Had to be this photo. I took this photo during an outreach to Area Q, Walmer Township in 2008. This is my most famous photo yet, as it has graced the cover of an international magazine and even appeared in the YOU magazine! This is because I posted it to a free stock photo website, www.sxc.hu. I uploaded it one day to show my dad how the website works. I have been suprised at how many times it’s popped up. When visiting Hillsong Cape Town on Easter Sunday last year, we even saw it used in one of their videos! They had no idea that the person who took the photo was in their congregation that day.
The girl playing the guitar is Hayley Braun, one of my sister’s best friends who currently lives in California, she is married to an American. Hayley is an amazing musician with a heart for Africa and it’s people.
There is definitely something special about this photo. And it’s a true photo, nothing staged. It depicts a scene that is true to who Hayley is, and to what she does with her gift of music, leading others into joy and unity in Christ.
This is me. I don’t actually have many Touch Project photos of myself as I am usually behind the camera. I like this one because it is me in front of the camera, behind the camera. The children of Walmer Township always love to be photographed. These two little boys are having a look at some footage of themselves, their expressions are really cute. My friend, Shannon, who snapped this shot, captured the moment beautifully.
I actually remember these two well. That’s Siphalele on the left, and Aphalele on the right. I was busy filming some shots with the handy cam that we used in our little documentary back in 2007.
So, I chose this one for number two as it is a nice photo of myself, doing something I am passionate about. It is also a reminder of a time in my life when I began to shift my focus towards really discovering and pursuing God’s purposes in my life.
Now this is an absolutely beautiful moment captured on camera. The day of the ‘big reveal’. The photo was taken by our good Australian friend, Carly.
During December 2008, a group of students gave up two weeks of their summer holiday to build Gogo (pictured) a brand new home after her shack had burnt down in a fire. This really was life-changing for Gogo and the project was the catalyst for the formation of the Touch Project Tuesday group that Celia and I still lead in Walmer Township every week.
Back to the photo, I love it as it reminds me of this special day. Gogo was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. Before she was shown her new home, I asked her what she expected to find inside, she said, “I wouldn’t be suprised if Jesus himself is waiting for me in there.” Gogo has since gone to be with Jesus. She passed away earlier this year, and thoroughly enjoyed life until the end.
You can read more about Gogo’s life here: http://tptuesdays.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/tshintshiwe-gogo/
My sister, Helen took this photo. This was back in 2007 when we didn’t have much experience in social development and how to make significant and long term impact in impoverished communities. We did, however, have a desire to get out there and make a difference. And now we have a little tiny bit more experience.
This photo is of a man standing in front of his shack in Area Q in Walmer Township. There are three young men on his roof. One is my husband, Freddy and one is Jess’ husband PJ who are also in photo number 5 in my count down. They are repairing some leaks in the roof. We had identified that the condition of shack roofs was a big problem for residents in this community and were trying to do something about it ourselves. I think that this was a great exercise in connecting with the community and gaining hands on experience for ourselves, but to make a big impact in communities like this (we have since learnt) takes a little more funding and organisation.
But this photo is great as it captures an interesting and unusual moment, and tells a story.
This is not part of the count down, but I thought I should post a pic of my sister Helen as she’s not in any of the top 10 Touch Project pics and she has been a big part of the ideas and implementation behind Touch Project. This is Helen and her husband, Chris, during a township wedding celebration that we had with our friends in the township a few days before their wedding in 2010. Chris’ family from the states were visiting and joined us for this fun African get together.
I love that this photo depicts a moment of authentic interaction across racial and socio-economic boundries. I snapped this shot during an outreach to Area Q in Walmer Township in 2007.
The blonde guy on the left married my friend Jessica in 2009. His name is PJ and he is from the states. He was in South Africa visiting Jessica back in 2007. In 2010 My sister, Helen (on the right with her back to the camera), married PJ’s best friend, Chris (who she met through Jessica), in 2010. Chris and Helen currently live here in South Africa. And the guy on the right, well now that’s my husband, Freddy who I married in January this year.
So, this photo is also special to me as it is a reminder of how much life can change over a few years, and how the special relationships in life transcend time and distance.
This is Gogo holding up a beaded Christmas decoration that was made by one of the ladies from our Tuesday morning group. The decorations were sold in a local coffee shop to help the ladies earn a bit of an income over Christmas time. We have run this project for the last two years, and support has been great with the stars selling really well. I used this image to advertise the stars in the shop, as I think it is a really nice photo showing off the product and also a bit of the story behind the product.
This photo also reminds me of when Gogo heard all this talk about making decorations and jewellry to sell and make money, she presented me with a bag of miss match plastic beads that her daughter had collected at the rubbish tip, “For you to make things to sell in Joburg to make money” She said.
Now this one is special because that’s one of my very special friends, Clair, with a little boy in Walmer Township in 2007. We used this photo in a pull up banner, so it’s a very familiar one.
I got to know Clair during this time and she has become one of my best friends. She was one of my bridesmaids when I got married earlier this year. Clair is an amazing women with a big soft heart and a big personality. Back in 2007 she was a waitress and a volunteer radio presenter at a community radio station. Today she is the programme manager at Kingfisher FM www.kingfisherfm.co.za. I’m proud of Clair for all she has achieved and especially proud that no matter where she goes in life, the compassionate, hands-on Clair that you see here in this photo, is the Clair that you get
I chose this photo as it is just a great group shot taken during one of our first meetings with Gogo (the old lady in the centre). We later went on to rebuild her home (seen behind the group). And I went on to develop a special relationship with Gogo, she was one of the most unique and magnetic people I have ever met. She was always surrounded by people, and her cheeky sense of humour never failed to put a smile on the faces of all who came to meet her. She lived in her ‘super shack’ that was build for her in December 2008 until she passed away in January 2011 at the age of 101.