The last week has indeed been an interesting one. I have made a decision to hold an exhibition. It will be my first solo exhibition in 7 years. People have come to the fore to extend a helping hand ,and to them I am very grateful.
From the idea of an exhibition to this moment about 1 week has passed, and from this moment to opening night 8 days remain . Taking into account 2 public holidays and a weekend we subtract 4 and are left with an arithmetic sum that has the potentiality to be somewhat daunting, especially when image is yet to be put to paper viz. printed!
There are times in a mans life where the contextual “reality” forces him to look at himself, if only to take stock of what he is capable of…. and what he sees also has the potentiality to be daunting, though at this point , like the pregnant pause of silence before the panic induced by a calamity one has the opportunity to, in a manner of speaking detach, breathe, and decide….
though Providence renders the will of man useless when the unfolding of circumstance and the illusion of expectation don’t share the same path …
decide that the same Providence that Holdsaloft the gull, and Germinates the seed is a Benevolent , Bounteousand Generous One .
Today has been one of those days that i will look back at and smile because i had my camera.I am sure that Cape Town would rate in the top 5 for ” City with the most talented individuals per meter squared” competition.
Today i walked through a Cape Town that i had not seen for a very long time, a Cape town filled with music from one corner to the next, a Cape town with Capetonians clapping and cheering in the streets. i would like to THANK whoever was responsible!!?
Jitsvinger ( www.myspace.com/jitsvinger) Crossby and Collin performing on Greenmarket Square had people stopping mid stride to take in the output.
Then, just around the corner we had the lovely Miss Lu Chase singing sultry soul to the midday crowds traversing St. George’s mall.
Check Lu out at ( www.facebook.com/people/Lu–Chase/648010946)
Sorry Lu , i did not get the name of the Guitarist…. could you please send it to me?
Further along St. George’s mall i heard the amazing sounds of “bodimo ba ngwao” from the North West province….
the song and dance that they performed was ofKhoi San origin, the harmonies and the drum beat had the crowd enthralled.
As is my habit, I tend to , like most photographers moved from the wide to the closer shots, and got what i was looking for…
By the time i had taken the above shot the song was coming to an end, with all the dancers moving in to a close huddle around me, me walking backwards snapping away, and eventually ending up on me bottom with about 70 people gathered around breaking into loud applause…and laughter!
I never new that Xylophone bands existed. To be honest i never really much cared for them on the whole, but today I would say that my mind was changed. Wadi together with his backing Xylophones surprised and impressed me…
Finally i go the the bottom end of the mall , where it meets up with Thibault Square, and what was for me the most energetic performance of the day… enter Gazelle, the DJ Invisible and the Season Marimba Bang from Gug’s !!
With Dj Invisible dropping the Electro Beats and Gazelle working the crowd, Thibault Square was transformed to a lunch time party!
And just incase you thought i threw the word energetic in the mix only because it sounded good…
After the performance, i turned around and made my way back up St. George’s mall , thinking that all the music was done i was wonderfully surprised by a , and excuse my language a Kick Ass harmonica player who goes by the name of Dave Ferguson…
Again , thanks for the events today and yesterday, thanks for making Cape Town ring with audible smiles!
The above shot was taken in one of the “ghettos” in Zurich, at an artist exchange project i participated in thanks to the Swiss Arts Council (Pro Helvetia) . I put “ghetto’s” in inverted commas because it is not a universal concept, like many things , one mans prison is another mans oasis.
27 days and counting by the Grace of The Maker. This is the time left before our departure for the UK, where I look forward to meet the family of my wife, and see the beautiful countrysideof Scotland.
27 days to organize a fundraising Forexhibition in the city and have canvas prints made to take with me.27 days to make contact with , and submit proposals for exhibitions in the UK. Lots to do you say? Yes.
The time has come to mobilize!! Anyone out there who can assist in anyway, this is your chance to come to the front !
