He’s easy to spot through his trademark Mascom buff, which these days doubles as a Covid-19 mask.
He usually has a smile on his face, a sparkle in his eye and a glisten of sweat running down his forehead.
Stationed at Haskins’ Mangole a Leswe block, security guard Omphile Seikanyo is this week’s Unsung Hero, a new column that celebrates inspiring individuals on the streets of Francistown.
The hardworking 33-year-old is an employee of Kadesh Security; he is a credit to the company.
Over the last two years, Seikanyo has become an exceedingly popular figure around Haskins Street due to his laid-back nature and unrivaled dedication to his job.
Come rain or shine, this devoted father of a three-year-old son is a reassuring voice in a busy block with very limited parking space.
“His presence is felt whenever he’s off duty, quite simply he’s the best,” states Lateef Mohammed, a manager at Cell City.
Mohammed describes Seikanyo as ‘an incredibly hard worker’ who deserves all the plaudits.
“He never sits down! Everyone who has a reserved parking spot is assured of not losing it when he’s on duty. He tries to help everyone as best he can and always has a smile on his face,” adds Mohammed.
His sentiments are shared by Tumisang Sematla from Reld Med Pharmacy.
“I just love the guy. He knows his job. Omphile is just amazing; he knows how to address his clients. I think everybody loves him on this block,” Sematla says, her kind words reflected in her beaming grin.
In a brief interview with The Voice on Wednesday morning, the clean-shaven, bald-headed security guard chuckled sheepishly at the unexpected media attention.
Born and raised in Gweta, 290km away from Francistown, Seikanyo did his Junior Certificate in Nkange and later enrolled for a Carpentry Course at Gweta Brigade.
“I’m a qualified carpenter, something I do during my spare time,” he reveals proudly.
The strapping youth arrived in Francistown in 2017 to work as a security guard at Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE).
“The contract was only for two years, so by February 2019 I was unemployed,” he recalls.
He would not be unemployed for long. A month later, Kadesh Security Company came calling.
Residing in Ghetto’s Colored location, Seikanyo rises before the sun, setting his alarm for 4am every day apart from Tuesday – his one day off a week.
“I leave my house at 05:15 and walk to work, usually arriving at around 05:45. I like to come 15 minutes early which will give me time to patrol the building to ensure everything is in order,” he explains matter-of-factly.
The soft-spoken guard admits his 12-hour shift can be a rollercoaster of events as he deals with different personalities.
“The biggest challenge is parking. I had to devise a way of ensuring that employees in the block don’t struggle with parking. I also understand there are clients who come here for services and I do my best to ensure they get parking without a hassle.”
With parking spaces at a premium and demand regularly outweighing supply, tempers are often short.
“Sometimes I encounter very rowdy characters, but I’ve learnt to keep my cool and deal with the situation. I’ve learnt the importance of communicating well with my clients,” reflects the mild-mannered Seikanyo.
After 12 hours on his feet, Seikanyo makes his weary way back home. Exhausted, he is normally in bed by 9pm, ready to do it all again the next day.
When contacted about Seikanyo’s excellence, Kadesh Managing Director, Wabo Masole, said he was not surprised.
“I’ve received rave reviews about Seikanyo and this makes me glad because it speaks of the proper training we give them,” he said.
Masole revealed they have a way of motivating their employees through what they call ‘motivation parties’ at the end of the year.
“We look at cleanliness, punctuality and how they work with their supervisors. We then select the Best Guard of the year, who is awarded a certificate and cash incentive. I’m happy Seikanyo is being exemplary and staying true to our values,” Masole concluded.
Exemplary, he certainly is!