I took this photo one day whilst ‘staking out’ illegal taxi’s in our town. Sounds far more exiting than it actually was. The place I chose for the stake out, was opposite the KFC. I’ts just about 300m from my office, so I wasn’t exactly undercover.
What I realized was that, 300 m from my office, our town’s real Africa was functioning. Only 300m from where I sat every day, working in a air conditioned office, churning out stories on how our country is sinking into the bottomless pit of corruption and misappropriation of funds, these people were living the real effects of these stories.
Vendors trying to eke out a living are selling fruit and veg and hair extensions on the corners. People with telephones hooked up to God knows where, are renting out minute by minute calls, at exorbitant profits.
And here was this mother, a blot of colour in the middle oft his dusty hub, carrying her baby safely on her back, in pure African style. In the morning, probably while my children are still sleeping in their beds, she would be up, before dawn, to take a taxi from near her house in the township. It probably takes her an hour or more of waiting at the pick up point, on the route and walking the last bit to where ever she needs to go.
Far more difficult than it could ever be for met to get from point A to B in my little car. But still on that day, in that situation and for some reason, she looked to me as being the better off of the two of us, in her warm and bright African colours.