- Steve Loock has been living on the streets of Pretoria for 3 years
- He stands on road intersections with a sign encouraging motorists to smile
- His mission to uplift their spirits has made him popular
A 57-year-old man living on the streets of Pretoria has become a hit for encouraging motorists to smile.
Steve Loock has been homeless since 2015, rekordeast.co.za reports. Since then he has been standing on road intersections with a colourful sign that says, "Hey smile."
His mission to uplift motorists' spirits has made him popular. Many drivers donate money to him or simply hoot or smile back in acknowledgement.
Although he hasn't had a house to live in for three years, Loock told Jacaranda FM that he has been "in the wilderness" for 19 years.
He said he used to work as a journalist for a newspaper but resigned to pursue other opportunities. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Loock ended up working in a dispatch warehouse, but got retrenched in 2013. Things got worse when his car was stolen along with his ID, forcing him to work as a gardener.
He eventually had to sell his Wendy house in 2015. Despite living on the streets now, Loock insists that he's not a beggar.
Instead, he offers a "service" to motorists by reminding them to appreciate life no matter how hard it may be. He explained:
My smile boards are very popular, and it gives me great satisfaction to see people smile when they see me next to the road.
Every friendly gesture, wave, smile, hoot or laugh gives me the strength to continue, get up in the morning and do it all over again the next day.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!