Photo Essay: A different picture of inequality

2019-04-05 08:40

Inequality is a complex subject, given that people’s lives and identities are infinitely varied. Far beyond simply referring to disparities in wealth distribution, inequality means different things to different people. It can be readily visible in South Africa’s divided cities or in the living conditions of people situated in one of Cape Town’s historically disadvantaged areas. It can also be persistent – yet invisible – in the workplace, quietly undermining women’s careers. In their project, the three photographers aimed to portray how Sibusiso Nyamakazi, Renshia Manuel and Bulelani Futshane have confronted various forms of inequality to realise their respective passions, sustain themselves and their families, and ultimately bring change in their communities. This photo project is the end product of a mentorship project launched by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France’s public development bank, in partnership with Igalelo, a South African nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs from underprivileged areas of Cape Town.

Award-winning South African photographer Neo Ntsoma took budding photographers Andiswa Mkosi and Ross Jansen under her wing in their bid to question pervasive stereotypes about township youth, black fathers and women’s abilities.

In the heat and confined space of a bedroom studio in Nyanga, Sibusiso and producer Nkululeko Gonya listen to sample recordings for future ventures. Picture: Ross Jansen
Sibusiso Nyamakazi’s priority is being mobile. Most South Africans live below the poverty line and, for them, a car is a costly, albeit convenient, luxury. Picture: Ross Jansen
Bulelani Futshane has focused his career on community development. He founded Township Roots in 2012 to reduce the number of school dropouts in Philippi and Nyanga. Picture: Andiswa Mkosi
Despite having moved out of his parental house, Bulelani always makes sure he is present in his daughters’ lives. Picture: Andiswa Mkosi
After the drought hit her vegetables and herbs in the greenhouse, Renshia moved all her produce and tools to her back yard garden. Picture: Neo Ntsoma
Single mom Renshia Manuel grows her own vegetables. Unable to afford an irrigation system, she waters her crop manually with water from a nearby school. Picture: Neo Ntsoma

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September 15 2019