I took a quick photowalk through Hillbrow and Yeoville this morning with my friend Ruth and some guys from the Hillbrow Boxing Club, including my boxing coach George Khosi. I’m saving most of the photos I took for a project that I’ll be revealing soon. But I took a few special shots for this post.
When Ruth and I arrived at the gym at 6:30 a.m., here’s what we found: Dozens of members of the African Baptist Apostolic Church, dancing and singing and stomping rhythmically on the floor. George occasionally lets out the gym to various congregations from this church; they arrive on Saturday evening and pray all night. (We arrived just before they finished.) What an amazing surprise — I find these services incredibly beautiful and I’m grateful to the congregation for allowing us to take photos.
The Hillbrow Tower and a perfect pigeon in flight.
Hillbrow in all its glory, shot from Yeoville Ridge.
I’ve been driving past this shop, which is on Claim Street near the corner of Esselen Street in Hillbrow, for years. I have always wanted to photograph it. I think it must be the tiniest shop in Joburg — just large enough for a single person to stand in and crammed with stuff, mostly candy and toys from what I can see. The proprietress, whose name I never got but I’m guessing might be Magogo, agreed to be photographed but she didn’t seem totally happy with the situation.
Back at the gym, Ruth and I paid a visit to the Happy Hillbrow Cat. She has become quite lazy in her adulthood, rarely leaving this cozy folded blanket next to George’s bed. Unlike Magogo, the Happy Hillbrow Cat seems to enjoy being photographed.
Thanks to George, Takalani, and Siya for a great morning. It’s been a while since I took a walk around this part of town and it felt like a breath of fresh air.