Nolusindiso Piyose is a hardworking and dedicated City of Cape Town Traffic officer. She met a homeless teen and worked tirelessly to reunite him with family.
Nolusindiso Piyose had been on leave after being hijacked in front Khayelitsha hospital. She went back to work in December 2016 and while on patrol in Camps Bay, she was approached by a homeless teen who wanted to alert her to an unconscious man laying in nearby bushes.
“I immediately went and looked. While I was walking there I asked the boy: ‘What are you doing on the streets? Why don’t you want to go to school?’”
The boy explained that he had every intention of attending school but his family were in Johannesburg and he had no way of reconnecting or getting back to them.
Nolusindiso asked about family members on Facebook and the boy directed her to his sister’s page. She then messaged the sister, informing her about her brothers situation and location. His father was overwhelmed, having spent years thinking his son had passed away.
“The day when the dad phoned, it was on a Saturday and he phoned and he was literally crying over the phone. He told me: ‘What you did for me, I would never forget you. I am starting my vehicle as I speak; I am coming to Cape Town.’”
Nolusindiso went to locate the boy but he had disappeared. She refused to give up and searched high and low for him, crawling on her hands and knees through the bushes to find they boy.
“We immediately started searching through the bushes of Camps Bay. I crawled through those bushes. Every single person I met I asked: ‘Did you see him? When last was he here?’”
“I even went to Station Berg, the building behind the taxi rank in town, an old building, where the homeless people sleep. It is a place they use to hide – to hide from the rain and from the cold. It’s dangerous there, but I even jumped in there and asked if anybody knew him.”
Sadly the father couldn’t wait and went back to Johannesburg after two weeks of searching. Nolusindiso never gave up! She got non-profit organisations, her fellow officers and even the public to keep an eye out for him. One brilliant day he showed up at the Traffic Department and was sent to Johannesburg. She spent a whole three months looking for him.
Nolusindiso missed the moment he returned and he was back home before she could see him. However she keeps in contact with him via Whatsapp to make sure he is doing well and hopes to see him again someday.
“I am a person who loves kids, I love taking good care of kids and I like seeing people who are happy and being in a good space.”
Her hard work in finding the boy was rewarded a week ago. She was awarded a commendation badge from the City of Cape Town for “outstanding work”.
“I am humbled. It’s been a long journey, but I didn’t give up hope – I knew I needed to find him; I knew I needed to do the right thing,” – Nolusindiso Piyose
Officers like Nolusindiso are the kinds of officers we love to hear about and love sharing their stories!