New Humanity Movement

Health: Person, Environment

taxi_pretoria

 

I wish to share my experience on how the spirituality of unity has an influence in my daily activity.  To put into practice the Gospel in every day’s life motivates me moment by moment and creates “community” among people in my city.

 

 

By Lucy Shasha, Pretoria (South Africa)

By profession I am a nurse, but at a certain point I started now and then catering for special occasions like marriages, birthdays, and so on. One day I was requested to cater for the 21st birthday celebration of the eldest daughter of T. D., the lady now former Minister of Public Works. She was much exited about the food I prepared and from there she has been calling me for small functions at her house to cater for. There the idea came up to have together with her and her sister a take-away kitchen in Pretoria. I agreed immediately, because I thought it was a good opportunity, I like catering, and also like to be with people.

We started at a very small scale in March this year in Pretoria, near a taxi rank. Each one of us contributed, to get the business started, even lending things from our houses.
This workplace is for me a chance to love concretely my colleagues, always having as a priority the unity among us. At the beginning we had to learn to work with one another. I am a person who does not talk much, I try to listen and act concretely and by that people understand how to work, and sometime I realize something done wrong but do not mention it to them.

I try to make myself one, giving space to other’s ideas, even if sometimes it leads to a mistake, as it was with my colleague. She was not used to see things together, but little by little she appreciated this kind way of doing things and she now too gives space to other’s suggestions. I understood that love of neighbor demands to be attentive to the needs of the others, not to complain when something was not according to my view, or when I have to get up very early every morning – at 4am - to start preparing the food.
The unity that we have among us is now so wonderful, we listen to each other, there is love and happiness, sometimes we even sing together, and we are relating well with our customers.
Little by little people became aware of our place, the number of customers grew and people appreciate the food.

- I can mention some of the many experiences:

One of the taxi drivers was asking who is cooking at our place. They send him to me and he told me: “I can say that you are not cooking for money, you are cooking the food with passion”. I asked him how he came to our place and he told me that he tasted the food from one of the drivers and wanted to know where it is coming from. Now he is a good customer of ours.

Some of the taxi drivers discovered that two of us are nurses. One day one of them approached us, he was very sick. We understood that he had diabetes, so we gave him the first aid and called an ambulance. Later one of them said that “here in this place there is not only food, but we’ve got love and even nurses”.
One of them has discovered that my son is a doctor. He looked at me puzzled and told me: “You do not seem to be a mother of a doctor. And he told the others: “You know her husband is a doctor and her children are doctors, but she is humble”.

There is happiness in relating with our customers. One of the taxi drivers one day told me that: “I am not a taxi driver; I am a child of yours”. When he comes he asks where each one is, till he has seen all of us. One day he confided to me that his mother has died when he was very young and he told me: “You are my mothers, when I come here I feel free.” One day he was even cutting onions for us. Recently the potatoes are very expensive, he was very concerned and told me that he could find somewhere potatoes for a better price, and he brought me a sack. I was so happy to see that love had become reciprocal.

My colleague, T - the former minister - was sweeping the place. One driver said to her: “I have seen you somewhere”, he tried to remember where he had seen her, but couldn’t figure out where. I told him: “You know she was the Minister of Public Works”. He said: “For the first time I see you in real life, up to now I have seen you only on TV”.

Now, after 5 month we have a lot of customers, and as time went on each one of us was under pressure, so we thought to employ another person. Everybody agreed at once, now we can sometime also take a day off.
Up to now we took only an allowance, as we had to refund every month an amount for the equipment bought, but this month, after 5 month of hard work, we will have now a regular salary.


I have experienced that if we live the Gospel, it gives dignity to each person and we want the best for everyone.
For example: My previous catering business was serving on special events. I was helped for the last 4 years by a gentleman in driving and serving food. But it was not a permanent job. As he got married things got difficult for him financially. So I decided to look for a job for him. I got a place for him as a driver at the University. He really appreciated. Some time ago I met him and he told me that he bought a house and has his own car now, and he said: “And all this is through you”. And he invited me for a drink.

There was a lady working for me, she was not very gifted in catering and sometimes things went wrong, but I still loved her. It made me to think that may be she could do better in another job, so I proposed to keep each month a little from her salary. At a certain point I bought a phone for her. (Here these phones are used at squares or busy roads for the public). She did well with this little business and now she has 10 phones. Once I met her and she told me: “Mama Shasha, here are R 40, buy something for you. Now I am a boss”.

 

 

 

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