Today – July 31st, 2020 – marks the end of an era as Kenny Africa, Western Cape Provincial Traffic Chief, dons his uniform for the last time before heading off into a well deserved retirement.
The name Kenny Africa is synonymous with road safety as he has spent his entire career trying to save lives on South Africa’s roads. What many people do not know is that his own son died in a horrible road crash in 2001 and yet despite the deep pain this caused him, he never ceased trying to improve road safety so that other fathers would not lose their sons or daughters in road crashes.
In an era where quality and visionary leadership is lacking throughout the world, this man stands as a guiding light whose example others would do well to follow. His name will go down in the history of South Africa as one who never bowed to any low or common denominator. Rather, he set his bar high in terms of standards and ethics and encouraged the people whom he led to do the same.
And if you want to dig up any dirt on this man, you’re going to have to dig for a long long time – and then carry on digging. You won’t find any. And don’t, for goodness sake, offer him a bribe. He’ll cuff you in two seconds flat and chuck you in jail. What a great example for all cops throughout the country to follow.
FleetWatch can attest to the astute leadership qualities of this man for we have, on three occasions – twice in Cape Town and once in Beaufort West – trained Western Cape traffic officials under the FleetWatch Brake & Tyre Watch programme. And on each occasion, we have gone away highly impressed with the enthusiasm and passion of the traffic officials who attended. You can see by their attitude that they have a good leader.
Kenny was also one who always made himself available to the media – day or night – giving open, honest and qualified opinion on issues that fell under his jurisdiction. Saving lives was, for him, a 24/7 passion rather than a nine-to-five job.
Kenny, as you head off into your retirement, FleetWatch, on behalf of the entire trucking industry, thanks you for all the years of effort you have put into making our roads safer for all.
I read a farewell letter you wrote to thank all the people you have interacted with over the years. You ended by saying: “As a final remark, I would like to take my leave with the following quote of Nelson Mandela: What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
You Sir, have made a huge difference to the lives of many others and that surely has made the life you have led very significant. We salute you and as a tribute, we reproduce here – with their kind permission for which we thank them – a tribute put together by radio host Ashref Ismail and his team for his Bumper2Bumper programme broadcast on Channel Islam International. Go well good man!