Archive for April 4th, 2011

April 4, 2011

Mother tells a story of ubuntu — and wins my competition

by Rod Smith

I am 51 and became a mum at 43 when I adopted a child. I often take my son to Mitchell Park.

Recently, a woman who sells sweets and chips happened to be sitting next to my bench. I bought some goodies from her and we started a conversation while my son played on the swings.

She told me she had 3 children – two of whom were unemployed. Her husband is an invalid. Despite her hardships, like waking up at 4am and leaving home at 6, this woman had an aura of peace and contentment.

She asked why I had only one child and I explained that I had had infertility problems. We continued chatting while my son played.

When it was time to leave I decided to buy 5 packets of chips to take home. As I handed over my money she gave me 6 packets- one “bonsela” for my special son.

I cannot explain how touched I was. Here was this really poor woman, eeking out a living, offering me an extra packet of chips for free.

I will never forget her generosity. This is Real UBUNTU!


(“bonsela” – unexpected bonus – Zulu term)