A few weeks ago I did an internship at Huisgenoot/You/Drum. It was an absolute blast and I learned too much to explain in such a short space. The main thing I took from this experience, though, is that it takes hard work to get anywhere and to never treat an intern like rubbish 😉

Anyway, enough of that. One of the shoots I went was a story in Blikkiesdorp. I’m not someone who is scared of ‘informal settlements’. I’m scared of 8 out of 10 things I experience daily, but never poverty.  Why is this important?  I’ll tell you now.

To my shame I’ve never heard of Blikkiesdorp until we started driving. I thought it was just the normal Langa/Gugulethu story, but to my horror I saw us moving closer and closer to Delft. Delft! Let me explain. I have nothing against Delft, I’m just inherently petrified of the place. In my short stint as a teacher, the boogieman of schools was Delft. Delft and maybe Mannenburg. I have vivid recollections of teachers telling me horror stories of the times they taught in Delft.

With this in mind, we drove right into the pit of nightmares with me praying like a man on death row and the journalist and driver hiding all their possessions under the seats.

Turns out Blikkiesdorp isn’t that bad. I don’t think I’ll do Delft again – some fears die hard, but Blikkiesdorp was cool. It’s a strange place.  All the ‘houses’ look exactly the same – all of them are tin structures, hence ‘blikkiesdorp’.  Blikkiesdorp’s official name is the Symphony Way Temporary Relocation Area and it serves as housing projects for about 1700 people. It was built in 2007 by Helen Zille (when she was still mayor of Cape Town). It’s known for the high crime rate and the fact that unwanted, evicted people from elsewhere in the city come live there.

Here are some of the pictures I took on the day.  At some point I had to keep the majority of the children busy, because they kept on jumping into the photographer’s shots.

The following picture is officially my new favourite picture. The boy on the right has an illness that prevents him from, among other things, talking properly.  It was so special to see him interact and be accepted.