I have completely neglected to mention my THANKS to TBIRD, ALLISON & JABS for purchasing mierkat , 95 to go!!!
Abduraghmaan was one of the participants of a training project in district 6 that we were part of a few years ago, as members of mopp (month of peoples photography) . Myself and Abdul did a course in magasine production where Abdul Taught about visual literacy and design, and i focused on re-indoctrination , the process of migrating from the media ruminant to media originator.
To end todays post i thought this image of 3 sisters that i took on Baden Powell at the fish stand their father works at. Children are pure, we tarnish them by what we expose them to, or we nourish them by what we expose them to, of us and our environment.
On the 17thJuly 2004 Phillip and myself got a lift from his long time friend Mr. Brown from CID security, fromthe 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”, butthe 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.
Number 1 of a hundred is officially gone, 99 to go. It has been a long and arduous journey to the production of the second mierkat. This would not have been possible without the help of my wife, who refused to compromise on getting it right, and to Caz , for getting it right! I am literally walking around with 9 copies in my bag, so if there is anyone out there who would like to get their hands on a copy, there’s no time like the now.
Do you also have times in your life when you find yourself so busy, yet you cant see the results of your business? Is this a shortsightedness of the “i” ? Well, tonight there shall be results!!! i am working on a short film project with Jabs, and tonight we block the scenes, i.e determine the positions of the actors cameras for every scene of his latest short film.
And so from one film make to the next. Nafia and his wife run a production company called Shamanic Organic, no it has nothing to do with magic mushrooms or South American indigenous cactus plants. They have been running their Film / Documentary production company for around 6 years now, and have attended a screening of a documentary they made “hip hop revolution” in Chicago last year.
We are planning to shoot another short film… but more about that later.
The last update to the blog was on the 19th, so firstly my apologies to the people who pop in on a regular basis! I said to some people, whom you are about to see, that i would have these photos up on monday, so apologies to you as well.
I realise that i may have given you a clue as to what’s coming in this particular post, i must also admit that it was difficult to decide whose photo to put first… i eventually decided that seeing that its the mans birthday , lets give him the poll position…
and now you will see why i struggled with the “most important man of the day ” titel…
… so you see my dilemma. Me thinks Phule is soon to be the second Zulu surfer in cape town…
Did i mention that this barbeque took place at an apartment complex at the top of a building in down town cape town ?
And there is more to come… be patient .
and some more….
we are slowly approaching the end i am afraid…
dont worry zuk’s hiers jy ook..
and thats it for now…
none of the above images are for sale, i’ll mail them to you higher res if you send me a mail. All the other images on the site ARE, so pull out the Budget for struggling young south African artists, and feel free to purchase as much as you like!!!
Did you know that bread used to be the centre of the table, and everything else meaning the sauces, vegetables, meat etc was there to accompany it? I didn’t either. Today, this noble staple food has been relegated into the lunch box by and large,and rarely is to been anywhere near the tables centre. I myself form part of the generation of white bread eaters, the crustless doughy stuff that has been bleached clean of the nutritional values table. At about this stage the masses are stilled and the angelic music starts…..the curtains open and the drum roll reaches a pitch….
Actually the “S”stands for seeds, sunflower seeds, or maybe the “S” is actually for sunflower?I consider myself thoroughly re-educated with regards to bread.
The reason for my re-education, a baker called Hassan, in a tinybakery called “Le Petit Boulangerie” . Before I had no idea about sour dough, natural yeast, or organic flour. That the crust of a bread featuredin the digestive processes of the human body was news to me.
Hassan used to run the “wellbeing”,a centre for acupuncture, massage therapy, organic vegetables, really good coffee, and most importantly the birthing ground for his incredibly delicious bread. Since then he has moved premises, occupying a smaller space, but focusing on the bread, muffins and coffees, which we with a certain regularity make our collective duties to finish off on Sunday mornings when we swamp the little courtyard at the back.
It is our normal meeting place on a Sunday morning, where we usually grab a muffin and a coffeebefore we decide where we are surfing that day.
