Just like that my beloved Kwaito is no more

Sometimes in life we look down on others because of who they are or who we are. By luck or fate we meet people we will never forget. Sometimes we fall in love at first sight with strangers. This was the case with Kwaito – a street beggar at the M1 Empire Road offramp.

Kwaito – this is what he said his name was – and I hit it off immediately because he was from around Pretoria and because of how he greeted me: “Bosso.”

I could tell he was from Pitori and that’s how our early morning small talk started. We Pretorians have our own taal. It’s unique, hence we clicked.

My kids could not wait to meet him after I told them about this guy at the street corner. They met him on a few occasions, on Sundays when going to our social league matches at Marks Park. They were so fond of him they asked me to take some leftovers for him.

He even introduced me to his mabebeza (girlfriend) who used to man the intersection with him. But he was always complaining about her shenanigans.

For two weeks now I have not seen Kwaito at our usual meeting place and never thought much of this until a colleague at the Daily Sun told me the sad news about his passing.

Kwaito was run down by a car while crossing the highway, after buying bread at the garage. He was on his way back to his place.

To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I was shattered. I did not believe the news until I asked the new person who has taken over the intersection. He confirmed the devastating news. It was hard breaking the news to my kids too.

Kwaito was buried last weekend.

Before Kwaito, the intersection was manned by one Moss, also from Pitori. Unfortunately, he was arrested for a smash-and-grab incident which had happened nearby, according to Kwaito.

Kwaito said there was no way Moss could have done it. “But we are sitting ducks and easy targets here,” he said. “How could he do it when he was always at this corner?” asked Kwaito.

He said Moss would not hurt a fly.

After his arrest, Moss was taken to the Hillbrow Magistrates’ Court via the same intersection and he would always peep out the window to give Kwaito feedback of the day’s proceedings. He is now serving his sentence at Sun City prison.

Unfortunately, Moss and Kwaito will not be reunited. I am glad to have known Kwaito and will cherish my memories of our conversations.

May his soul rest in peace.