Pretoria - Since a photo of Lehubedu “Lemo” Mohlabe selling coffee at a busy intersection along the R55 in Centurion went viral on social media, the father of four has been overwhelmed by the support he has been receiving.
Mohlabe has been unemployed for three years, and the Covid-19 pandemic made it harder for him to find work.
He said his unemployed status frustrated him to a point where he decided to be creative. With the help of his wife, he managed to find some inspiration.
“I used to go out of my way for coffee, and still be late for work. I then came up with the idea of selling coffee and biscuits along the streets for the convenience of those heading to work in the morning. My wife and I worked on the idea, and here we are today.”
Mohlabe said selling coffee at the traffic lights was a now his daily occupation since he started exactly a month ago.
“It is full time; I started on August 8, and I have been there every weekday from 6am with hot water and fresh biscuits. It is a fulfilling assignment,” he said.
The support for Mohlabe has been immense and he was thankful. “I get encouragement from people of all backgrounds ... the smiles, tips and business advice.”
Despite things going well for Mohlabe, his worry was that the looming rainy season would make it hard for him to work.
“The other challenge is equipment, but I am a resourceful man and tackle these problems as they come up.
“It used to be challenging at first; it took me an hour to get used to it. I now have a mental map of where everything is, but I do sometimes burn myself with the water.”
He appreciates the support the community and motorists have shown him.
In future, he wants to be able to create employment opportunities for others.
He encouraged people not to be hopeless due to unemployment.
“Nothing will change unless you stand up and do something. Just do something; go out and do something,” he urged.