Searching for employment could be an unpleasant experience in South Africa. One of the citizens to have gone through such painful journey is Joseph Vusi Phukubje – a 21-year-old beggar based in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Phukubje – who calls Grayston Bridge his home – is not like other school dropout homeless young men, he completed Grade 12 (matric) with flying colours.
Despite his impressive matric results, which earned him a university entrance, Phukubje’s poor financial background denied him an opportunity to further his tertiary education. As if not having a financial support was not stressful enough, the poor lad from Kempton Park, Gauteng, can’t afford to buy food, clothes and other daily used necessary items. His circumstances led him to the undesirable destination for the homeless and earned him distasteful status – a beggar.
That said, like his high school name, Star of Hope, being a daily beggar has not discouraged his desire of having a better life in future. With his valuable educational qualification documents at his disposal, Phukubje is still hopeful his CV will impress a potential employer or bursary sponsor to complete his studies.
When his homeless friends raise their hands, begging for food or money, he displays his CV and educational qualifications to the passing cars instead – hoping to grab drivers attention.
His CV introduction reads: “I am a confident male, who is looking for an opportunity to advance myself and my career in the right direction. I like challenges and meeting new people. I am a very hard working person and eager to learn.”
As resume intro says, one would agree that his job hunting marketing strategy requires confidence and self believe. Amazingly, his marketing skills seem to have paid off. On Monday morning, a good Samaritan Pam Green spotted Phukubje in action and stopped to investigate the story that brought him to the streets of Johannesburg.
Touched by what the young gentleman was going through, Green offered to add her social media marketing knowledge, to speed up the process of getting the Nothern Sotho speaking beggar a job or any kind of help.
Green posted Phukube’s pictures, holding his CV and matric certificate, captioned in 166 touching words:
“This is Joseph Phukube. He is a beggar in Sandton. What makes him different to every other beggar you see? He isn’t there begging for money, he is begging for a job, literally! He has his matric certificate and CV on hand. What a gentle young man, life has been hard on him, and his response when I asked where he stayed was “under Grayston bridge”. This is a bright kid, just look at his Maths marks, he received a university entrance! Someone out in Facebook land must be able to employ him, so please share this post. Joseph doesn’t have his own cellphone but his friend that stays under the bridge with him does and you can just ask for Joseph on 0711515514. I asked him what type of job he would like and what his dream job would be, his answer was the same: “I will do anything, any job where I can get money to rent a place and eat everyday” #helpJoseph”
With over 20 000 shares, almost 20 000 likes and close to 300 comments, from people who were willing to help in various ways, it was clear that Phukubje’s days at Grayston Bridge temporary home were numbered.
The overwhelming support has been incredible. According to Green’s latest update, “Joseph has received so many offers of help, he has his first interview for a job tomorrow morning, as well as a meeting for a full tertiary education bursary! He now has his own cellphone, blankets and hopefully soon, a place to stay,” she said.