“I have a name” is an incredible photo series showcasing everyday South Africans in the most phenomenal way. Proudly South African… one story at a time.
A big genuine smile spreads across his face. I roll down my car window, and I can see that he’s hoping for a sale.
“I don’t have any cash on me at the moment,” I tell him, “But I’d love to chat with you later and learn a little bit more about you…is that ok? ”
He gives me a thumbs up, “My name is Jabulani!” he shouts, as the light turns green and the cars start moving.
Jabulani Mashaba is a Homeless Talk Newspaper Seller.
“I live in Vereeniging with my wife and one year old daughter, I’ve been selling Homeless Talk for 7 years now.”
“Shoo Vereeniging is far hey!”
“R60 it costs me everyday for transport… but Fourways is where my customers are. People know me here and they like to support me. I buy my papers for R3 each and sell them for R7… so I make R4 for every paper I sell.”
At least I make an honest living… there is so much crime in our country… I wish very much to be a policeman so that I can fight crime. You know why crime is a problem in South Africa?”
He lectures me with a serious face,” Not enough jobs… children are finishing school and not finding work… Yoh it’s bad! ”
I ask him what he would do if he were to be elected president one day. Another one of his big smiles…
“I would create jobs… first thing… when people have jobs, then the crime will get less.”
“What is your dream job?”
“I would love to be a driver… maybe trucks, maybe cars… I have my learners license, but not my drivers. It is too expensive… I can also do gardening work,” he adds as an afterthought.
Jabulani’s cell number is 083 755 9878. Show him some support and buy a paper from him. He’s at the William Nicol , Fourways Boulevard intersection. Maybe someone would like to help him complete his driver’s license?
“I Have A Name” is a space where an anonymous photographer (we’ll call her J) is taking photos of everyday South Africans to showcase their incredible stories.
How do we bridge the great South African divides? Black vs white, young vs old, rich vs poor, men vs women? The divides that keep us from making eye contact with the beggar standing on the street corner, or the stranger in the lift.
CS Lewis said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
Come with me on a journey…the stories and names behind the faces of everyday South Africans living their life in your neighbourhood, on your streets.
I think you will discover that we have a lot in common.
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