09 December 2010 by Chris Marais

Good Samaritans of the Barkly Pass

We’re on a magazine assignment up on the Barkly Pass in the Eastern Cape and I’m photographing the last rays of the day falling on a farmhouse in the valley below.

So I get my shot and jump back in the bakkie, heading for Barkly East. Somewhere just outside the town, our cellphone rings and it’s an Eskom power utility employee Siza Mzuzu on the line:

“I have found a wallet belonging to Chris Marais at the top of the Barkly Pass. I live in Elliot.” The wallet obviously fell out of my pocket while I was taking photographs up there.

We agree to meet at the Spar parking lot in Elliot.

Where, at the arranged time, an Eskom Land Cruiser pulls up and out jump two young men: Siza and his colleague, Khanya Nqutse. Casual as can be, they hand over my wallet containing R1 200 in cash, a driver’s license and all manner of cash- and credit cards. They are extremely friendly and ask for nothing in reward.

“You’re a darling!”, I yell with relief at Siza, and he says:

“I know!”

“And you’re an honest man!”, I shout at Khanya, and he says:

“I know!”

I give them each R100 for their troubles and their honesty and thank them again. On the way back to Barkly, a motley bunch of grass cutters waves us down and we stop. I photograph them, they give us a beer each for the road and yes, it’s just another bloody good day to be alive in Africa…

Category: Culture & History

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