Earlier this month I went down to a thing called Kidsweek in Hillbrow. Hillbrow is considered the most no-go area of town (I say ‘most’ cos all areas of the city centre are considered no-go). There’s a church down there that runs a big week-long event for kids from the area, so I went along to take pictures. It’s a very beautiful church in the middle of high rises and busy-busy city-ness. It was a very strange feeling being within its grounds where it felt so safe and cheerful, looking out on the surrounding city which most white people here have never even driven through, and dread as a super-crime-myth.
At one point during the day, the kids went on a ‘march’ around Hillbrow, singing songs, lead by Mandla (above), who is a gift to theatre and comedy. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to take my camera on the march as there was no-one to look after me. I wasn’t worried about it, but as it stressed the organisers out, I left my camera behind.
So we walked through the streets, with all the kids singing songs and shouting, and I was aware that I felt completely safe because I was with 200 kids. It was odd to feel that these kids, who I was picking up when they tripped over and stopping from squabbling, were really looking after me.