“We buy damaged gold products, old money and R5 coins with Mandela’s face here. Please come inside for enquiries,” a recorded voice said in the speaker placed on the side of the entrance.
The place had a lot of open space, with only a number of big black bin containers in the center. And at the far back was an old desk, behind it was a Zulu guy who was busy on his cellphone. He seemed frightened when I greet him, like he didn’t see me coming. I produced my R5 coin and asked him how much it was worth.
“For you my man, I can give a thousand of Rands. Other places give less than that,” he answered with a grin on his face. He gave me the R1000 for the coin and I left his shop feeling rich.
That was three years ago.
If had known how much the coin would be worth I would have kept it. It all just came as a surprise and high-fived me in my face when Russell, my supervisor at new work, told me how I had lost. He had eight of them and wherever he went, he asked around for them.
He laughed so hard when I told him how much I sold mine for three years ago. He was like, “Man, you really need to practice patience if you want good things in life.”
One day we were driving from Swartberg to Kokstad. An old lady hitched a hike and paid thirty bucks, with six R5 coins, and three of them were Mandela coins.
“Russell, call me a rich man from today,” I said after the old lady had jumped off.
I told Russell about the coins and after a long time, he jerked off his thoughts and said we should go find that Magogo.
Luckily I spotted her at the ATM.
“Gogo please, can you come with us to the car, you remember us?”
“Yes and I paid to this young man,” she pointed at me with her head, “something’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong Gogo, actually the money you paid with can make you rich,”
We all walked to the car and Russell explained everything to the old lady.
“You see Gogo, these coins with Mandela’s face on them can be sold, close to R200 000 each. Just give us your contact details, we will personally hand you the 200 grand after the process.”
“Thanks children, but the money is yours now. I live alone and I have everything I need in the house. Consider today your lucky day,” she said.
“Would you like new sofas in your house? A new TV or anything? We will pay,” I suggested.
“Granny would love that mtanami, but don’t feel obligated. Here is my card,” she said handing it over.
“Tell you what Gogo, when you’ve finished with everything here, call me on this number and we will drive you back home,” Russell gave her his number.
Later that day we went to the old lady’s house and checked for what we could do for her. After we sold one coins, we took her to Russells Furniture Shop to choose her favorite sofa, flat LED TV and a wall unit. We put the ceiling in all the rooms and installed a fire place. She was over the moon with excitement.
And Russell let me keep the two of the coins…