Our Durban flood hero, Matrick Mbhele was reunited with Janet Hart, the woman he saved from the N2 flooding and it got emotional, touching many hearts.
Last week we shared the moving and inspirational story of Matrick and Janet, only at the time, we didn’t know their identities. Janet came forward and shared her feelings about the day with us and shortly afterwards her son emailed us the identity of the Durban flood hero! We updated you guys and people were ecstatic, now the story gets even better!
Matrick and Janet were reunited last week and the Sunday Tribune was present to capture the incredible moment. They met up at Janet’s husbands’ office and the pair embraced each other. They each shared their thoughts on the day and it was great to hear how they both took in that heroic moment.
Janet felt total terror, she was frozen in fear while on the phone with her son. The water was rising rapidly around her car and that is when Matrick stepped in and saved her.
“I was speaking to my son on the phone and he was telling me to stay in the car but I was freaked out because I just see water rising around me and that’s when I saw someone my window and he said ‘Mama are you alright? I’m a lifesaver’ and he saved my life.” – Janet Hart
Matrick has been grateful for the praise he has received but he just feels he did what he had to.
“I didn’t expect anything, I was just doing my duty,”
“I think maybe some people thought I was a hooligan or something and didn’t want me to help them. When I saw you (Janet) I could see you were in shock,”
“When you give a hand to someone, God will bless you. I didn’t expect all this publicity, it is our duty as humans.” – Matrick Mbhele
Matrick said he became a lifesaver after he and his family were also trapped in a flood back in 1980. He realised how scary the water can be so he decided to become a strong swimmer and work towards becoming a lifesaver. He trained at North Coast Lifesaving Club.
Janet wasn’t the only person Matrick saved, he also helped several others, including children.
Ricky Hart, Janet’s husband, was so thankful for the amazing act of heroism that he gifted Matrick an unknown amount of money. The gesture was to say thank you for saving his wife. Ricky gave the envelope containing the cheque and said,
“This is from my family, my children, grandchildren and my mother who is 85-years-old. Ngiyabonga kakhulu [thank you very much]. You really don’t know what you’ve done for us. I’ve got my wife back in one piece and it’s because of you,” – Ricky Hart
What a happy ending for all parties involved. We cannot explain how inspired we were by this action and we hope to share many more stories like this one.