Dili has a deep voice, we talk underneath a tree, traffic buzzing in the background.
Dili has been in Joburg since 1980. In my mind he now is a Joburger.
Phumlelo Dili, originally hails from a small town in the Eastern Cape called Peddie, just south-west of Bisho, he came to Joburg looking for work.
He explains that he walked past Tshepo a couple of times before coming in. He first started coming to the soup kitchen and volunteered in the garden.
Dili says that he is happy at Tshepo, he enjoys his work and he doesn’t have stress, working here. He adds that he is not a troublemaker and he doesn’t want to fight, so it’s important for him to work in a peaceful environment.
Dili’s biggest accomplishment is that he supports his two children and have paid for both of his daughters, for their education. He adds that he is too old to dream, but that by providing for his family, he feels very proud with what he has achieved. He adds, with a shy smile, that he still wants to add two rooms to his house.
Raymond, the Coordinator at Tshepo describes Dili as an independent worker: “…you can leave him to do the work, follow the instructions and get the job done.”
Afterwards, Dili returns to the garden, his happy place.