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The key to kindness is a simple gesture




Two weeks ago, Graham Sonnenberg was enjoying watching the ducks and geese on the Sea Point promenade when he realised he had lost his car keys. “There was a hole in my jacket, and the keys had slipped through. I searched everywhere but couldn’t find them. In the meantime, I went for lunch at Hussar Grill (a steak house in nearby Green Point),” recalls Sonnenberg.

When he returned to his car – an old blue Hyundai – in the hope of finding the keys nearby, he saw a note inside it saying, “Found your keys, call this number.” The person who found the keys was Migael Dannhauser, a young man who had noticed the keys on cycling past, picked them up, and continued on his cycle to Camps Bay.

Sonnenberg contacted Dannhauser, and caught an Uber to meet him and retrieve his keys. “The keys had dropped out really near the car, so it could well have been stolen. It’s just amazing how someone bothered to do this. People still have time and manners,” he says.

“The car belonged to my father, John Sonnenberg, who was a doctor. He died in January at the age of 90, so the car has sentimental value. My dad worked until he was 87, doing many house calls in this car. It has a low mileage, so I hope to drive it for a few more years.”

Dannhauser, who is 22 years old, says that he was out “car spotting” with friends – a trend where people walk or cycle around spotting exotic and expensive cars, which they post photos of online.

“We rented bikes, and were cruising along when I spotted the keys. I pressed the unlock button, and saw the car was about 50m to 100m away. I went to the nearby Shell garage to ask them for a piece of paper and a pen to leave my details in the car. Graham called me about an hour later. He was quite panicky and on edge about it, so I was glad to help out,” says Dannhauser. “It’s great because its good news, which is not spoken about, but happens all the time.”

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