It was February 2000 when an 18-year-old, South African boy arrived in London, England. He was here to further his education, to study politics and history, so that he could better his life, pursue a career in government and support his family at home.
When he arrived, his visit did not go to plan, the friends he thought he had to stay with could not be found and instead of being met by familiar faces, he found himself alone in an unknown city, with little money and nowhere to go. The money he had, had been borrowed from a family friend, he didn’t want to use it, waste it as he knew it needed to be repaid, so after a 13-hour flight, he got his bags and walked the streets of London.
Three weeks passed by, he phoned his mum, crying he told her he was sorry, but he couldn’t go on, England was not the place he had heard it was, he was tired, the streets were lonely, he was lonely, and he didn’t know where he belonged or what he could do, it was a dark time.
His mum was worried, there were no mobile phones, and she had no way of contacting him, it was four weeks before she heard from him again and this is what had happened during that time… After he ended the phone call a man approached the boy and asked him if he was ok, it was that moment of kindness that lasted for ever.
After talking together, the boy explained he had nothing and all he wanted to do was provide and support his family. They spoke at length about the world and opportunity within it, then the man offered him a lifeline. He gave him the opportunity of work, he gave him a chance, a job and reminded him to believe in himself.
Twenty years on and a lot has changed, but the story of one man’s belief in another shows how people continue to have faith in one another’s dream
Ubuntu - I am because we are
20 years have passed and Kingdom is now an established Businessman, owning and operating bars and restaurants in the Chester area. Kingdom is well known locally and nationally throughout the hospitality industry. He has appeared on ITV and BBC many times to share his views on environmental factors which impact the industry such as the decline in footfall on local high streets and more recently, the impact of COVID-19.
Ubuntu is a South African term meaning ‘humanity to others’ and also translates into ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.
It’s the capacity in African culture to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, harmony and humanity in the interests of building and maintaining community, with justice and mutual caring.