There’s nothing scarier than something going wrong with your car when you’re out and about. Whether it starts making weird noises, breaks down entirely, or simply runs out of gas, it can be especially intimidating for women who end up stranded and in a potentially dangerous situation. When Monet van Deventer from Cape Town, South Africa found herself stuck with no money to fill her gas tank, she didn’t realize she had a guardian angel just around the corner. Gas station attendant Nkosikho Mbele not only offered her sympathy and understanding, he also went out of his way to help her out and fill her gas tank.
- Van Deventer forgot her debit card. That meant even though the car was out of gas, she couldn’t pay for any more. “I had this strange feeling that I forgot my card. I then started looking for it, and while I was searching, Nkosikho started washing my windows,” she recalled to Times Live.
- She told him that she forgot her card and he didn’t need to clean her windows. However, Mbele noticed that her fuel warning light was on in the car and didn’t want her to be in danger of breaking down if she were to leave without filling up her tank. “I said to him, thanks for washing my windows but I can’t put petrol in today. He seemed stressed and shocked because he was looking at my fuel needle which was already in the red,” van Deventer added.
- Mbele immediately offered to buy her some gas. The 28-year-old didn’t hesitate to pony up about a hundred rands (roughly $5.50 US) so that she’d get to where she was going without the chance of breaking down. He immediately took his own bank card and headed to the register to pay for her fuel. “He said to me, ‘ma’am, you can’t run out of petrol on the N2’. And he said, ‘I’ll pay R100 and whenever you are near again you can just give me back my R100,’” van Deventer remembered.
- He didn’t even give her time to think about it. While she may have refused his kind offer, Mbele immediately started putting gas in the tank so that she couldn’t say no. “I thought, perhaps it was a business thing that Shell does this for you and then I saw him literally take his own card and pay for it. When I drove away it dawned on me what just happened,” van Deventer said.
- Mbele only makes minimum wage. Given that the 100 rand bill was pretty much a full day’s work for him, it made Mbele’s gesture even more touching and selfless. His full paycheck is only 1,100 rand a week, so the fact that he was willing to give up even a portion of it was pretty incredible.
- He couldn’t bear the thought of the young woman getting stranded if her car did run out of fuel. “I asked her how low is the fuel, and she said it was low. I asked her, ‘will you make it?’, and she said: ‘I’m not sure.’ I said let me just do this for you,” Mbele later told Times Live.
- Van Deventer came back a few days later to repay him. She not only brought his 100 R back, she also brought him a box of chocolates to say thank you for what he’d done. “I was so grateful that she came back. I could see in her eyes that she appreciated my help, you know when someone sees that you have done something for them. I could see it in her eyes that she really appreciated that I had done something for her,” Mbele revealed.
- However, Mbele was soon in for an even bigger surprise. After van Deventer shared Mbele’s incredible act of kindness on Facebook, the story went viral and everyone decided to chip in and help out. “Since Nkosikho saved my life I would love to do something in return for him,” she wrote on the fundraising page. “His 2 children, mom and brother lives with him in Khayelitsha and he will really benefit from any donations.”
- By the time the fundraiser closed, roughly $94,000 had been raised. That equaled about eight years of Nkosikho Mbele’s salary! That’s life-changing money for him, and we can’t think of a better person to receive it. Shell even nominated him for a Regional Service Excellence Award and agreed to donate $35,000 to a local charity of Mbele’s choice.
That’s the kind of heartwarming news we’d all love to hear more of!