After getting fired, an industrious man in a small South African town decided to use good old-fashioned manual labour to help provide for his family.

Sometimes in life, you can take the high road. Other times, you can just fix it.

An inspirational man has proved that you do what you have to when you’re struggling to provide for your family. Eric Nsembene — a 37-year-old father from a small town near Pretoria, the capital of South Africa — was fired from his construction job six years ago and struggled to find a permanent job afterwards.

He then decided to volunteer to fix potholes on a road near his home in Mamelodi. What happened afterwards turned into a true example of good things happening to good people who understand the value of hard work.

Hard Work Pays off for Father Struggling to Provide

Brandon Bean/Unsplash

Because the Mamelodi road was in such bad condition, Nsembene started to make money in the form of donations from taxi drivers and motorists who used the busy Tsamaya Avenue — a way of saying thank you.

Nsembene, who lived with his family in a small shack nearby the road, used a mix of stones, mud, and water to make a binder paste to fix the potholes during the day. From Monday to Saturday, Nsembene would use his homemade paste to fix the road blemishes. He was earning R250 per day from donations, all from vehicles that use the popular road artery.

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According to Nsembene, he uses all the money he gets from donations to support his wife and their child. The father of one says “life become difficult” not just for his family but for every vehicle that was struggling to move on the road.

The number of potholes on the main road was making its mark on cars and four-wheelers, often breaking wheel bearings and shocks.

Busy Street Need Fixing, Like Family Needs Feeding

Nsembene said Tsamaya Avenue was always busy which resulted in his newly patched potholes to crack and reopen sometimes as early as four days after the initial fix. So naturally, he’d go back and fix them again.

A local taxi driver said Nsembene’s work saved him plenty of money by not having to constantly repair his vehicle, which was often worn by the potholes. Cab driver Ronald Baloyi admits that Nsembene’s efforts “help us a lot” and that he gives money to the volunteer worker “every day.” According to the taxi driver, the pothole work has prevented him from having to buy new wheel bearings “very often.”

As a result of Nsembene’s free labour, the town says it is considering permanently repairing the roads.

Nsembene says his contributions to the roadwork are all about doing what he can to make sure his family is taken care of.

When the road of life gets hard, fix it.


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