An inspirational South African man, with less than most, was spotted in the early hours of the morning, making a difference in his community.
Nicci Cloete Annette saw the random act of kindness & immediately knew that she wanted to pay him back with more kindness. She also posted the story on her Facebook to inspire others to do the right thing!
The inspirational man’s name is Kobus & he had created a job “of sorts” for himself at the small parking lot at the bottom of Die Laan, next to the Theological Seminary in Stellenbosch.
The community don’t really know if it’s an ‘official’ job, but for a number of years already, Kobus has taken it upon himself to demarcate parking spaces in the lot, using branches or stones, and to keep an eye on the cars while the owners are at work.
It’s not known if he makes much money doing this but he also washes cars & always offers a friendly smile for passers by. Nicci lives on Die Laan and has become accustomed to seeing Kobus doing his thing during the week.
“This morning, I saw something that gave me goosebumps.”
Nicci had left home slightly earlier than usual that morning as her son wanted an earlier drop, and while she was at a standstill in the traffic at the bottom of Die Laan, she saw Kobus taking a slow stroll around the little park on the riverbank, across from River Manor guest lodge.
There is always litter scattered around that area as there are benches that attract people to sit and eat their take-aways there, and it often looks like a mess but that morning Nicole spotted Kobus, casually picking up all the rubbish.
“I was absolutely struck by the fact that Kobus had taken it upon himself to pick up rubbish from the park.”
We do it as a rule, as a family – something my folks instilled in me from an early age – but it’s not something I see other people do very often in this park, and I guess I didn’t expect to see a possibly-homeless person, with what is clearly a hand-to-mouth existence, taking such pride in his surrounds.
“The thing that I loved most is that he was going it entirely of his own volition, presumably without any expectation of being observed or rewarded.”
It made such an impression on Nicci that she mentioned it to her daughter’s teacher, who suggested baking him a cake. So, when my kids got home after school, with a friend in tow, they baked chocolate muffins, packed them – still warm – in a pretty yellow box with a bunch of juicy clementines – and went off to find Kobus.
He greeted me politely as he always does and when I told him what I’d seen and what was in the box, he became so overwhelmed with emotion that he couldn’t speak.
He had tears in his eyes and he had to turn away because he didn’t seem to want me to see him wiping his wet cheeks.
I told him that I wanted to write a letter to the Eikestadnuus about him and what a valuable addition to our community he is, and he gave me his blessing to take a photo of him with my kids and the friend, who have all learned a valuable lesson from this little interaction.
It might seem like a simple, heartwarming story of someone who did the “right” thing even though he didn’t think anyone was watching… but this story could inspire a nation to take responsibility of our own trash!