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Durban - Taxi driver Dumisani Dimba’s cool service with a smile is going down so well with commuters they often scramble to get on board.
He buys cooldrinks for his last load of passengers of the day, a gesture that leads to a rush for his taxi at the Pinetown rank.
But, it’s also his manner and courteous ways that have made him sought after. Dimba, 41, who described his job as one of the most fulfilling he’s ever had, has been a driver for four years.
The father of two, from KwaXimba, Cato Ridge, knows most of his passengers by name and refers to them as his bosses. “They are my bosses because they’re the ones that ensure that I have a salary every month end,” he said.
Explaining the generous gesture, Dimba said his mission was to put a smile on his passengers’ faces after a long hard day’s work.
“It might not be much, but seeing that look of disbelief when I ask them what flavours to buy them and then the smiles that follow is what makes my day,” he said.
Dimba has been buying his last load of passengers five two-litre cooldrinks for the past two years, a good deed that came as a surprise for a Durban woman who was catching his taxi for the first time on Tuesday last week.
When Dimba said he was stopping at a service station, Hloniphile Fakazi thought the driver just wanted to fill up his petrol tank.
“But then he just asked us [the passengers] what we wanted to drink and the people in the taxi responded without hesitation,” she recalled.
A perplexed Fakazi thought that something was amiss and asked the other passengers if the driver was joking. “That’s when I found out that this was his daily routine with the last load of passengers,” said the 21-year-old news reader for Izwi Lomzansi Radio Station.
Fakazi, who has been using taxis for years, said she was pleasantly surprised at Dimba’s conduct and how he addressed his passengers.
“He didn’t fit the typical taxi driver stereotype,” she said. “I’m not saying they’re all the same, but It’s a rare occasion to come across a taxi driver who greets and respects his passengers, let alone buys them cooldrinks after a long day.”
Dimba has become so popular with commuters that some of them will wait for his taxi. “I always explain to them that my taxi is a 14-seater and I unfortunately can’t fit all of them in,” he said, laughing.