a very sharp turn and the road is bad because of all the rain. My attention had been grabbed by a paper notice on the fence, and as I turned a gunshot went off right next to me.”

A man was standing with a gun pointed against her closed window and was shouting at her to open it.

“I thought he had shot the door of the car. Rachel was sitting in the front and started crying immediately, and Olly was sitting on my lap and jumped up against the window. Rachel was crying – he’s got a gun, please don’t shoot Olly, please don’t shoot Olly.” 

D had her camera on her lap, as she had been looking through photos while waiting for Rachel at the school. The talented photographer had been invited to capture an event for “Rare Diseases South Africa” that morning and was using the spare time to choose which pictures she would edit later that evening.

When she saw the gun, she immediately slipped the camera to the floor between her feet.

“Lots of things flashed through my mind… to accelerate and get out of there, to push Rachel’s head down and duck and drive away. To grab my pepper spray, which was hanging by my hand on my keychain.

But the guy was nervous, and I didn’t want to frighten him and have him trigger the loaded gun.”

D slowly opened the door and gave the man her phone. He demanded another phone and laptop and kept saying “hurry, hurry”!

“I asked a crying Rachel to take her phone from her bag in the back seat, and while she was looking for it, he grabbed my keys and tried to wrench them out of the ignition. I have quite a few keys as well as pepper spray on there, and instead of getting the key out of the ignition, a key chain broke, and the other keys and remotes came off in his hand.”

He kept trying to wrench the car key out. D was afraid that he would break the ignition and key, but somehow he didn’t.

Rachel handed him her phone, and when he looked down, he saw the camera and grabbed that as well. He immediately dropped the phone he had taken from the young girl, perhaps because he knew that the professional camera would be worth far more.

The man with the gun kept asking for a laptop and D explained that she didn’t have one. And then, as suddenly as he had appeared and the gunshot went off… he was gone.

Megan Toni Hunter, a Rare Diseases South Africa employee, heard about the harrowing story and quickly started rallying the troops to help D, someone who gives back so much to her community and South Africa!

“D is a friend who always gives back to everyone else, and I really want to help replace what was ripped away from her so she can continue the work she is doing.

Reaching my target will mean that D can replace her camera, lens & cellphone. The sooner we can reach this target, the sooner she can continue with “I Have A Name” & also be able to earn her income for her family.”

The post, and crowdfund went live on the 23rd of February and was slowly gaining traction, and then just eight days later, D woke up to the news that someone had made a single donation of R84 000.

The Good Samaritan, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the large donation and left one simple message.

“God bless you Didi, Rachel and your whole family. ” – Fellow child of God.

D says that she is completely “blown away”! She has no idea what to say, or even think at the moment as she is just completely overwhelmed by this beautiful act of kindness!

“This is one of the most amazing examples of grace (unmerited favour) and redemption I’ve ever practically experienced in my life. 

What was intended for harm, God intended for good… that’s the story of redemption throughout the Bible.

We live in a broken world, and yet it is so often through brokenness that life and love is given and shown.

Without the dark, there is no light. What was a horrible experience two weeks ago has been turned into a story of grace and redemption and has made me feel so loved and so blessed to be a part of a tribe of wonderful people from all walks of life.

All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t deserve this … I will continue to love and serve and make a difference one person at a time.”


Sources: I have a name | Interview with D
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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