When other people go on holiday we go home, to heal, to resuscitate our ailing souls and ultimately to find strength to come back to the city to hustle and grind. I recently went back home to Lephalale after nearly a year since my last visit, this trip was a reminder to me of the healing powers of ‘home’. People like me are known commonly as ‘amagoduka’, those who are forced by circumstances to leave their place of birth for the city in search of opportunities. For many people home is where their feet get to feel the warmth from the soil that gives rest to their ancestors, it is where we relieve ourselves from the traumatic scenes of everyday living, where we remember who we were before the city diluted our character.
Home is where our eyes get to see the small pieces of everyday that remind us of our childhood, of a simpler time, when Sunday’s were filled with echoes of Yvonne Chakachaka and sips of Lion lager, a time when the warmth of Gogo’s defy jewel coal stove drove away the bitter cold of underprivileged winter nights. This series is a look at how small fragments of our past that exist mostly in our places of birth bring us solace and peace even in our current circumstances. The past they say is a blue print for the kind of future we desire, and so going home provides us with a reference for where we come from and a guideline for where we must go.
Tshepiso Mabula is a 24 year old photographer and writer born in the Lephalale district of Limpopo, South Africa. Mabula’s interest in photography sparked when during a visit to a family member in 2012, she found award-winning South African photographer Santu Mafokeng’s Bloemhof photo book. Mabula explores the small things through photography: exposing the humanity in oppositional, chaotic or even boring environments.
She captures the dignity in ordinary people, far removed from the glamorous or ideal atmospheres of high-profile photography. Tshepiso is a story teller who believes that her calling is to produce work that promotes equity and social unity and seeks to correct the injustices that exist in our everyday culture. To her social justice means being able to embrace our similarities as a people while working towards creating a society where all can live freely without prejudice. Tshepiso is a visual observer of bantu living, a member of the movement against neo-liberal stokvel politics, a none conformist and a township native working towards owing her first full a set of Tupperware dishes