- Briefly.co.za recently scored an exclusive interview with a local superhero, Prince Zwide Masuku
- Prince is the heroic firefighter who made headlines across the country after he rescued a family of three from their sinking car
- He shared his story and recounted the moment he rescued the Tshabalala family from their car
Prince Zwide Masuku is a 32-year-old local superhero. He was born in bred in Ekurhuleni. Prince recently made headlines across the country after he rescued a family of three from their sinking car.
Prince said his mother, Penelope, made sure to remind him that he always wanted to be a fireman. From the tender age of five, Prince would point at every fire engine he saw and "go crazy". He said he never saw himself being anything else.
The muscular superhero said he entered the cold water to rescue the family not knowing how the deep the water was. Once he heard people yelling that there were children trapped inside the vehicle, it motivated him to go in and save their lives.
Prince vividly remembers the rescue. He recounted the details:
"I was on my way home from working the night shift that morning. It was a rainy Saturday night Only to come across a wet street on that Sunday morning which is what lead to that incident. I was sleepy and tired as we had a long night putting out a fire at some house but I just thank God for the random wisdom and strength he gave me in that split second.
"I just couldn't pass them. It's vital that as an essential worker we do our calling on or off-duty. As my firefighter mentor Mr Mnyeni would say, 'This career won't get you rich, but it can touch people's hearts'," he said.
Prince explained how he found the strength to rescue the family of three:
"I proceeded with caution to the vehicle. The fireman training kicked in, the fear went away, the family was my priority. So I started by checking where the water was coming in from. Then I went to the back seat door and dragged the 18-year-old daughter out by her school bag.
"I went to the front seat were I dragged out both the mom and her 9-year-old son The Tshabalala family was out of the slowly sinking car," he said.
After the rescue, Prince struggled to reach the Tshabalala family. Luckily, a kind gentleman gave him the family's address.
"I went and saw them. The mom had a neck brace and son had few head stitches because he had a small cut. The daughter is still a bit traumatised so any counselling would help."
Prince's amazing rescue has been shared countless times on various social media platforms. Many people jokingly asked why he didn't carry the car out from where it was sinking - considering the size of his muscles. His response to that is:
"I get that from my colleagues. They always tease my muscles, but like I always advise them, it's vital for a fireman to be physically fit because you'll never know when it's going to be required for you to perform something like this, something that's going to need strength."
Prince said he'd love to have more opportunities to teach firefighting and rescuing.
"It's always a great time to go to the community and share tips on how to survive. I went to my former fire college to share with the students how my journey is going.
"I was then invited to my former high school to motivate the matriculants to do best and choose the best career for the future. I like teaching. I didn't have the opportunity to receive advice in life by any professional firefighter, I struggled."
Life wasn't always as great for the young firefighter. He spoke more about his struggles of finding a job in his preferred career:
"I started by working at Fruit n Veg, then I was a club bouncer at some point in life. I was just trying to get my life together. All this struggling was happening while I had my firefighting qualifications.
"For five years I was unemployed. Until 2018, when the city of Johannesburg's emergency services hired me. So it's been a hard journey but one I'm grateful for."
Prince has recently become a dad to his little girl Bokang. He thanked his late grandmother, Mam Elizabeth Xinti, his parents and his partner, Kamo Poole, for all the love, light and success in his life.
Briefly.co.za previously reported on Prince after he shared his heroic act to Facebook. Prince posted an image of the family he rescued with an accompanying story of how he saved them. According to Prince, he had just finished his night shift at work when he saw the car sinking in a dam.
Many had their cellphones out and were pointing at the car but doing nothing to help. Prince made his way into the dam and pulled the mother and her two kids out of the car. He bandaged the little boy's head as he had a minor injury.
At the time of publishing the previous article, Prince had not exchanged details with the family but he was happy to have helped. Prince's story gained a lot of traction on Facebook as many people can't stop thanking him.
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