Sometimes real life is funnier than the silliest comedies. It’s what happened to a guy named Themba, who goes by u/lazybear90 on Reddit. He lives in Gauteng. Themba’s account of a donation he made to charity on a typical day has gone viral as he describes a humorous turn of events.
Themba and his wife were new residents of an apartment complex in Johannesburg. A retired warrior named “Baba” in the story lived next door to him; he was a devout Hindu priest. Themba wanted to help out his new pal, so he sent R2,200 to a charity in Bangladesh using the website GoFundMe. It would have been even kinder if Themba hadn’t accidentally given R220,000 instead of the intended amount.
A text message alerted him that one of his credit card purchases was particularly large. “Right away, I started sweating. What was I thinking when I gave 200,000 rials? Themba posted his dismay on the website Reddit.
He reflected on the situation and realised that he had accidentally entered his credit card number in the donation box, turning R2,200 into R220,000. How embarrassing!
Themba contacted GoFundMe immediately and was told to expect reimbursement within three to seven working days. The organisation wouldn’t get the money until the reimbursement was processed, which kind of defeats the purpose. Themba had planned to tell Baba about the incident the next day, but when he awoke, he found his inbox full and his Facebook feed flooded with over forty messages.
A man in Bangladesh who had seen his photos of hungry people in Bangladesh sent him messages personally thanking Themba for his donation. This is quite an unexpected honour!
Themba, I appreciate it. Pictures of signs reading “Thank you, Themba” were posted online. Themba’s dilemma has now exploded from a little gaffe to a worldwide phenomenon. However, things start to look up. The community’s response after Themba received his refund inspired him to give R22,000, 10 times his original intention. More people started giving to GoFundMe when the story became viral on Reddit.
Soon after, the story was featured on the popular YouTube channel Smosh Pit, where it sparked a wave of “heard about this on Smosh” donations that pushed the total raised by the campaign to almost R1.8 million.
In a subsequent post, Themba expressed gratitude to the Reddit community for turning his mistake into a fortunate opportunity. After struggling and considering cutting some of its services, the organisation is again thriving. Themba thinks his mistake was a good thing because it raised money for charity and provided him with a good story to tell. In the end, everyone came out ahead, proving that there is good news hidden behind every cloud.
This is a drama that South Africans won’t soon forget in the annals of Internet disasters. Make sure all the zeroes add up the next time you make a gift.
About the Author:
Edmore Nkosi is a riveting South African journalist, specialising in entertainment and current affairs. With his unique ability to blend pop culture with real-world events, Edmore has carved a niche in providing captivating narratives that resonate with a diverse readership.