Ricochet News

Eastern Cape resident chosen as part of FMI’s #21Lives Campaign

Jun 14, 2017
Eastern Cape resident chosen as part of FMI’s #21Lives Campaign

Local Joubertina resident, in the Eastern Cape, Braam Kritzinger was one of the inspiring stories chosen by FMI as part of their #21Lives campaign, which marks FMI’s 21st year of business and highlights people who have gone on to lead inspirational lives and achieve their goals.

In May this year, Braam received a special visit from FMI’s newest member ‘Gus The Bus’, who has been travelling nationwide to visit 21 inspiring people (and policy holders) that have gone on to do amazing things after enduring tough times as a result of serious injury or illness.

Braam’s story was a unique one in terms of demonstrating hardship and the astounding triumph of the human spirit that was the perfect fit for the #21Lives campaign. In 1997, after the dealership Braam worked at as a young technician was liquidated, he was left without a job. After taking some time to strategise a way forward, Braam convinced his bank manager to give him a loan to buy the liquidated company.

He worked tirelessly one step at a time to rebuild the failed enterprise, starting off with just seven personnel. Eventually he gained the rights to obtain a Toyota franchise. He now employs 47 people and was voted the best Toyota dealership in the country last year!

Braam believes that we can all overcome the tough situations life throws at each of us and it’s also important to make provisions for situations in life that no one enjoys thinking about or could possibly anticipate. “When I started the business I didn’t know anything about how to sell a car, and I based the whole business on service delivery. Really going the extra mile for the customer,” said Kritzinger.

Since Braam’s career challenges, he has also faced other trauma in his life. In 2014 his health took a turn for the worse when he was diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy. This illness affects the nervous system connected to one’s hands and feet and is a source of constant pain for Braam. One of Braam’s biggest trials to date though was in January 2016, when he lost his son in a fatal accident.

All these hardships have had a profound effect on Braam and reinforced for him the importance of taking the necessary steps to prepare for any eventuality in the future. Although Braam has said he will never fully recover from the loss of his son, he does find small joy in pursuing his business dreams and knowing that his staff are committed to making their customers happy.

“The #21Lives campaign focuses on identifying and bringing to light the stories of remarkable people such as Braam, who have despite all odds, continued to reach their dreams and live life to the fullest. We are passionate about protecting people’s lives and future dreams, as even a temporary illness or accident can seriously derail your life.

FMI has been privileged enough to be part of Braam’s inspiring story and we look forward to shining a spotlight on other amazing South Africans who have gone on to do great things whilst we’ve been able to protect their dreams and pay their income,” stated Brad Toerien, FMI’s CEO.

Gus The Bus has been on a trip around the country over the past two months visiting extraordinary people who have amazing stories of triumph and resilience. They are not only at the heart of the FMI #21Lives campaign but represent local heroes doing great things after experiencing trying circumstances in their lives.

Make sure you visit http://fmi.co.za/gusbus/ or follow FMI on Facebook and use the hashtag of #21Lives to join the conversation.