Nilson Dos Santos received 40 job offers after cafe owner Steven He refused him a job last Sunday because he was black. Today, it is the cafe owner who is almost broke.
Steven He, owner of Darlinghurst cafe Forbes & Burton, Sydney, had told Santos: “My customers are white. I don’t think they want their coffee made by black people.”
Immediately, Santos got up and asked the customers if they had any problems with him. Shock and anger prompted three customers and a staff member to leave. Others egged all the employees to boycott the restaurant and started a campaign for Santos in the social media.
Soon after Steven had to close his restaurant.
Meanwhile, Santos has not only joined a barista job at Taylor Square bar and cafe Coco Cubano, he is also excited about the new beginning and has even recommended some of the jobs he had been offered to the employees who had sent Steven to Coventry. "I just felt really, really sad because I keep stopping [to] think about how many people lost their jobs," he said. "I just broke down and cried because I was really emotional about it."
For the last three months, Santos had been unemployed and was struggling to make ends meet, but he now has a job that he loves.
Santos has also become a well-known personality in Darlinghurst, even attracting an Aboriginal woman who invited him to lunch, expressing her love and pride.
Coco Cubano manager, Steve Sosah, is excited to have Santos in his cafe.
"Nilson's got such a great and positive energy," he said. "It's all about bringing your own personality to the table, no matter who you are. "
Dos Santos has plans to move on to Paddington with a friend, thrilled about his new job.
He, meanwhile, is under the scrutiny of the Fair Work Ombudsman.