Peace and Blessings be with you.
On the 17th July 2004 Phillip and myself got a lift from his long time friend Mr. Brown from CID security, from the Caltex petrol station in buitengracht street. He has been working there for 20 years when I took these photographs.
I have been for the longest time wanting to do a series of stories on everyday South Africans who slip through the cracks of our notice, or fly below the Radar of our observation. Someone asked me one day why Phillip ? I ten realised that if there were some serum, substance that in my mind, “made” or “defined” a “South African” i would go to Phillip with a syringe and extract it from his blood stream…
In hindsight, I realised that e was not the Ideal “South African”, but the Ideal Human being. I met him because I constantly visited the petrol station as it was the closest to my house in bo-kaap at the time. One evening I jokingly said to him that I would love to visit him, and see where he lived and without missing a beat he cracked a big smile and said that I was most welcome!
Time has caught up with me, so alas tis the end of my commentary, though i shall put up the last images, and if anyone would like some more information please leave a comment.
All these images were shot with my beloved Yashika , hand held of course..
So why Phillip…? Because Phillip put his son through varsity on a petrol attendant salary, plans the new year with his family as a team, after reviewing the last one, weighing up their achievements and plotting the course forward. At the time, his wife worked 3 days a week as a Char ( a house cleaner), and managed the Spaza shop in the front of the 1 bedroom shack. He also bought burger patties from a Muslim butcher on the Cape Flats and sold it to people in the city.