A Modern Cinderella Story

The country of my birth, and what I still define as my home country despite holding dual nationality and not having lived there for 15 years, seldom features in the news (or online) with good stories.
Admittedly there is nothing good about anything on the news, but unfortunately South Africa seldom has anything that sings its praises…

But the following story really touched me.
Whether it was because this was a story of someone willing to do something of himself?
OrĀ because this was a story of someone who grabbed the opportunity life provided him with both hands?
Or was it because it was a story of someone who remembered his beginning?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I felt that this story was worth sharing- as told by Bernina RSA.

“Some 19 years ago, a man in his early twenties came knocking on the door looking for a gardening piece job. Fairy godmother liked the young man’s face and the fact that he looked full of energy convinced her to try him out as a piece job gardener. She learned that the young man’s name was Joubert Shale and before long Joubert had a permanent Saturday gardening engagement with the fairy godmother.

Joubert Shale received further special gardening training from fairy godmother and before long he was in total control of the entire garden. Soon the early morning schedule was changed, as fairy godmother had Joubert enrolled at a registered driving school so that Joubert could obtain his driving license, which he did with flying colours.

Fairy godmother has as one of her clients the BERNINA South Africa company. At that time she learnt that there was a vacancy at BERNINA RSA for a workshop technical assistant and decided to introduce Joubert to the responsible person, as this would have given Joubert a permanent job. The young man was interviewed and started in the position as technical assistant.
Today, some 17 years later, Joubert is a senior sewing machine technician at BERNINA RSA and he also specialises in the servicing and repair of steam ironing and cleaning products.

Joubert 2

What makes this a truly fascinating story, is that Joubert Shale, now a family man with two young sons and a house of his own in Ficksburg, continues to care for the fairy godmother’s garden on Saturdays, where he clocks in at 6am on a Saturday morning. Fairy godmother has told Joubert on a number of occasions that he does not have to do her garden anymore, to which his answer is always the same:
“When I was hungry, this garden fed me and still doing the garden on Saturdays is my way of thanking the garden and fairy godmother for the opportunity they gave me many years ago, while I am constantly reminded when talking to the plants in the garden on Saturdays, that life owes you nothing, so when an opportunity comes your way, no matter how small and insignificant, grab it with both hands, cherish it and stay in touch with your humble beginnings.”

Joubert 3

And with that, Joubert closes the door of his Range Rover and waves fairy godmother good bye as he drives off after another Saturday gardening session!

Story shared with permission by Bernina RSA.

About Cheryl

I am a child of God, a wife and a mother of 4 children. Some days are good. Some days are frustrating. Some days are just plain insane. In between the mayhem, I loved to go for walks with our mutt, potter in the garden and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. That all changed in August 2012 when we waved goodbye to our mutt and garden, our eldest at Uni in Gloucester and moved to Tokyo for 4 months. And yes- we are still here...
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