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Stranger Tests Woman by Asking Her for Money - Little Did She Know What He Was Planning
Bi Phakathi Gives Money to Shocked Struggling Woman - Brings Her to Tears
Uplifting News

Stranger Tests Woman by Asking Her for Money - Little Did She Know What He Was Planning

A woman who has nothing wishes to give something, a gift of generosity of spirit.

In a viral video exemplifying true generosity, an older woman pushes a cart down a street. Inside the cart sits her small dog. A man approaches her. We can’t see him in the video, though. The camera focuses on the woman in the blue-striped shirt, pushing her dog along and carrying a stick in her hand.

“Hi,” the man says as he approaches her, “we’re out of petrol. Can you help us?” He asks her for a small amount of money.


The woman hesitates, shakes her head and sighs. She’d clearly like to help, but she apologizes for having nothing to give, nothing at all. She seems to look around in desperation, truly wishing she could help the man. But as she repeats sadly, she has nothing to give.

“I have nothing, nothing…not even a cent,” she replies.

“How come you don’t have even a cent?” The man continues to ask her questions. Where does she live? The woman explains that she stays in a shack behind the post office. What’s the name of your pet? “Chickie,” she replies.

A Test of Human Interaction

person holding a black wallet with money

In such a situation, where someone on the street is asking for money, most people would just keep walking, not even bothering to give the person the time of day, much less money.

This woman who was living in a shack took the time to make eye contact with the man, answer him honestly, and have a civil conversation. It was her own form of generosity.

She wanted to help, but she just couldn’t. Like a neighbor, she explained her situation and even told the man the name of her dog. When he asked her a question, she didn’t keep walking. She stopped and talked to him.

Stranger Gives Woman a Gift

Little did she know, the man begging for money was South African philanthropist and motivational speaker Bi Phakathi.

Sometimes called the “Secret Santa” of South Africa, he takes great lengths to keep his identity a secret. Many of his videos have gone viral, and he has over 2 million followers on Instagram. But he always remains behind the camera. He prefers to keep the focus on the act of generosity and compassion, not on himself.

He believes everyone should be able to live with dignity, and he films his interactions with the poor and the homeless in the hope that others will be inspired to follow in his footsteps.

In this video, once the woman tells him the name of her dog, he hands her some money. She’s shocked and doesn’t want to take it at first; but as he explains, he was just testing her. He knew her story, and he was there to help.

Unbelievable Generosity

The woman is visibly touched and grateful. When the man gives her the money, she audibly exhales. Her relief and gratitude are tangible. 

Bi Phakathi doesn’t stop there. He continues to give her more and more money, much to her disbelief. He sticks more bills in the cart with Chickie. The woman shakes her head, thanking him over and over.

Bi Phakathi saw a woman in need and recognized the generosity of her soul. As he continues to hand her money, the woman says that she’s going to buy food. Then, she says that she’s going to share the money with the others that live in shacks around her. She wants to make a meal for her community. She’s going to pay it forward.

A True Gift to Others

Bi Phakathi’s charitable work is itself inspired by the generosity of his own parents. He honors their spirit and goes above and beyond: covering medical expenses, buying homes for the homeless, and providing job training to help people get on their feet and be self-sufficient.  

He always remains behind the camera, focusing on the work he’s doing rather than on the man who is doing it. And his videos have touched the hearts of millions of viewers. After seeing how he helped this kind, unassuming woman, viewers were quick share what stood out to them:

“In her condition, she was thoughtful of people like her, what an amazing human being.”

“It’s always the people that don’t have that is willing to help others. Bless her for her good heart…You left a lump in my throat.”

“If we only had more generous people like this, what a different world this place would be.”

There are works of generosity and there are those of compassion. A connection was made that day through an act of kindness: in the gift of financial help, but also and especially in the gift of human connection and understanding.

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