Mthatha boss rewards loyal employee with own business
Shuttle service gift a chance to empower local youth
An Mthatha employee’s loyalty has paid off in a way he could never have imagined: his boss has given him the shuttle service business where he works.
The extraordinary gesture by business owner Zukisani Nohaj to his 23-year-old employee, Mmiselo Mnyaka, will see the young man taking the reins at Rural Boy Shuttle, where he has worked as a driver for the past three years.
Nohaji, 32, told the Dispatch he had been incredibly impressed by Mnyaka’s loyalty to him and his work.
Both men are from the village of Zandukwana in Libode, in the Nyandeni local municipality.
“It is rare to find someone this loyal,” said Nohaji.
“In the shuttle services business, you often hear stories of some drivers stealing from the daily take. With him [Mnyaka] it was totally different. I trusted him 100%, and I knew that every cent he brought in was what the business made on the day.”
Apart from the shuttle services, Nohaji runs his own accommodation business and rents out two apartments to tenants.
He started the shuttle business in 2017 and bought two cars, one of which he has now given to Mnyaka with the entire business operation.
He said he had been deeply touched when the youngster came to him looking for work three years ago.
“He told me about his family’s struggles due to poverty back home and I gave him a job as one of our three drivers.”
Despite the lockdown, the business has not felt the financial strain experienced by many others.
It brings in about R700 a day, which totals just more than R264,000 annually.
Nohaji said that even during the lockdown the business had a steady stream of clients, some arranged by close friends and business associates.
He recalled how his young driver had once taken a client from Mthatha to East London, only to find out the client would have to sleep over there.
Even when Nohaji offered to pay for overnight accommodation in East London, Mnyaka rejected the offer and politely asked his boss to use the money to buy a new tyre instead.
“He said he will sleep in the car and that it was no problem for him.”
Mnyaka laughed about the incident. He said he grew up driving taxis as his family owned a small fleet. But when they started to break down, he had to find another job to earn a living.
“There were times when we had to sleep inside the taxi so it’s not like it was something new for me,” he said.
Mnyaka said the offer to make him owner of the shuttle business came as a huge shock, even though he enjoyed an incredible relationship with his employer.
“I was excited and shocked at the same time.”
Nohaji said he had taken the decision to empower the youngster as he believed it was incumbent on people to assist young people realise their full potential.
“No-one is going to come down from Johannesburg or Durban to empower our youth.
“It is up to us as people of Mthatha to do that,” he said.
His only request to Mnyaka was that once he was established, he also helped to empower another young person in need.
Mnyaka said he did not have enough words to thank Nohaji for his kindness but was hoping God would bless him.