An unemployed KwaZulu-Natal father of two went the extra mile after he found a woman’s wallet and held onto it for a month until he was able to return it.
Mbuso Ndlovu, 33, had been visiting his partner, Durban domestic worker Thembile Zondi, last month when he found the wallet among some of her work items. There were bank and clothing account cards inside.
“She was working at a market and she found the wallet. She could not find whose it was. That is when I said I would try to find who it belongs to.”
Ndlovu looked inside and found clothing and bank cards, as well as a driver’s licence for a Charlize Tomaselli inside.
Tomaselli, the owner of the wallet, lost it while she was at the Bellevue Market in Kloof.
“It was lost. I was at the market with my kids who were playing with my handbag when it probably fell out,” she said.
Ndlozu took to social media to trace Tomaselli.
“I decided to look her up on Facebook and tell her that I had found the item. I messaged both her and her husband who I found on her profile, but never received a response.”
Since Tomaselli and Ndlovu were not Facebook friends, the message ended up in a separate inbox that users seldom check.
“He sent me a message on Facebook, but I did not see. It did not pop out. I never saw it for a month. I cancelled my store cards and bank cards and was in the process of getting a new driver’s licence,” Tomaselli said.
Coincidentally, she saw the message when she checked other messages.
“Someone else sent me a message and I happened to see it. I read it and was sceptical at first and thought it was a scam. However, when I contacted him, he described the wallet to me in detail including where all the cards were.”
Tomaselli said she was hesitant when Ndlovu said he wanted to meet.
“This is how you hear about scams starting. But being the person that he is, he suggested that the police station might be a good meeting point.”
Ndlovu said he wanted her to feel at ease.
“I did not know how she lost her wallet. What if she was robbed and was scared? I decided to suggest the police station to make her feel better.”
Tomaselli and her husband then made the hour-long journey from Westville to the KwaDukuza police station where they met Ndlovu.
She said that when he gave her the wallet, not a single item was missing.
“Everything was still in it. At no point did he try to illicit money or favours or anything that could be construed as malintent. He said his girlfriend found it and she knew nothing about Facebook. He then tracked us down online and sent us the message.”
Tomaselli offered him money, but Ndlovu said he would rather have a job.
“I said I would put it out there on social media. In the event that a position becomes available for him through somewhere, we would contact him.”
Her post on his kind deed has since been shared more than 200 times.
Tomaselli said she had spoken to people about meeting Ndlovu and how nervous, but hopeful she was.
“I was at a client and saying some people are just good people. We said you must give the guy the benefit of the doubt. After meeting him I felt ashamed that I had been so nervous to go out to meet him. He really does just seem like he embodies all the goodness in humanity.”
She said that despite the ease with which Ndlovu could have used her cards, he did not.
“At no point was there any activity on my cards. I had store cards which are really easy to commit fraud with. You just hand the store card over and a transaction can be completed. But there was none of that.”
Ndlovu said he never once thought of stealing or using anything in the wallet.
“You know I am desperate because I am not working, but I said no because I do not do that. I was not brought up to steal and I thought maybe this person was robbed or worse. I am not that kind of person. It is not the way I was taught.”
He said honesty was an important trait for all to have.
“Crime does not pay. I could have tried something stupid because there were lots of cards in the wallet. But in the end, we must be honest. I have two beautiful little girls, they would end up without a father. At the end of the day I would end up in jail and my whole life would be ruined.”
Ndlovu said his six-year-old, nearly one-year-old daughter, and his partner were his inspiration and strength in life.
He said his partner and mother of his girls, Zondi, kept him on the right path.
“Right now, I have no mother or father. The mother of my child inspires me. She is the one who is supporting me when I am not working. She is the one keeping me motivated. She [is the] one who keeps pushing me. I am surviving because of her. I would be out on the street if not for her. She is my life.”
He said he hopes to find honest work soon.
“I just want to do good and make an honest living. That is all. It is not easy to be good in this world, but we cannot give up. We must keep fighting and do what we can for our children.”