Tag Archives Soweto uprising

MARIGOLDS, KLIPTOWN, 2003

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The township’s ‘informal settlement’ of shacks –

scores of uniform and unpainted

corrugated iron sheds, some with a strip

of improvised front garden – lay between

a rocky stream prone to flooding and rail tracks

taking those in work to the city.

There were stand pipes and chemical toilets.

There was no mains electricity.

On Friday evenings those who could would hire

fully charged car batteries to see TV.

 

On a flaking, plastered external wall

of one of the few houses left from when

Indian clerks and their families lived there

someone had painted a facsimile

of Sam Nzima’s black and white photograph

of June 16th 1976:

the mortally wounded twelve year old

Hector Pietersen being carried

by Mbuyisa Makhubu – Antoinette,

the boy’s sister, distraught at their side.

 

In one garden marigolds were blooming

like golden stars. A young man approached me.

‘What do you think of our country?’

‘It is full of hope,’ I said. We touched thumbs.

 

 

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