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Photo Credit: On File

How one simple thought, put into action can change your whole world!


The man behind Humans of New York is in South Africa and he is taking the time to share our stories with the world!

Brandon Stanton started Humans of New York (HONY) as a photography project in 2010. The initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street, and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.”

“Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I’d include quotes and short stories from their lives.”

Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. HONY now has over twenty million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City.

Over the past five years, it has also expanded to feature stories from over twenty different countries. The work is also featured in two bestselling books: Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories.

In recent years, Stanton has also travelled to various countries to feature “human” stories from around the world and in October 2018, photographs and narratives from South Africa appeared on his page which has over 18 million followers!

And this story of Tammy, a South African who started a company after working for a horrible boss is being seen and shared by millions!

Check out her full story below.

“I used to work as a producer at a media company. It was one of those cultures where you worked until you had nothing left to give. My boss’s voice would be the first thing I heard every morning. He’d phone me at 5 AM, asking ‘Have you done this? Have you followed up with that?’

He’d put me down. He’d shout at me during meetings. I can tell you the exact type of tile in the office because I spent so much time looking down. And I wasn’t allowed to grow. I wasn’t allowed to do anything on the creative side. I could only handle the budgets.

Once I asked him if I could leave early one day to take a course in art direction, and he said: ‘What makes you think you could succeed at something like that?’

That’s when I finally quit.

I freelanced for a while. And the more distance I got from the job, the more I realized that I’d allowed myself to be pigeonholed. I wanted to do something creative. I started trying to save money to attend the New York Film Academy, but it was so expensive that I decided to put all that money into gear instead. And for the past couple months, I’ve been making short documentaries about people.

I’ve made about twenty of them so far. I let the person use the video however they’d like. I’m not sure what will come of it, and I’ve only got a couple months of savings left, but for the first time in my life I feel like I’m using all of my talents.

And I’ve never had this much fun.”

Tammy didn’t realise that Brandon would be featuring her on the page, but it just goes to show that one simple thought, put into action can change your whole world! Tammy took to Facebook to share her HONY experience.

“When I first reached out to Brandon, I never thought he would even see my email never mind actually contact me and ask me to help for a day while he was in Johannesburg.

When I met Brandon on that Saturday at Zoo Lake, I never expected to be photographed and interviewed. When I first saw my post at around midnight last night, I never expected to see the amount of support that I have received on every platform that the photo is on.

I never expected to receive so many emails and messages from people from so many different countries and I never expected to read the sentence ‘You Go Girl!’ quite as much as I have in the last 8 hours. I never expected Facebook to block me from using the Like function for 24 hours because I have tried to like every single comment on the photo.

Every single expectation I didn’t even have has been exceeded.

I do, however, never ever expect to stop smiling about this, about all of you, about Humans of New York, about that day at Zoo Lake and about every day I get to work on Documinute and every person I have the privilege of meeting along the way.

My heart is very happy today. Thank you.”

Sources: HONY
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Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

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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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