On a quiet Thursday afternoon in the small settlement of Rooiels, a Mercedes Benz caught fire. The car belonged to Carel and Mitzi van Biljon, who had owned it for eight years with the intention of keeping it until the end of their lives. Unfortunately, Carel’s recent stroke had left him incapacitated, and he was no longer able to drive. Mitzi, his wife, had taken over the driving duties and had taken Carel on a scenic drive along the R44 coast. Suddenly, the car’s engine cut out, and it came to a stop. Smoke started billowing out of the boot, and Mitzi realized that the car was on fire. Carel was trapped inside.
Fortunately, John Manda, a Malawian immigrant, was working nearby when he saw the dark smoke rising. He rushed to the scene and discovered a car on fire with a woman outside, looking helpless. Without hesitation, Manda asked if they were okay, and the woman replied, “no.” Manda opened the car door and pulled Carel out, despite inhaling the dark smoke. Another individual arrived on the scene and helped move Carel further away from the burning car. The firefighters arrived promptly and put out the fire. The van Biljons did not know Manda, but they were grateful for his brave intervention in rescuing Carel.
The Power of Human Kindness
Manda’s bravery in rescuing Carel highlights the power of human kindness and compassion. Manda’s attitude towards helping others is a reflection of the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all people. Ubuntu is an underlying principle of African society that emphasizes the importance of community and mutual support. Manda’s actions exemplify the Ubuntu philosophy of helping others, regardless of their background or social status.
This incident also highlights the importance of communities coming together to help one another. The Rooiels community rallied around the van Biljons, offering them shelter, tea and a lift back to Somerset West. The generosity and kindness of the Rooiels residents demonstrate the importance of community spirit, which is often lost in our individualistic and disconnected society.
A Reminder of the Fragility of Life
Finally, this incident is a poignant reminder of the fragility of life. The van Biljons had intended to keep their car until the end of their lives, but a stroke and a car fire changed their plans. Life is unpredictable, and we often take our safety and security for granted. This incident reminds us to appreciate the people in our lives and the moments we share with them.
In conclusion, the Rooiels incident is a powerful reminder of the importance of human kindness and communities coming together to help one another. John Manda’s bravery in rescuing Carel exemplifies the Ubuntu philosophy of interconnectedness and mutual support, which is often lost in our disconnected society. This incident reminds us of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing the moments we share with our loved ones.