Bheki Mtshali, born 28-August-1999
I live in Kliptown with my 3 brothers and my mother.
Photography is important because all picture can work in different ways, such as historical photography. I hope I can improve on being a photographer, I wish this camera can be mine. Thank you for your time.
Bheki is also a gumboot dancer, as lithe as Gregory Hines. For real.
Sthandine Bezana, born 22-December-1999
My name is Sthandine as known as Stah or Sthandwa. In my family, we are family of eight, but we suddenly became a family of seven because my uncle always travels. He is a theatre actor and a gumboot dancer . He was raised in a very difficult time because they lived in a small shack, one room in a family of five and my grandfather had to work every day of the week for R200. On that R200, he had to pay school fees, buy food, buy toiletry and buy clothes.
I think photography is important because one can make money out of it in future.
Thembisile Dube, dob 18-January-1999.
I am Thembisile Dube. I’m 15 years old. I’m a daughter of a single parent. My mother and her brothers, sisters support the both of us. They raised me without my father. My dad died when I was 8 years old and I was still in grade 3. Ever since my father died, his brothers and sisters didn’t bother to come and visit or support me. I’m disappointed because when he was alive they were supporting me. I don’t even bother going to visit them because it just breaks my heart.
I think photography is important because it can represent history, how you were (I was) when I was still young. I would like to know more than what I already know . Who knows, this can be an opportunity for me or it can be my calling after all.
Nyeleti Ngobeni, dob 06-October-1997
I live with my mother, sister, nephews. My family, they treat me good and whatever I want they provide for me, especially my mom. She is a very good at waking me up at the morning and I love my family. I can do whatever it takes to protect my family. I live in Kliptown, Angola Street, next to the police station.
Photography is important to me because I have an opportunity to learn something new in my life. I can get a job as a photographer, so that I can provide food for my family. I’m studying engineering graphics and design.
[Jody’s(Founder of Kliptown Photography Project) note -- On Thursday morning, Nyeleti caught up with us as we walked into Kliptown. She said to me, “I heard a rumor that we can keep the cameras.” I explained that the cameras were, in fact, staying with the KYP, but that our students would have access to them any time they wanted to use them. She lit up. She had gotten a job that weekend as a photographer. A family asked her to come and photograph a birthday party for them on Saturday, for which the family would pay her R10. And, she had been asked by her mother’s church if she would come and photograph at church on Sunday, for which she would likewise be paid a small fee.]
Xolani Gijana, born 30-October-1995
I am from Pimville Zone 9, but it’s popularly known as Zone 14. We’ve been living in Kliptown for more than three years.
Photography is important because you can take a photo of someone, then that person passes away. With that photo you took, you could present it on the funeral and maybe they will put it on top of the coffin.
I would love to study photography.