I mentioned Malakai’s cousin Claudio in the previous entry, however I did not elaborate on his character. That was because I did not recall him having said anything on first day. On the second day, he spoke!
At his young age, that seemed normal me. As a high schooler, the concept of ‘threat’ becomes anxiety inducing, an this anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. Some turn to the art of deception, by convincing the around them about their confidence, while others retreat into themselves and analyze their environment before integrating themselves into it. I relate to later, even though I’ve been making attempts at the former.
On this day, we intended on getting some shots of Malakai with his father, seeing that the dynamic between him and his parents are quite central to his story.
We managed to capture beautiful moments between them as the two of them as they played ping pong.
Malakai has mention having a complicated relationship with his father previously, so watching them connect they way they knew how was quite thought provoking.
The simple concept of effort can be the thread that holds a relationship together:
More than anything, I saw the way that they were both trying to give all that they could in that moment. One may argue that one is currently giving more than the other, however as they grow, one can only hope that Malakai’s father gives a bit more by embracing a new father son relationship and moving on from the father daughter relationship he once had. The best way for him to accept his child without gendering the relationship.
I wouldn’t say that they’re progress depends on them meeting each other half way, but rather his father meeting him/ finding his son where he’s at.
I have no doubts that they will get to a mutually comfortable space because of the love that exists between them. When I take a step back and look at his parents, I can see the opening…
Remaining at the scene of the ping pong table; the crew decided to play a few games.
The first personality trait you are going to find out about me is my competitiveness. The moment I had the ping pong paddle in my hand, I was adorned with an incredible power. I’m not saying that I’m actually any good at table tennis, but I will do whatever it takes to win. Will power had gotten me further than anything else. In a match where I’m at disadvantage and there is seemingly no hope for recovery, I defy the odds, simply because I refuse to lose.
Linda does thing differently. Linda hadn’t played ping pong before, and felt no obligation to be competitive. However, we noticed something while she was playing against Zenande. My insults seemed to super charge her, and every time I would praise her she would get demotivated.
When she noticed it, she instructed me to only insult her as she enjoyed the taste of victory.
The funniest moment of the day was during a ping pong match between me and Twiggy. Even though we wanted to win equally as bad, there could only be one winner.
As we were both striving to be that person, something unexpected happened. Twiggy put her body on the line as she tried to return the ball, and ended up stumbling backwards and falling ass-first into a dog’s water bowl.
She spent the rest of that day wearing pants that were wet in the back. Eventually one of Malakai’s dogs (Duke if I’m not mistaken) approaches Twiggy and waits for some sort of an explanation. Twiggy did exactly that; she explained the situation and asked for forgiveness.
One thing about Twiggy is that she is a major dog lover, and she will take any opportunity to talk about her dog Ruby. As someone who doesn’t have a dog of her own, but wishes to, listening to people talk about their dogs allows me to live vicariously through them.
Linda worked her magic and shot some portraits of Malakai and then proceeded to take portraits of everyone.
During this moment I learnt that spending time in the sun can really make people happy.
To close off Malakai’s shoot, we had one last interview in his room, where he also shared a monologue he wrote with us. Twiggy captured the beauty of the words by shooting his reflection the mirror. This was the perfect close to the shoot.
While I waited for my mother to pick me up from the train station in Centurion, I witnessed the organic and earthly beauty that a black woman possesses.
One of the Gautrain security enforcers, who was a black woman, saw a bird struggling and panicking because it had broken its wing. As the commuters exit the station, the bird was being stampeded by the blind feet rushing to get home. However, the woman came to its rescue and carried it to safety with grace. She seems to take her job as security seriously, because she is concerned with the safety of all living things.