Rhino builds staircase for residents

Rhino Bulo on the steps he built at Mouille Point beach.

A man living on the streets of Green Point has lent his building skills to the nearby neighbourhood by constructing a stairway at Mouille Point beach after a resident slipped on the rough slope.

Rhino Bulo said he worked for a construction company in Krugersdorp before moving to Cape Town in 2018.

He said neighbours observed him cleaning the beach and frequently gave him food or money for the casual labour.

“I was cleaning the beach, I started doing that last year. A lady was bringing me food and water and then she slipped and fell down. You can see how bumpy this ground is,” he said about the slopes leading to the beach. “She fell down but luckily did not get hurt. I decided that I should build steps for her, for the residents, to make it easier to walk down,” the Mozambican said.

He began working on the staircase in April.

“When I worked at the construction company I saw how they built, no one taught me how to do this, but I am good at working with my hands and I am taking my time to build these steps as I do not want to make a mistake, I want it to be perfect, building something like this takes time,” the 28-year-old said.

Rhino Bulo hard at work.

Mr Bulo has a spade, a tape measure and a square to build the steps. A security guard keeps his tools safe at night as he sleeps on the streets of Green Point.

“The rocks are from the beach; I collect them and bring them here. I bought cement with the money that the residents give me so to save up money also takes time, but the foundation is strong because I used this building cement. I have to use good materials for these steps.”

Lenette van Wyk moved to Mouille Point in January and saw that Mr Bulo was quite active on the nearby beach.

“I saw this man digging, working, and I thought I’ll ask him what he is doing. He said he was building steps to make it easier for residents walk down to the beach and to stop the erosion. I thought that it’s wonderful and I can see he is doing a really good job,” she said.

The parking lot at Granger Bay had a few potholes that Mr Bulo filled with rocks so that cars could easily drive in at the sea-facing parking.

“I could see how some cars were struggling to move around these holes. There were big holes and I decided to fill it with rocks from the beach, its working. Nobody asked me to do this or to build the steps. I see a problem and I know I can help so that’s why I do this. It’s been really hard to find a job because of Covid, but I am looking for a job, anything, I can do anything with my hands,” he said.

Rhino Bulo placed rocks to fill up the gaping holes in a parking lot.