"If the job is big or small, do it well."
This is the motto by which a Department of Home Affairs employee, who recently took social media by storm, lives.
Nosipho Mkhupheka, who works as a supervisor, assisted 40 people beyond her working hours at the department's offices in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.
Her efforts were so remarkable that they even attracted the attention of Minister of Home Affairs Siyabonga Cwele, who paid her a visit, taking her some chocolates and a bouquet of flowers.
"I start my work at 07:15 instead of 07:30 and I normally knock off an hour or two after 16:00. I only leave the office after seeing that majority of our clients are being attended to. I didn't think that working after hours on Friday would attract so much attention.
"I am grateful for the response and messages of encouragement I have received since then. I am not a person who loves social media but I was humbled when I was informed that I was trending," she said.
The 53-year-old mother of four told News24 that she took her job seriously didn't like to see people ill-treated at the offices she works at.
She has been working for the department for the past 30 years.
"It is a part of my life to assist people no matter who they are. I always ensure that I attend to people with a smile. I am a supervisor at work and I must lead by example.
"I can't stand and watch when clients are not attended to by my colleagues. I want people who visit our offices to leave satisfied, knowing that their problems have been attended to," she said.
Mkhupheka added that when they were short staffed, she ensured that people who visited their offices did not even realise it.
"Some people arrive at our offices as early as 03:00 and I am not going to allow such people leave our building unsatisfied. It pains me to see clients returning the following day because they have not been attended to the previous day.
"People spend their money and time to visit our offices and we must ensure that they must reap the benefits thereof. I have told myself that I am going to spend an extra two hours of my time to assist those who could not be assisted.
"I am leading by example. I was born to serve the public and I am proudly doing that. We are government servants employed to serve people excellently."
Staff to have empathy
Mkhupheka encourages her staff members to have empathy for clients.
"I preach that if we want to be treated well, we must first treat others well. I don't want to see colleagues harassing our people. I encourage them to have listening skills and try to provide answers to our clients," she said.
Regarding Cwele's visit on Monday morning, Mkhupheka said she was excited that her work was recognised by the top office in the department.
"He brought me beautiful flowers and chocolates. I will never forget this day. The minister embraced me and said he was proud of my work. He told me that I have painted a beautiful image of the department and should continue serving clients with respect and dignity," she said.