Humans South Africans There’s a new Facebook group in South Africa and it’s growing by 50 000 members per day! #ShutSAdown
Photo Cred: South Africa

Don epitomises the term active citizen – someone who loves their country and spends as much time holding government accountable as they do getting out there and making the world a better place – one piece of litter at a time.


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (01 March 2022) – Justin Foxton is the founder of “The Peace Agency”. Every month, the South African features very ordinary citizens doing quite ordinary (but absolutely inspiring) things on Good Things Guy.

This month, we get the honour of meeting Don – an inspiring South African teaching us all truly what an active citizen is!

Be Like Don!

More than anything, I wished I could bottle the conversation into 50 million+ buddy bottles and deliver one to each of my countrypersons across South Africa – starting with me!

My Friday evening conversation was with the proprietor of our one-and-only pizza restaurant in my new home-hamlet of Rosetta, in the KZN Midlands. Over a glass of Nottingham Road Breweries finest, we discussed what Don Robertson did when he wasn’t serving up pizzas – and the list was inspiring.

In his official capacity, Don is the local representative of our district’s Community Policing Forum. He is also our local fire marshal. In his unofficial capacity, he fixes potholes on the Kamberg road and does community gardening and litter collection with some other residents to keep our Midlands Meander hamlet living up to its descriptor of “Rose of the Midlands”. He is also about to get some folk together to clear the overgrown 5km walking path between Rosetta and Nottingham Road, so pedestrians don’t have to venture onto the notoriously dangerous R103. Seriously, how often do you get a pizza, safe, clean streets, good relations with your local SAPS and salvation from a consuming veld fire from the same guy, all washed down with a glass of something called Tiddly Toad?

Now don’t get the wrong idea of Don. He is no caped superhero. He is an ordinary guy who loves his bit of the country and wants it to thrive. He doesn’t spend too much time moaning about lack of service delivery, but he also doesn’t accept that a lack of service delivery is okay. He epitomises the term “active citizen” – by my definition, someone who loves their country and spends as much time holding government accountable as they do getting out there and making their corner of the world a better place – one piece of litter at a time.

I know that the very best way to live is in service of one another, the community we live in and the planet. But in truth, I too am guilty of spending more time complaining than acting. When this happens, I withdraw into a negative space that is scarce and un-generative.

I left our time together with the family pizzas and a note-to-self:

Be like Don.

Be Like Don
Photo Cred: Don Robertson | Supplied

Sources: Justin Foxton 
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About the Author

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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