These lads are students at St Lazarus Secondary School. They met me sited in a field watching the locals play soccer. The day wasn’t going so good because I hadn’t shot anything yet and the sun light was quickly vanishing. They asked for a picture and boy was I glad they did! The smiles on their faces appeared way before I pointed the camera at them. All they wanted was their picture taken and they didn’t really care to know what would happen to the picture after that. Meet Joel and Daniel
You enter the taxi park. You find a taxi heading your way and you are directed to that uncomfortable seat next to the conductor; that seat you dread, that seat where your butt encroaches on the conductor’s seat and there is gap in the middle so part of your butt sometimes feels like it’s just hanging there fwaa (hehe). It’s the only seat left and you are in a hurry. You look at the miserable seat one more time. It sinks in that you have been here before but you look at the 12 angry faces staring right at you and that one ka chic who was giving you the eye (so you think). You remind yourself that you are in a hurry. You squeeze into position. You’re now seated next to the polite conductor –(you think about having a conversation with him but the thought of starting up an abrupt 2 hour conversation with a potential chatter box horrifies you so you stay in your lane and shut up.) At least you picked up on the politeness, that should do for now. You are sandwiched between Mr polite and a boy of about 13 who’s heading back to school with his fully packed army green backpack. His face tensed up, looking straight ahead at the road since you sat your ass down.
Next to the tense kid is a large lady who looks really comfortable which irks you a little but you let that go because you were in a hurry before and you are not anymore. She has on a white and black polka dot dress, listening to music with her earphones on and she opens up a book; Physiology and Anatomy by Ross and Wilson. You safely guess that she’s in the medical sector; a mid wife perhaps. You picked that up from a call she received earlier about a pregnant mother with a complication the doctors can’t quite figure out yet. You were in awe at first about the book reading but you know better; you have come to fully appreciate that appearances are mostly deceiving so you wait her out, you wait to see how long it will last. The chicken in a box somewhere at the back of the taxi are distracting your thoughts but you drift off into thoughts about slavery suddenly. You start picturing little humans in boxes being transported to a human farm in a remote area. The little humans crying out for help but they can’t be heard, no one understands their language; it’s all just noise to their captors –the chicken.
You are distracted again as the conductor slides open ‘his’ window and stretches a hand out to adjust the radio aerial on the roof; a sign that we are about to hit the deep countryside soon. The radio signal is clear. A lady on the radio says she is tired of a particular brand of men; those men who enjoy cheating on their partners a lot but get mad when the partner cheats a little. This excites most in the taxi. The ladies are quietly smiling but the conductor sounds disappointed. He wants to explore this topic a little more. You can see him saying things and looking around. Like he is putting out an alert that he is available for a chat on this topic but no one is responding and there’s no way you are volunteering so you shut up and quietly smile too. You look past the kid ,who is still firmly looking at the road a head, and back at miss polka dot and you can read the title of the book again, Physiology and Anatomy by Ross and Wilson. The book is closed. Her head is next to the window and her earphones are still plugged in. Maybe she is reflecting on what she just read. Maybe she is sleeping. You drift off back in time. Back to those days you shared with that one colleague whose sleep knew no bounds. You smile. You wonder whether he still has that habit or whether things changed. You smile again. Maaso awo conductor. You Exit taxi.