Meet the lollipop man told to stop 'high-fiving' children

Scotland’s happiest lollipop man…

Well he was, but it’s currently a different story. Nkosana Mdikane has been banned by his local council in Dumbarton from “high-fiving” school children as they use his crossing.

Health and safety hazard?

Quite possibly, according to West Dunbartonshire Council. It said in a statement: “All patrollers are instructed when crossing children over a road to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards. This ensures that they can be seen and effectively provides a barrier between school pupils and traffic.”

I have to say it… ’elf and safety gone mad

The 74-year-old told the Daily Telegraph that the job took away the “frustration and loneliness” of being retired. “I never saw any problem in it. I’m just doing my job, but this is very emotional and affecting me,” said Mr Mdikane.

What do parents think about it?

David Dufton, a father, started a Facebook campaign on Wednesday afternoon to try to reverse the council’s orders. “Save the high fives” has garnered almost 13,000 likes and a change.org petition has more than 8,000 signatures. Mr Dufton told BBC Scotland: “Because our children want to go and see [Mr Mdikane] they all cross at the pedestrian crossing, rather than anywhere else on the road, so he’s keeping our children safe. He’s a 74-year-old man and he’s out there in all weather. It’s a bit unjust. I’ve never heard anyone ever complain about him. Nkosana always puts a smile on people’s faces.”

Street performer?

Not only does Mdikane, a former delivery driver and chauffeur, high-five the children, he dances and sings too. The BBC reported that some local drivers detoured just to witness his street performance. Mdikane moved to Scotland in 2003 from South Africa, and was given the title of Scotland’s happiest lollipop man after beginning work in 2013. He has previously been praised by the council.

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