By News

One of the most important qualities we look for in any candidate wishing to become part of the Donford family is the desire and passion for making a difference in the lives of others, being they colleagues or customers, or even just a passer-by. 

To illustrate this point, let us share the stories of Loyisa Vuma, a Forecourt Attendant and Babalwa Fiyani, a Cashier at Shell Service Station in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch. 

Loyiso was born in the Eastern Cape in a tiny village called Mqanduqi. Loyiso joined us in February 2018 and was trained by a true Shell stalwart, Howard Thonyama, from whom he learned everything regarding customer service. Loyisa has always been eager to assist customers in any way he can. Treating all customers as guests comes naturally to him. He regularly performs random acts of kindness and receives daily compliments from customers, commenting on his friendly service and willingness to assist. To him, every customer must receive the best treatment.

On one such occasion, Loyiso assisted a customer when refuelling. She did not have much money to refuel, only R13, and was worried that she would not make it back home. Loyiso, without hesitation, took the only bit of money he had on him, R10, and blessed her with it, telling her that she needs it more than he does. This left the lady in tears, and she subsequently posted on the #ImStaying group on Facebook about her experience at our Shell Dorp Street Service Station and gave that as her reason for staying. Through his random act of kindness, Loyiso restored a customer’s faith in humanity and gave her hope for the people of South Africa and the future of the country. 

Her post on Facebook received 989 comments and 837 shares just on the #Imstaying group. It has also been shared to different groups and on other people’s personal pages. Since the post on Facebook, many customers came to the filling station to congratulate Loyiso on his excellent service and encouraged him to keep performing random acts of kindness. That’s how we roll!

Babalwa was born in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape. She relocated to Cape Town in 2007. She joined us in May 2018 as a cashier. It did not take her long to adapt and fit right in with the company’s culture of excellent customer service and empathy towards all our customers. This is her story that won her national accolades; 

The Dorp Street service station is well known for the empathy shown by the staff members to customers over the years. It is part of the ethos and culture of the company and is evident in everything we do. 

Over some time, Babalwa had noticed a specific customer coming into the store. He was always very hungry and looked like he might have dementia. She also noticed him sleeping at the railway station across from the service station. She regularly bought him food and something to drink. Recently he came in again, and Babalwa asked him what his name was, where he was from and if he had any family. It became clear to her that he suffered from memory loss. 

She took a photo of him and posted it on a Facebook page for missing people, along with all his details. Within minutes his family made contact with her. He was a teacher who had come to Cape Town for work. Upon arrival, he was mugged, beaten and left for dead. He could not remember anything and just started drifting. His family has been searching for him for years and was thrilled at finding him. They travelled from the Eastern Cape to fetch their brother/father that very same weekend. 

Babalwa’s actions have reunited a family again and brought so much joy to many people. A father was returned to his children, a brother to his family. 

He does not have to live on the street anymore, and his family can give him the care he needs. The family came to the store to personally thank her. 

Babalwa’s post on Facebook had more than 1000 likes and shares. The entire Western Cape took note of this random act of kindness and encouraged Babalwa wherever they encountered her to keep it up. She also received messages from strangers across South Africa who saw the post on Facebook. Babalwa was subsequently recognised by Shell South Africa at a glitzy awards ceremony in Johannesburg and was chosen as the Cashier of the Year as part of Shell’s Service Champion campaign. And that’s how we roll!