Woman raises money for ‘Oupa’ who scared off her would-be attackers

A Johannesburg-based woman is appealing to the public to assist in raising funds to build a Wendy house for a homeless man who used his walking stick to scare off “thugs” that were after her.

It was reported that the woman, Zanele Tricia Masule, had so far managed to raise R16-500 towards her targeted R50,000 which would be used to build a home for him.

Masule took to social media at the weekend to express her feeling of being overwhelmed by the help that had poured in for the homeless man.

Masule last Friday posted about how the homeless man she called “Oupa” had scared off her would-be attackers.

She wrote: “So yesterday evening I was walking home through the park from the shops and a car stopped and three guys came running towards me, one with a gun. I knew right there I was screwed. I then heard a lot of voetseks and F yous and I was ready to hand them my life. Only to find that it’s this man in the picture (Oupa), limping and walking as fast as he can to scare off these thugs with his walking stick.

“The guys ran back and left me and Oupa standing there. I was in tears as I always see Oupa picking up papers and swearing continuously. (I think he has Tourettes). He is a gentle soul and he stays on the streets in Malvern East. I could only thank him with the little that I had which was R50 and some coins. He left all his boxes and his one blanket to help me an absolute stranger. He is very old and has no immediate family left. Very smart with a vulgar mouth. But a guardian angel for all those that walk through the dangerous park.

“It’s winter. He has no clothes or food. I had to go back with my husband today to give him money and spend time with him as I felt he needs recognition. If anyone near or far would like to help him during this cold winter please contact me as he is a pillar of strength. We need more heroes like this. He never asked me for anything after just kept telling me I should scream out to him in future if I’m in trouble.

“Also told me to inform others as he ‘knows the streets’. Guys please help me help him and together we can help many others like him. I’m still shaking as I write this. And that’s out of shock. I can’t imagine him shaking during the cold nights yet still very ready to attack any thug with a mere walking stick. Help me make Oupa trend.”

Masule then started a Backabuddy crowdfunding campaign to raise money for building Oupa’s house.

In a subsequent post, Masule said she had also opened a bank account in the effort of raising funds to build ‘Oupa’s’ house.

Masule’s gesture comes after R400,000 was raised for petrol attendant Nkosikho Mbele when a post about his kindness went viral and he gained overnight fame.

A 21-year-old woman named Monet Van Deventer took to Facebook to share the story of how Mbele had helped her by paying for her petrol one evening after she realised she had forgotten her purse at home.

Once the post gained traction, Van Deventer started a crowdfunding campaign for him with the aim of raising R100,000. The campaign has since surpassed that by raising over R400,000.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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