Fri Dec 09 07:47:47 CAT 2016

Paul Sibisi lived for his people

By unknown | 2007-02-16 00:00:00.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There are so many ways to describe Paulos Sibisi - a great family man, a dependable friend, a hands-on community activist and a wonderful colleague.

There are so many ways to describe Paulos Sibisi - a great family man, a dependable friend, a hands-on community activist and a wonderful colleague.

In his life Sibisi touched many lives, as proved by the many tributes that have poured in since his sudden death on Wednesday last week.

A colleague who grew up with him in Jabulani, Soweto, said: "Paul was everybody's friend. He was easy to start a conversation with. His sudden death has shocked everyone.

"On Tuesday night he spoke to his mother on the phone for a long time. Though he had earlier agreed to watch a match with his daughters, he bailed out just before the game started. He said he was tired and was going to sleep."

He never woke up.

Sibisi, fondly called "S'khulu" or "Papa Paul" by his family and friends, was not sick.

He had been his jovial self the night before. But when he did not wake up when the alarm clock rang at 5am, his wife tried to wake him. But to no avail.

An employee of the City of Johannesburg for almost 30 years, Sibisi was a risk assurance manager.

Born on December 21 1954, in Pimville, Soweto, Sibisi believed in investing in his community. Apart from guiding his own children, he put many other deserving children through school.

Senior citizens in his community loved him. He fought for their rights to get houses and other services. He believed strongly in human dignity. Sibisi often used his own money to help those who were less fortunate than he was.

Because he grew up poor, Sibisi knew the struggles of many people in his community and worked hard to help them.

Having put himself through school while working as a taxi driver, he believed in education, which he pursued throughout his life.

At the City of Johannesburg, he started right at the bottom of the ladder as a meter reader. His proficiency was admirable to his colleagues and peers and he was awarded the council's worker of the year award in 2004.

Sibisi broke all stereotypes, teaching young people, colleagues and community members by encouraging them always to go the extra mile in whatever they did.

Though he moved out of Soweto, his heart was always there. He helped out at weddings, funerals and other gatherings.

A God-fearing man, the Bible was Sibisi's guiding light.

He is survived by his mother, his wife Phindi, three daughters, a son and siblings. He will be buried tomorrow at Westpark Cemetery.

The service starts at 9am at Mondeor High School.

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