You need to celebrate your birthday, even if your dad dies | Petrol Attendant birthday cakes
Photo Credit: On File

Inge Coetzee sang happy birthday to her favourite petrol attendant like she does every year, but this time he got to hear her do it for the first time!


Northcliff, South Africa (06 April 2020) – For years, Inge has been celebrating Piet’s birthday. It is a tradition in her home, to deliver a cake on Piet’s special day. This year was no different, but the lockdown was looming, so she rushed to the Engen garage in Northcliff where he works to fill her car and drop off his cake.

Piet is a special guy; he has been working at the same garage for years. Piet is deaf and has struggled all his life to gain access to hearing aids. Instead, he learned to read lips. He has been working like this all his life, getting by, by reading lips.

Inge grew to adore Piet and one day on his birthday started a tradition that they do to this day. Her most recent visit to Piet for his birthday left her speechless.

She learned that he was given a hearing aid. Inge was deeply moved! She is now looking forward to the end of the lockdown so she can sing happy birthday to Piet and for him to hear it for the first time in his life.

“With the impending lockdown, I quickly went to fill up my tank and drop off a very well-sanitised birthday cake at the Engen Garage. I considered myself very fortunate to have seen Piet on his birthday (albeit from 2 metres away). This is a very big birthday and cause for celebration. Not just because it’s our yearly tradition but because this year is a BIG one – Piet has a hearing aid! 

After a random encounter earlier this year, an eMoyo employee discovered Piet working as a petrol attendant. Piet lost his hearing as a child and through the years he tried getting a hearing aid but they kept breaking. When he tried to get back into the system it was a battle every time. That’s when he started lip reading and he has been doing it while working at the Engen Garage for the last 14 or 15 years. 

After testing Piet’s hearing with eMoyo KUDUwave, the company fitted him with a hearing aid in his right ear. Unfortunately, a hearing aid could not be fitted to the left hear as he has already lost total hearing on that side. 

I just want to give a big shout out to Jillian, the COO of eMoyo. We got to know each other over email recently when I discovered that they sponsored hearing aid. The spirit of Ubuntu is alive and well and if everyone just looks out for one another during this time – humanity will prevail. 

After 21 days, Jillian and I can’t wait to visit Piet and finally sing happy birthday! Let the countdown officially begin…”

The new hearing aid will help Piet navigate life a little easier. Now that is a feel-good story!!!

Photo Credit: Inge Coetzee

Source: Inge Coetzee
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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