How would you feel if you received 8 years’ worth of your salary all at once? Thanks to a woman who decided to refuel at the gas station where he works — both their lives were positively impacted.
That’s exactly what happened to Nkosikho Mbele, a gas attendant for a Shell in South Africa. And his sudden fortune was brought about by an act of kindness he did for a young woman.
It all began when Monet van Deventer of Cape Town, South Africa, stopped at the gas station to refuel. But when she got there, she quickly realized she didn’t have any cash or cards on her.
Nkosikho walked to her car and started washing her windows, but Monet immediately tried to stop him knowing she couldn’t pay.
“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,” she said.
The gas worker couldn’t bear to let her drive like that, so he made Monet a kind offer—he volunteered to pay for her gas bill of about R100 (USD 7), so she could refuel and travel across the highway with enough petrol.
“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’,” Monet recalled of the moment.
Monet, who works as an account manager at a hospitality software company, thought it was something that Shell provided for all their customers. But then she saw Nkosikho grab his own bank card to pay for the gas at the register.
Before she could say anything, he started to refuel her almost empty gas tank. It was only when she drove away that it dawned on her what just happened.
Unfortunately, Nkosikho works for minimum wage, and the R100 was almost as much as he makes in a day.
He earns around R1,100 (USD 75) per week, so Nkosikho didn’t have a lot to spare. He wasn’t even sure if Monet would come back to return his money, but he still volunteered to pay for her gas.
As it turns out, Nkosikho had nothing to worry about.
Monet came back a couple of days later with his money and a box of chocolates.
“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,” Nkosikho recalled.
But Monet actually had more in store for the kind gas attendant who helped her when she needed money to refuel her car.
She posted their story on her Facebook, and it quickly went viral. Soon, a constant stream of offers for donations for Nkosikho started pouring in.
Monet discussed this with Nkosikho, and the pair decided to start a crowdfunding campaign.
The fundraiser became a massive success, closing with around $94,000, equivalent to about eight years of Nkosikho’s salary.
The bosses at Shell also caught wind of their employee’s kind act, so the company decided to nominate him for the Regional Service Excellence Award.
What’s more, Shell promised to donate $35,000 to a local charity of Nkosikho’s choice.
“It was God’s doing, all of this. I feel like I’m dreaming. I’m shocked. I’m positive about us. As ordinary people, we can bring a change to life. You see, I was no one, but out of this small thing, the way that people who don’t even know me can see me…” Nkosikho said of his good fortune.
The petrol attendant lives with his two children, mother, and brother in a small shack, so this money was really a big help for him and his family.
“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 said.
Aside from his newfound wealth, Nkosikho became an instant celebrity in his locality for his kind gesture. When he walks around the township after work, people would often stop him and ask for selfies.
“My life has been turned upside down,” he said.
And that change is something that this man truly deserves! Click on the video below to learn more about this story.