I broke my iPhone yesterday.

Heather's broken phone

Don’t be deceived by the smile. This is just me trying to be a good sport. I’m not happy. (Photo: Fiver Löcker)

I dropped the phone during an Instawalk. Last weekend, the people at Instagram challenged Instagrammers all over the world to meet up locally and walk together. It went without saying that the Instagram groups from Joburg (@IGersJozi) and Pretoria (@IGersPretoria) would get together and do a walk, as we do on most Sunday afternoons.

Sunday’s walk — which went through Braamfontein and Newtown — was special, and we had an extra good turnout. When we reached the graffiti walls in Newtown just before sunset, we decided to take a group “jumpstagram”. While jumping we would throw colored powder left over from the weekend’s Holi One festival.

As I tried to juggle my phone and grab a handful of orange powder, the phone crashed to the pavement.

The shot below (on the top left of the frame) is what caused the demise of my phone.


I’m on the far right of the powder-throwing shot. The picture, shot by @miklasmanneke, was featured by Instagram today in their weekend round-up, which is a really big deal. Yay for us. 

Yesterday’s Instawalk was really fun, as our Jozi Instawalks always are. Even after the phone-shattering calamity I managed to stay relatively upbeat. But when I woke up this morning I felt pretty depressed. I had been hoping it was all a bad dream and my phone wasn’t broken after all. But there it was, alarm chiming, staring me in the face. The phone still works fine but the front glass is a precarious web of cracks.

Then I saw this video. And everything was okay again.

Video courtesy of garethpon.com.

I don’t want to explain what the video is or why I’ve played it 20 times today. Just watch, please. It sums up everything I love about Instagram and everything I love about Joburg. It also features me and my phone.

The video was created and edited by Gareth Pon, with help from Miklas Manneke and Brad Roberts. It’s featured today on Instagram’s blog, which is also a really big deal.

The friends that I’ve made through Instagram mean more to me than they realize. They’re mostly guys, mostly much younger than me, and to be honest we don’t have much in common. But they’ve welcomed me into their group and let me in on their inside jokes. They’ve given me the chance to act silly and ridiculous, which is something I desperately need in my life right now. They’ve also taught me a lot about making good pictures.

I’m grateful to have found these friends and I’m grateful to Instagram for helping me find them.

Okay, that’s enough sap for one evening.

Here are a few of the Instagrams I shot over the weekend, on Sunday evening’s walk and on a sunrise walk that we took on Saturday morning.

city silhouette

Sunrise at Custom House, an abandoned building in the Jozi CBD.

Sunrise Custom House

Another view from Custom House.

traffic from above

Saturday morning traffic in the CBD.

fish-eye graffiti

Graffiti in Newtown, Sunday afternoon.

Jozi instagrammers

Instagram friends, old and new.

Newtown cranes

Cranes over the city.

Mandela Bridge

Nelson Mandela Bridge, where our Sunday walk started and ended.

In summary: We had a great weekend of Instawalking in Jozi, culminating in a fantastic and inspiring Instagram video. However, my phone is still broken and I am broke.

I am open to suggestions on what to do about this phone problem. To be honest, I’m hoping an important person from Instagram will read my post, see my sad face on the video, and take pity on me. Whaddaya say, Instagram? Got any extra iPhones laying around? I will patiently await your response.

%d bloggers like this: