Life on Jozi streets
PROFESSIONAL photographer Thandile Zwelibanzi loves Jozi's landscape. This is evident from his exhibition, Still Existence, which is on show at the Bailey Seippel Gallery in Johannesburg.
Since Zwelibanzi started a photography course at the Market Theatre in Newtown in 2010, he has been photographing traders who are part of Johannesburg's landscape.
His photographs depict the city's taxi ranks and markets.
Zwelibanzi says he is worried about the conditions the traders are exposed to: Hot sun in summer, freezing cold in winter, and lashing rain and wind, too.
"I am interested in the traders daily existence. At night when the city takes a breather, everything changes. The environment and atmosphere changes completely," says Zwelibanzi.
The traders have migrated from various parts of the continent and South Africa, to make a living selling fruit, vegetables, sweets and cigarettes.
Zwelibanzi photographs them, their makeshift stalls and their easily transportable goods.
Born in Willowvale in the Eastern Cape, Zwelibanzi is attracted to the constantly changing Jozi landscape and informal sector.
Explaining the inspiration behind his photos, he says: "When I was about seven years old, most people in the township talked positively about the city. The only time I saw the city was at night when my parents and I travelled to Kagiso by bus and bypassed Jozi.
"When I did eventually come here, the city looked completely different. There were people everywhere and everything seemed crazy.
"The traders have a definite claim of ownership and space, however temporal. Their presence creates a network that spreads throughout the continent," he says.
The exhibition also explores how individuals play their part in mass migration and how they maintain social relationships.