Long-time taxi driver Mr Wilson Maswanganyi (with certificate), members of the Saselamani Taxi Association, his employer and family members during the farewell party at Mavambe,
In most instances, taxi drivers are regarded as rude, but the Malamulele area was blessed to have one taxi driver who treated his passengers with respect and dignity.
For 21 years, taxi driver Mr Hlengani Wilson Maswanganyi ferried passengers to their different destinations daily. This weekend, the 62-year-old from Xikundu Phaweni retired from the industry that is perceived to be very notorious.
All these years, little did he know that the good work he did while working for one employer, Mr Jackson Mathonsi of the Saselamani Taxi Association, was being recorded. When he retired, his association and his employer threw a big send-off party for him.
The event was held at the Rest Lodge at Mavambe on Sunday.
Every speaker expressed fondly how Maswanganyi brought dignity to the taxi industry and his humility that endeared him to the hearts of the passengers.
Mr John Gidja, chairperson of the Saselamani Taxi Association, said it was the first time his association held such a function for one of their drivers. "Maswanganyi was a real example of what our drivers should be. We worked with him for all these years and for the 21 years he did not have an accident. This is what we want as we put passenger safety first.
"Even though he did not have a taxi of his own, we relied on him for advice. He leaves when the industry needs him and his expertise to encourage young drivers," he said.
His employer, Mathonsi, said Maswanganyi was like part of his family. "He was everything to me and we have been together for a long time that I regarded him as a partner in the business and no longer as my driver. Even when he was transporting passengers on long trips, I would sleep well, knowing that my taxi was in good hands. We will miss his services, but we wish him the best as he gets to rest," he said.
Maswanganyi said he was humbled to have been given such a wonderful send-off. "I was doing what I was called for. For all these years I did not know that I was being watched. I am so grateful to my employer and my association for the special treatment. I will always miss my second family, which are the passengers I transported daily," he said.