Let me take you on a journey to the place of my birth, the place I grew up, the life I see on a daily basis: ekasi.
This is Kagiso, my township, situated in the West Rand, Johannesburg.
There’s so much of the kasi that is often sidelined. Most people see the township in a negative view and photographers often wait for that typical, saddening township image. A normal kasi day is not what photographers portray. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a story to tell in the townships, and quite often (unfortunately) it’s a sad story. This is the actual kasi story, the side of the township that we barely visit: the real side, my side.
The happy communion of the community freely striving each day in contentment and delight
the igniting burning desire of young kids playing, turning streets to theme parks,
enacting their family dreams on old cracked tar roads.
The unconventional calm passages gathering cornered dirt,
even the grungy, dodgy abandoned structures turn discreet and innocent.
When day dawns the rug rats run the streets
and while their folks run on to their exertion,
dream catchers hang by the corners, where the morning light can meet their vision.
ekasi is lively tranquil today;
the meeting junctions await the folks’ social gathering
trading memoirs, beverages, issues, smiles and laughs.
Shisanyama for lunch,
the grill smoke embrace the nostril of entrepreneurial hopes
and fellas bunk by the car wash,
the background music cheering for the disinfecting of cars.
Positive energies and uthando lwase kasi*
emerging love flourishing on the street corners
school mates turning soul mates,
two souls coil the warm embrace of their teenage years.
Family comes first and the friends’ appreciation
all the way to the welcoming smiles of neighbours and strangers,
the young lads’ awe-inspiring smiles;
These itsy-bitsy, tiny-weeny catchy moments make my kasi distinctive.
Even on the darkest day,
the sun shines through lingering clouds
glowing upon unfazed frumpish, beautiful faces.
Therefore Let’s take a walk in the blue sky, the sunshine,
the inevitable reality of kasi.