A Cape Town comedian, who moved to Johannesburg for better work opportunities, lost his eye after he was attacked by two skelms.
Comic Justin-Ray Stoffels says he is just glad to be alive, and Tuesday even joked about his tragic situation, saying his horrific experience is fodder for future shows.
“I went to find insight and instead I lost my eyesight,” he tells the Daily Voice.
Justin moved to Joburg in July last year in the hopes of getting more comedy gigs.
But the City of Gold has brought him nothing but trouble, and Tuesday he was on a flight back home.
The 29-year-old funny man, who doesn’t have a wife or kids, says he decided to relocate because he’d heard the comedy scene was bigger in Jozi.
“The comedy industry in Cape Town is rapidly growing and space is getting limited for comedians.
“So I thought going to Jozi would afford me more opportunity to grow and gain bigger platforms,” he says.
He had rented a home in Fourways with a fellow comedian, who later moved out, leaving Justin no choice but to find a second job to make ends meet.
“I had a few paid gigs every week, but it wasn’t enough. I then got a retail job in the area where I lived during the week.”
Last Wednesday, about 7.30pm, Justin walked home from work when he noticed he was being followed.
“I looked back and saw two men walking behind me and because I’m from Mitchells Plain, I could soema identify they were up to something,” he says.
“So I packed away my earphones and put the phone into my back pocket.
“I had my backpack on and only a lunch box in the bag.”
“They were behind me and I soema stopped to tie my shoe laces and they walked past me.
“I walked behind them and they slowed down. I knew something bad was going to happen, but I continued walking until I lost sight of them.”
Justin says the men waited for him at the next corner.
“One had a knife in his hand and I started to run, I ran into a bush and then into oncoming traffic waving for help, but nobody stopped to help me.”
He says one of the skelms caught up with him, stabbed him in the eye and grabbed his bag.
“Everything happened so fast, I felt the knife behind my right eye and the next moment my eye was hanging out.”
Justin was rushed to the Helen Joseph Hospital where doctors told him his eye could not be saved.
He arrived home in Cape Town yesterday and, despite his ordeal, remains optimistic.
“I have a show called Crazy Country, now I’m proof of how crazy my country really is,” he jokes.