Groceries galore for newspaper man’s 72nd birthday

MASHININI with his cake and groceries.

THE corner of Olienhout Avenue and Elgin Road was abuzz with activity on Wednesday morning in celebration of John Mashinini, “the newspaper man’s”, 72nd birthday.

The corner where he has been selling newspapers the past 11 years, was brightened up and a bin that read, “John’s 72” was placed at the corner for drop-offs and balloons were also attached to the traffic lights.

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Cars pulled to drop-off packages, others just gave birthday wishes, while some took selfies with the man of the moment.

Community members came together to ensure that Mashinini’s birthday was a special day to remember. The elderly man’s smile was so big it could easily have lit up a room.

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Not everybody’s birthday wish is granted but in a joint effort from strangers with generous hearts, Mashinini received everything he asked for in an article published by EXPRESS a day before his big day. All he wanted on this day was groceries.

Birthday presents included money, cake, muffins and lots of groceries as per the birthday boy’s request. A resident even baked him a beautiful 72nd birthday cake. Those who didn’t get time to buy groceries gave him monetary donations.

How did all these kind gestures make the birthday boy feel? “I never imagined they could do this. They’ve made me very, very happy,” said Mashinini with a big smile on his face.

The corner was overflowing with plastic and gift bags until a resident offered to collect all the gifts and put them at his house for safekeeping until Mashinini knocked off.

Even on his birthday, Mashinini was full of energy and worked his normal daily shift till 9am.

After knocking off, community members, accompanied by MML Security, escorted him to his home in Tembisa to deliver all his birthday gifts safely.

“God be with you and give you many blessings,” was his message to all those who contributed to making his special day memorable.

After all the excitement, Mashinini needed some rest, “I am going to rest and enjoy some time with my family,” he said as he was being escorted home.

Tumelo Tshetlo

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