A petrol station attendant who paid for a woman’s petrol out of his own pocket so that she wouldn’t be stranded has been rewarded with more than £26,000.
Twenty-one-year-old Monet van Deventer was at a Shell garage on the outskirts of South African city Cape Town when she realised that she had left all of her bank cards at home. Rather than seeing her stranded in a potentially risky bit of town, a petrol pump attendant – 28-year-old Nkosikho Mbele – put his hand into his pocket to make sure that she would be able to drive off with enough fuel.
Mbele put forward about £5 for Deventer to fill up her tank rather than have her standing alone in the Khayelitsha township, a place that is not known for its safety. In return for his kindness, she set up a crowdfunding campaign to repay Mr Mbele for his generosity. It quickly took off and before long £26,600 had been raised – an amount that is more than eight years’ worth of Mr Mbele’s salary. Mr Mbele remains coy and humble despite the fact that the story of his kindness has now been spread around the world.
He told local broadcasters: “I was just doing what anyone else would have done, from the heart. I believe there is no black and white and that we are all one people and I just want to bring people together.” As well as starting up the crowdfunder, Deventer also returned to pay back the fiver that she had borrowed. She said: “I asked the petrol attendant to hold off putting in fuel because I couldn’t find my purse and after a few minutes I told him that I had left my money and cards at home.
“I said I would chance making it to work but he just said, ‘No ma’am, you can’t run out of fuel on the N2, it is too dangerous,’ and said he would put R100 (£5) of his own money into my tank. “I was so shocked as it was such an amazing gesture and it made my day. I decided to make his kindness public and took to social media and then set up a crowdfunding page for him. “I couldn’t imagine people of South Africa both black and white would embrace his kindness in such a way and now Nkosikho has closed the account as he says he has too much money.”
Father of two Mbele continued: “I know how dangerous that stretch of the N2 is that she wanted to travel and my faith in God told me it was the right thing to pay for her to travel safely so I bought her fuel for her. “I was just happy to see her drive away knowing she would arrive where she had to get to safely and I had no idea that I would have my life so blessed in return for what I did.” He continued: “I now have R500,000 (£26,600) from Shell to donate to charity and I want to help young people and make a difference in their lives and I have R500,000 to look after my own two children.
“I am going to use the money I have to make the big man up above us all very happy.” Oh, and his bosses at Shell are also very happy. They agreed to match the donations made by the public. Chairman Hloniphizwe Mtole made a personal call to Mbele and said: “I have seen the good work you have done and I want to congratulate you for your act of kindness. “We have decided to respond to what the public has done and donate a similar figure of half a million rand to a charity that you will choose to benefit those that you want to help.”
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