Friday, 13 January 2012

Ngikubiza ngo'mfazi (I call you Woman)


The Kwa Thema (KT) Hostel was originally built to accommodate migrant mine workers close to their workplace. The hostel was intended to house only men. This changed in the 1990’s and the hostels became cheap housing subsidised by government and converted to small family units or flats. Women from rural areas followed their men to the city looking for work and reside in these hostels. In so doing they changed the social landscape in the community. They rely greatly on government social grants. They do what they can and most produce ‘umqombothi', traditional African beer, to sell to the men in the hostel and residents of the township. Nomsa Dludlu a resident at the hostel and one of the women I photographed called it "the Zulu cold drink." Creating images of these women show how they have integrated into the previously male dominated hostel community. Producing and selling alcohol also exposed them and their children to other social hazards such as alcoholism, domestic violence and abuse. With the images I wanted to show how they adapted their traditional rural culture to the harsh reality of the cosmopolitan city life.
















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