“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 Nyiko… a gift to city life.

” My name is Nyiko – it means ‘Gift’ it Tsonga. I’ve only been in Johannesburg for 7 months, I came from the rural areas of Mapumalanga.

City life is very different. There are so many things to do here for entertainment”

Like what? I ask him

” Like tar roads and robots! We don’t have those in the village.

On my day off I watch movies, listen to music, or go to church if I get off work early on Sunday.

My mother died when I was 15. She was the one that gave me hope. I didn’t know my father. When she died I got very confused and stressed.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t think about it because of the stress.

Thank God I finished matric. I wrote my exams and was sure that I passed, but when the results came out in the papers my name was not there. I cried, and all my friends were celebrating. I wrote 7 subjects and passed 5.

I failed Agriculture and Maths Literacy.

I decided that I would not give up and I wrote the supplementary exams. When the results came out I was called in.

They thought I had cheated because I did so well on the supplementary.

I hadn’t cheated, I had worked hard and passed.

Afterwards they congratulated me and said that I was an honest young man and fought for what I had earned.

My favourite subjects at school were Sepedi, English and Tourism.

When I show him the picture he exclaims ” Yo! I look like a criminal.”

” Never,” I laugh

” – not in that hat!”

Nyiko Gift

“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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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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