Jabulani Jikelele Kangi (Hlanganani taxi marshal).
Being born with a disability did not stop Jikelele Jabulani Kangi (41) from Masakona in Hlanganani from doing what his heart loves. He is an experienced taxi marshal, using his exceptional human relation skills to ensure that passengers and drivers are well looked after.
Kangi joined the Hlanganani Taxi Association in 2009 as a taxi marshal. He operates taxis from Magoro, Olifantshoek, Ribungwani, Mahatlani and Masakona. In 2014 and 2015, he expanded the network and managed to build a relationship with the Sekgosese and Wholesale taxi associations.
According to Kangi, working with many people every day is a big challenge, because some of the passengers are rude towards taxi drivers and the marshal himself. “As a marshal you come across many challenges in the rank. Passengers will tell you that they don't have money and others will insult you, so it takes courage and patience to do this work,” said Kangi.
He added that when he started this work people would tease and make fun of him because he is a disabled person. The people advised him to stop work and live off a disability grant. “That did not stop me from continuing to do what I love. As a person I am not defined by people’s opinions, but rather by what I want to achieve for my family,” he said.
Kangi explained that he had learnt how to work with different people every day. “I am thankful to taxi owners, because I live by their hard work. Even when they give the little they have, it means a lot me,” he said.
Mr Tshepo Matloga, a taxi driver from Sekgosese, said Kangi was a very warm-hearted person who knew how to work with people, including his colleagues. “He helps those who struggle with transport and knows how to keep drivers together,” said Matloga.
Olifantshoek taxi driver Mr Vusi Khosa said drivers were fortunate to work with people such as Kangi. “JJ is one of the friendliest people we have in the taxi rank. His generosity has made us better drivers," said Khosa.
Date:19 June 2018 - By: Tracy Ngobeni
Tracy Ngobeni is a 20-year-old intern who is doing her final year in journalism at Tshwane University of Technology. She was born and bred in Olifantshoek. She started her journalism career in 2017, after submitting her articles to the Record Noweto Newspaper in Pretoria. Her heart beats for print media because she believes that writing can heal reader's souls.