We shared a farewell-coffee in October 2013. He carefully prepared the last brew; he made many cups for me up to that point and has prepared even more for others since.
Felix Matswai is a barista I first met two years earlier. Our lives intersected every day as I was passing through the canteen on my way to the work.
Interactions, brief, but the connection instant. We poked fun at life, shared tales of motorcycle adventures and inevitably ended up talking about FC Barcelona, his favourite football team. Our relationship wasn’t exclusive, the morning coffee queue was his playground, an engaged audience, friends.
Felix’s art is not the brewing of coffee, that would be too easy to copy. His art is engagement, joy, authenticity, connection and curiosity.
Suddenly, one day, the coffee lost its flavour. Felix was gone.
This is what happens to great people. To artists. A colleague opened an artisan coffee shop in downtown Johannesburg and snatched Felix away from the dark canteen.
I left Johannesburg in 2013. I said goodbye to many close friends in the final week. I took my motorcycle downtown for one final coffee, to see Felix. I could think of no better way to bid to the City of Gold farewell.
Today. I still miss Felix.
Moreover, I have started asking myself. On this journey called life, am I practising what Felix has mastered? Am I missed like him? Are you?