In 2016, Lavista was profiled in The Big Issue’s September edition, in which he shared his aspirations of becoming a tour guide. When one of his regular customers, Gina Steward, saw the article, she offered to help him realise his dream. “Gina paid for my fees to enrol at the Cape Academy of Guiding Services in Pinelands, the costs of getting my tour guide badge and my driver’s licence,” Lavista recalls.
Thanks to Gina, Lavista is now a registered tour guide. A local tour operator has also afforded him the opportunity to conduct city tours. “I’m very thankful to Nceba Galeza of Jungle Walk Tours who is helping me with tourism gigs, out of the kindness of his heart,” he says.
Lavista is hoping to branch out and conduct tours to the townships and other areas once he has a valid driver’s licence and his own vehicle.
“I can’t afford to save up for my driver’s licence right now because I’m the breadwinner at home. I have a child to feed and a mother to take care of. I wish a big company could employ me so that I can save up for my driver’s licence while I’m working for them.
If you don’t own a vehicle to transport your tourists, it is wise to keep them in the central business district because outside of town it’s dangerous. I dream of having my own vehicle so that I can take my tourists on township tours,” he says.
Lavista knows full well that life presents us with all kinds of challenges and has always pushed himself to come out tops.
Raised by a single mother, Lavista relocated to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape when he was still young. He dropped out of school in Grade 11 to help his mother feed their family. He has worked in several positions at various companies to provide for his family.
He now encourages others not to give up on their dreams or lose faith
in humanity. “My advice to others is to follow their dreams no matter what the circumstances. Maybe one day a good Samaritan will help them realise their dreams too,” he says.
If you would like to help Lavista obtain his driver’s licence an assist him with permanent employment as a tour guide, please contact The Big Issue office on 021 461 6690 or email email@example.com