This was our second day in Soweto, and we were meant to meet a young woman named Khanyisile.
The first face we became aquatinted with within Khanyisile’s household was her grandmother. I softened as she met as at the gate in order to welcome us in. I always seem to get a sense of tenderness that emits from grandmothers, and it offers this feeling of safety.
When we finally met Khanyisile, who turned out to be blind. She was also quite small in stature, with a shy disposition.
I felt as though I only really got to see some of who she was when she held her son and communicated with him.
I saw them connect with each other and I decided to take a few photos of their interaction. Khanyisile and her son began to enjoy having their photos taken, and I felt Khanyisile open up.
Here is one incident I failed to mention in the beginning:
On our way to her house, I realized that I did not have my laptop bag with me. In order to keep the hope alive, I chose to believe that it was in the boot, and that I did not in fact leave it at the Gautrain station. Upon arrival at the set, it was revealed that I had indeed left my laptop bag at the Gautrain station.
What are the odds that you could leave a laptop bag, at the entrance of a train station, come back two hours later and find there will all your belongings intact. The answer is; extremely low. However, I once again defied the odds with my luck. The security had gotten a hold of it and waited for me to come back and collect it.
The day ended on such a positive note as we stopped by a house on our way back to Joburg central. Twiggy went into the house and came out 15 minutes later with a new puppy. When she came back into the car, she said: “Everyone, meet Leo.”
On the car ride, Leo and I had some bonding time as I cuddled the life out of him. There was a point in the ride where I knew I had to give Twiggy her dog back, because she’s the mother. I have no problem settling for aunt, or distant cousin
Khanyisile is a 25 years old woman student from Soweto. She lives with her mother, Aunts, cousins, grandmother and her son. They are all unemployed, the person who was the breadwinner (her mother) recently lost her job due to COVID 19. She has problems with online studying, she cannot afford data.
In Khanyisile’s story we focus on how COVID19 has disrupted the normal and less costly way of studying, we look at how young people who are from poor backgrounds deal with having to priorities data on top of having food on the table. We look at how the government is assisting in this regard if they are.