Friday, March 30, 2012


Ten of us sat around a table yesterday and had lunch. A Viljoen kind of lunch - it lasted from noon until early evening. I looked around at these people I work with and I felt love for each and every one of them. Who would have thought that there was enough room in one woman's heart.

Gave the guys a lift down to Long Street in the rain - French Festival!
Fifteen minutes later I got a call: Madame - are you home, are you safe?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sine Qua Non.

Touenke Djami Roger
36 years old.
Born in Minta, Central Province of Cameroon.
Bamileke Tribe.

The strong man. He comes from a family of big people. At home he trained in graphics and screen printing. During the course of our talks, he told me a story Shakespearian in it's twists and turns. He left that life behind and came here to discover more, to know more. Ex Judo champion of Cameroon, Roger dreams of starting a school where he can teach homeless children martial arts and soccer.
"You throw a stone, you don't know where it will land."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sine Qua Non.

Raoul Miessan
31 years old.
Born in the coastal town of Bonoua, Côte d'Ivoire.

His sister arranged his move to Cape Town and helped him to get together the money to go to the Language School in Green Point. He arrived with a tog bag full of cash, undertook a six month intensive course - and from not understanding one word, now speaks the most beautiful English - softly.

Back in Abidjan he trained and worked as an IT Specialist.
Here he has been a waiter and a barman and an extra on commercials - which fortuitously led him to us.
He tells me that in his home town, one is so marked by your religion - Muslim or Christian - that it became very limiting for him.

I asked Raoul if he has a dream.* He said: "Yes, like anyone, I do have a dream." He explained that it is a dream of such magnitude that he is almost ashamed to tell me about it. Funnily enough, he is the only one I told about my dream - and that it is also very big. The only way I can imagine it as a truth is to try to reach it by taking it to pieces and doing them one by one.
He nodded and said: "Yes! That is what I am doing..."

*I've been inspired to ask this question by Chris Arnade's wonderful photographs and stories about the people on the streets of New York City. The most heartening thing about it is that everyone I have asked so far answers YES.

I am writing about the swing gang because I admire them greatly. They are modern day explorers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Africa My Love.

Nkgomotseng, 29. Botshelo, 2.6 and Bhekabantu, 39.

I met them today at Pick'n'Pay. Beautiful handwoven clothes with swaying tassels and bare feet. Friendly and soft spoken. They have come here from the Natal Midlands to "spread the word of the Messiah" from a temporary home somewhere on Table Mountain. They bought Jungle Oats, mangoes, honey and many litres of Amasi.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cotton Candy Land.

Oh that farm, how I miss it. The people, the animals. The quirks that make it a world apart from the city.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Put it together and take it apart.

We left the farm in dribs and drabs... shooting a little ways down the road, near the single lane bridge.
We'll go back to polish the floors and clear the yard. But for now, we are headed for the hills.

There is an easy camaraderie on film sets. Sometimes it's years before you see someone again, sometimes never. Moments that catch at the heart, the surprising kindness of strangers. Someone walks up to you at sunrise and it looks as if they're on fire. A brawny man with tattoos tells you about the health benefits of celery and reminds you to drink water. The stray dog will always find a home. It's passion and lethargy, gatvolness and laughter.

We put it together and then we take it apart.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hester Mathys.

The lady who sweeps.
Bashful and sweet, she told me this morning that she was born on this farm and has lived here her whole life long. When I asked her how old she was, she said: Ek kan self nie sê nie...

(I myself can't say.)