An incredibly talented South African has just been discovered… and he’s doing it all by himself.
“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.
The stories are told by the incredible South Africans… raw & unedited. It’s a showcase of humanness, a reminder that behind every face, is a name.
Meet Moses… a very talented South African.
Do you remember Darlington? When I told Darlington about my page he said, ” You should meet one of my friends, Moses – he makes dolls! “
That certainly got my attention. I have found that the people I have interviewed that make things by hand are really the ones that are most content and happy. Creating gives a person a purpose and meaning.
I met up with Moses last week. If you look closely, each face is a poem telling a different story, and Moses’ face is no exception.
A beautiful open poem.
“I’m a tailor. I studied tailoring and pattern design. I worked as a factory tailor for years, but we were often not paid, or paid late. I would earn R800 per month for a full days work, and then have to spend R500 of that on taxis to get to work and back.”
“I had polio when I was 8, and have to get around on crutches, which makes using public transport like trains difficult. That is why I use taxis to get to Orange Farm where I live. I have a wife, and two kids – a little girl of 4 and an 8 month old baby boy.”
“I left the factory work and opened up my own business. I have an old domestic Janomi sewing machine that I use to do my work. Customers are far and few between in Orange farm though, and so, a few months ago, I decided to try to branch out and teach myself the art of doll making.”
I had asked Moses to bring me some of his ‘dolls’ and what he pulled out of the Pick&Pay bag brought a huge smile to my poem.
“These are stunning!” I exclaimed
A large rhino and monkey, sat on the table in front of me, beautifully crafted with quality material and clearly sewn by a professional.
“I went to downtown Joburg and visited many different shops in search of patterns. I have collected patterns for a dolphin, giraffe, rhino, monkey, elephant, hippo, teddy-bear, zebra, and a dog.”
He shows me some images of the other animals on his phone. Stunning giraffes, rhinos, and elephants made with African fabric prints really jump out at me. The ones he brought with to show me are made out of a beautiful brown fabric, but I tell Moses that I think people will love the colourful African Prints.
I remember reading a while back about teddies custom made out of an old favourite shirt of somebody that had passed away. A life long keepsake as it were.
Moses’ number is 0781237690. Since posting his story thousands have jumped on board to help him with new sewing machines, graphic design assistance and loads of orders!
“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.