For those of you who need to see it to believe it, Le Petit Boulangerie is in Kilarney street i.e.you coming from the city via the M3, on to the main road, and eventually turn left at the robots (which is what we South Africans call traffic lights….Really!)go under the overhead metal train bridge, and take the first left after…. Kilarney !!
I strongly recommend the chocolate muffins if you do manage to make your way there.
ps, recently i’ve been told the bread has been sold out by 11am, so i would recommend getting there early.
I would like to congratulate everyone who visits this post, and everyone who passes it on to their friend, males links to this site and posts comments. Last week and Friday I sold my first canvas print as a result of this site!!!
THANK YOU , THANKYOU , THANK YOU!!!
This thrice repeated thank you goes to a woman who has in the past supported me by buying my work, though more importantly, bought my work because she wanted to (and did) hang it on her wall.
For continuing the tradition of support, for motivating and encouraging, andfor all the times that you have delighted us ( and here I speak for the thousands of people you have performed for lady) with your voice and spirit, THANK YOU Zolani!!!
For those of you who dont know Freshly Ground, you need to do some research !!! http://www.freshlyground.com/ , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freshlyground , and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zolani_Mahola !! 🙂
and now for another moment I stumbled upon….
At the end of 2002, at the behest of my 85year old grandmother, I joined her on a train journey to Johannesburg. Let me elaborate on the significance of this journey with regards to Mamma; it took 28 hours! I was implored by her to be her guardian as it was the condition stipulated by my mother and her brother for her participation in this journey of support and protest. Yes, we were on our way to the World Summit for Sustainable Development, yes it was part of a coordinated effort by the Cape Town muslim community to protest and show solidarity with the Palestinian peoples at this international event, and yes my grandmother had it in her mind to walk the 12km from Alexandria township to Sandton ! Thankfully her feet were swollen after the train journey so she could not participate in the march, it was 35 degrees in the shade that day. If you ask anyone who really knew her, they would tell you what an incredibly strong woman she was, how she had to be with the life she endured…. but this is a topic that requires more space than a blog post, and more dedication than 45mins on my laptop.
She does not live in this existence any longer, she has joined all those who have gone before us. May the Lord of the Universe, The Source of Peace, The Maker of Beauty Bless her, Bestow Peace on her, and Grant her a Return that is filled with Light.
For those of you, who have never been to cape town, may I introduce table mountain……
How many of you out there know that this rock was called “hoerri kwagga”? i may have gotten the spelling wrong, but the meaning i know to be stone house, which was also the name the first peoples gave to cape town. at least now you are able to visual what we mean when we say the city bowl.And speaking about the city bowl , this morning I stumbled across that institution of long street, “Mama Afrika” in the process of having a face lift….
buffi ‘s modus operandi : “I sat on the pavement across the road and looked at the building… then I start painting”
did I mention that this is not a job for anyone who has a fear of heights.
and now to guess what it will look like once its done….check out buffi’s site
sitting on the scaffolding this morning we spoke about the end of the month panic for free lancers, and then both had a good laugh at the realization that whats coming to you is coming to you, so you may as well enjoy it.
one of the things I realized in hindsightabout photography that I enjoy, is being able to see relationships of things to each other…
the relationship of a multinational petroleum supplier to the atmosphere for example…
I like the shape of the incursion into the open space of the sky, and the contrast of the red and blue.
in continuing with the theme of shapes , and skies…
another thing about photography that I also enjoy is that occasionally one finds oneself looking up.
from the outside , the two buildings above have an almost science fiction futuristic feel, and could as easily be outposts on an alien planet. the words grim, stark and authoritarian springs to mind….though there is a an appealing comfort in the predictability, the feelings of solidness of the structures that has to mentioned. it could also be the governments approach to modern art?
is there anyone out there that can answer a question for me? were these buildings constructed during apartheid? I am of the opinion that they were.