Xolani Sithubeni, has worked at The Coliseum in Century City, Cape Town, for the past 11 years, where he mans the parking booth. He always maintains a positive disposition despite a 13-hour shift, 6 days a week. He has an unmatched passion for his job and has captured the hearts and imaginations of all who’ve come into contact with him over the years.
Xolani Sithubeni at his place of work, The Coliseum in Century City, Cape Town,
“Xolani ALWAYS smiles. He treats everyone the same. No matter who you are, you will get a smile. He goes out of his way to make life easier for everyone. He also just wants to make sure that everyone around him is happy and safe. He’s taught me that no matter what you do you have to be passionate about it and proud of it.” – says Ingrid van der Walt content contributor for Expat Explore.
Hundreds people who pass through Xolani’s booth everyday, but very few understand the hardship behind his smile and the personal struggles that have created the man he is today.
In 2001, Xolani came to Cape Town to live with his sister who was also struggling at the time. He made the move to escape the cycle of poverty he grew up in and to find a job to support himself, only to find the grass isn’t always greener. He was without work for 3 years and spent 2 years without any financial support. Cape Town was his beacon of hope, but after being unable to support himself for 3 years, he fell into depression and reluctantly moved back to the Eastern Cape where he worked on a farm for 3 years.
“I was praying very strongly that God would bring me back to Cape Town and provide me with a job. I needed a job because I was suffering. I just wanted to live and eat and not go to bed without food” – says Xolani.
“He got this job and it changed everything for him. He has a purpose and loves working with people. He’s such a good soul”, says Ingrid.
“I just carry on about my life. I enjoy working here. I feel one hundred percent happy. I have people supporting me. You have to enjoy your job if God saved your life.” – says Xolani
Xolani has been overwhelmed by the fruits of his friendliness.
“I get so many gifts for Christmas. I’m always thinking, why do they buy gifts for me? I don’t know why! I’m just praying for those things. I’m here for these people, I can carry on with life. People are so good for me. I can carry on for the job, for life. “ – says Xolani
After Ingrid conducted an interview with Xolani for “Meet Cape Town” and shared it online, the positive feedback was overwhelming and Xolani’s clients wanted a way to show their appreciation. Cherie Ricketts found the story on her newsfeed and contacted Ingrid about setting up a potential crowdfunding project to impact Xolani’s life.
“From the moment I met Xolani 8 year ago I saw something special in him, all what I wanted to do was help him for some reason. After every time I saw Xolani I had this emotional wave come over me which made me look at my life and if I’m doing enough to help others in need.” – Cherie
Xolani has a dream to build a home for himself and his girlfriend in Cape Town and has dedicated the last 11 years of his life to this. He has so far bought some of the materials.
“My dream for my life, I can say is, I don’t want to rich, first of all. If I can just get a place to stay so I can survive here in Cape Town. Then I won’t have to go back to the Eastern Cape. So that is my dream. I faced difficult times. But now I’m busy building a small house. That’s why I work so hard. No matter what happens, I’ll have a home” – says Xolani.
A crowdfunding campaign has been set up on BackaBuddy in hopes to generate R100 000 towards Xolani’s dream hope estimated to cost approximately R600 000. So far R 29 560.27 has been raised on the platform.
“His story made me realize how blessed I am with my life and that I need to make a difference in this world even if I can only help one person. Ingrid and I know that this campaign target is a big one, but how wonderful if we could make this humble, amazing man’s dream come true? We would like to challenge every person who Xolani has ever helped and smiled at, to make a small contribution to this campaign and lets all make his dream come true!”
Show your support for Xolani’s campaign by donating here:
“Ingrid and Cherie have requested that all funds be managed directly by BackaBuddy and be paid directly to necessary recipients to ensure complete transparency with donors, a service we recommend to all our campaign creators.” – Zane Groenewald – BackaBuddy – Marketing Officer
Watch Cherie and Ingrid’s talk about their campaign for Xolani here: