“It was raining, and I saw a lady running towards my taxi, I just stopped and opened the passenger door.”
They both agree the first ride was hardly romance filled. Nevertheless, Simon says he can remember every detail including the small talk the pair made. For her part, Mpho, who works at Pick n Pay, was just impressed the taxi was clean.
Mpho told Taxi Times that she started going to work with Simon’s taxi and the front seat was always ready for her. With each subsequent trip, the conversations continued, and something began to click. Simon and Mpho talked about the differences between Eastern Cape and KZN, where he hails from.
We then exchanged numbers and kept texting and then Simon said, “would you like to have dinner sometime?” Mpho didn’t hesitate. She said yes.
Three weeks after their initial ride, the pair had their first date at a “kasi restaurant” in Katlehong. Simon did not pick her up with a taxi, said Michelle. He came with a Toyota Tazz, “I was so excited”
As months went on, something more than just gastronomy crossed Simon’s mind.
“Being from another culture, I was not a person who could have gone with a girl and just had fun and all that, I’m not into such things.
“I was quite clear that I liked her and after two or three months I said I would like to settle down. I asked if she would like to go with me with me back to KZN to meet my family and once you meet them we should see if we want to go ahead.”
“It was very full on,” says Mpho. “Very traditional and I’m not as traditional as Simon but after spending time with family and getting a better understanding of who he was I remember thinking, yes, I could spend rest of my life with this man.”
In September 2013, a year after meeting at the Phola Park taxi rank, the couple had a traditional wedding. Members of Mpho’s family from the Eastern Cape made the trip.
She never imagined she would meet her future husband on a simple trip to work from the taxi rank. But, on Valentine’s Day, Mpho has a message for the lonely hearts out there.
“You just never know when you’re going to meet that special someone. They could be anywhere.”