Mogamad Cassiem, better known as Boeta Cassiem vannie Plain has been selling ice cream at concerts and sporting events, for 55 years.
Green Point Stadium, where it all started
Boeta Cassiem tells the story of how he started as if it were yesterday. One Friday afternoon he went to Green Point Stadium, now known as Cape Town Stadium, to watch soccer with a friend. His friend suggested that they get ice cream from the Dairy Maid truck. When they got there he was introduced to the owner of the truck and that’s when Boeta Cassiem’s ice cream selling career started. He was very young and eager to start working, he says he hasn’t looked back since.
Boeta Cassiem, the friendly ice cream man
Boeta Cassiem works at sporting events like cricket matches at Newlands Stadium and rugby matches at Cape Town Stadium. He left Dairy Maid for a while to work at Nestlé but eventually, he went back to Dairy Maid. His famous and hilarious sales pitch is this: “A sucker to make you wakke, a lolly to make you jolly and a wafer to make you stywer”. Those who know will tell you this sales pitch is exactly what makes him special and so memorable.
He has a ritual before every event, he walks around the field and greets all the supporters with, “Morning young lady, morning young man”. Boeta Cassiem has met people from all over South Africa and the world, including famous cricket players like Hansie Cronje. He says the English cricket team wanted to take him to England, but he refused laughingly and said, “I wouldn’t exchange SA for half a cent. This is the best place in the world.”
Boeta Cassiem, the family man
Boeta Cassiem moved from Kensington to Westridge, Mitchell’s Plain where they’ve been for 40 years now. He is married with four children and nine grandchildren. “My children want me to retire but I said no because I feel like a “lonely town” at home. The sports events are where I meet all the people”. He laughs and says the supporters told him if he gets too old to walk, they will push him around in his wheelchair with his cooler box.
There are so many moments that stood out in his life. He won two tickets to Lionel Richie’s concert and Boeta Cassiem and his wife had the honour to meet him. Richie jokingly asked him, “Is this your bodyguard?”, referring to Boeta Cassiem’s wife, he replied proudly “No it’s my wife!”.
While speaking to Boeta Cassiem, it’s easy to understand why people love him and get along with him so well. He is extremely caring, he believes that you must always give back to the community. Above all, he is a brilliant salesman, which was recently pointed out by his new boss. Even though Boeta Cassiem has met so many famous people in his life, he is still a very humble human.