Welcome to the Lucky 5 Star

We’ve christened the house with a name: the Lucky 5 Star. Thanks to Lucky, living here is like staying in a five-star hotel.

Lucky in the garden, in front of his favorite fern tree.

Lucky, whose name is actually Mashudu in his native language of Venda, had a birthday two days before I arrived. He’s 33. He has been living and working here for a decade as an employee of Horst, our landlord. Lucky’s father also worked for Horst, which is how Lucky got this job after moving to Joburg from his family’s home near the Zimbabwe border.

When Lucky first came to work here in his early 20s, he was employed solely as the gardener. He lived in the garage, sleeping in the space in front of Horst’s car. Soon he was able to move into the small apartment adjoining the garage, and when the maid left Horst hired Lucky to take care of the house.

In addition to maintaining the garden, Lucky does the dishes (without a dishwasher), laundry, and ironing. He cleans the house from top to bottom. When something is broken, Lucky fixes it. He paints and hangs curtains and does whatever else is needed to keep the property beautiful and comfortable for everyone who lives here. But he remains a gardener at heart.

I asked Lucky how he figured out how to do all the things he does here. “I learned,” he said. Whenever Horst asks him if he knows how to do something, Lucky says yes. And then he figures out how to do it and does it.

I’m also pleased to say that Lucky enjoys reading my blog.

I wanted to take some time to interview Lucky and take his photo for this post. I asked when he has a day off.  “Never,” he said. Lucky works seven days a week – on the days that he doesn’t work here, he works at other houses in the neighborhood. Lucky uses much of his salary to support his family, including his father, who is ill.

We’re lucky to have Lucky.

Lucky under MY favorite tree in the garden — a rock karee tree.

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  • Reply Deano August 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I know….I think it’s time you started to write a book about living in SA! Lucky sounds like a good guy.

  • Reply The bush | 2Summers August 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    […] at the Lucky 5 Star by 5:00. It was a good […]

  • Reply Mexicho’s revenge | 2Summers August 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    […] a lot of illness around here this week. Lucky is sick with the flu. The commune has been fussing over him and plying him with food. Lucky works […]

  • Reply Lots of Luck | 2Summers September 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    […] of luck, my other piece of Joburg news is that Lucky (of Lucky 5 Star fame) took the test to get his driving learner’s permit today. He’s been studying hard […]

  • Reply A Birthday Celebration with Hats and Rats | 2Summers October 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    […] event was an evening braai on the deck, attended by our neighbor Leslee, our friend Eva, and Lucky. This was a particularly exciting meal for me because Lucky prepared pap – a traditional African […]

  • Reply Tilly Bud February 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    What a lovely bloke. I love his attitude: ‘I learned.’ Glad to know he’s appreciated.

  • Reply Pule February 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Lucky is one of the dedicated South Africans and work hard for his living.

    • Reply 2summers February 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Indeed. Lucky is one of the hardest working people I know.

  • Reply mzansigirl October 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Great post! Does Lucky have a brother?

    • Reply 2summers October 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Yes! His name is Walter 🙂

  • Reply From the Melville Cat: Move? What Move? – 2 Summers September 21, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    […] as she usually does. Instead she loaded me into my crate and carried me to to the doorway of the Lucky 5 Star. Before she carried me out the door, she put my crate down and walked to the other room. I think […]

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