Kindness of strangers

Rowena Glaser, Stellenbosch

I am an elderly white lady, and on a busy Saturday afternoon, around 1.15pm, I hurriedly stopped at the Mooiberg farm stall near Stellenbosch, and with only my money purse in hand, slammed the car door shut, leaving bag, keys and cellphone locked in the car.

Panic… particularly as, being single, I have no one immediate to turn to.

I rushed into the stall to find the manager (who knows me) for help, to please phone a locksmith (closed on a Saturday afternoon) or a taxi, so I might fetch my spare keys from home, but in his usual manner he was too busy to assist.

Panic escalating, I turned to the whole busy shop and shouted if anyone could assist, either by phoning a taxi, or, as I live only 4km away, they might possibly be going my way.

Not only was there no response, but people were visibly embarassed at my noisy appeal.

Except for one person, who very quietly came up to me and said “Come, I’ll take you home”.

Well, this gentleman (and I want to emphasise, this gentle African man) drove me right back to my home, insisted on waiting while I found the spare keys, and took me back to fetch my car.

He refused any remuneration and, as I found out, does not even live in Stellenbosch, so went decidedly out of his way, on his Saturday afternoon.

And he still waited to see me get safely into my car and drive away.

So, not only do I want to say a hugely, grateful thank you to Thaddeus Oranusi; but I feel obliged to record my disappointment and even shame towards my own “country-folk/group”.