Jose Maria Joao is perhaps most well known for being the face of those who frequent eatery and bar, Power and the Glory. Since arriving in South Africa – after fleeing Angola as a captured child soldier for the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) during the civil war – Jose has become loved by many. Not just those at P&G, but also at the local boxing gym and many a hiker on table mountain and Lion’s Head. Jose is a skilled mountain runner and has many times accompanied hikers as protection. Until last week Sunday (17/07), Jose fell 20-30 meters off Lion’s Head on his morning run.
Miraculously Jose survived the fall, and News 24 reports, was released on Thursday (21/07) with no brain trauma, despite hitting his head on the way down as well as sustaining “a broken tibia, a fracture in his pelvis, cracked ribs, damage to his vertebrea, kidney and lung.”
Jose’s story and attitude towards life and others has inspired not one but two documentaries on him. In one with CCTV News he says, “My life started with violence, but it is not my feeling. I want everyone to be happy, to protect them.”
Owner of P&G Adam Whiteman, who employ Jose, says, “It is the worst thing in the world for him. He lives to run, to be outdoors and to go to gym.” Jose has said that he uses exercise to quieten his mind from the harsh memories of his past.
Jose’s only remaining family is his sister who lives in Angola and has been notified of the accident.
Support has flooded in this week after the fall, with many offering to help pay Jose’s medical bills, physio therapy cost and hospital stay.
Since then Whiteman has started a Back A Buddy campaign where donations towards Jose’s recovery can be sent. Whatever may be left will be put in a savings fund for him. You can also get involved by offering your skills and time. Find out more here.