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Big Shots: Stable Support For Mandela

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The Enos Mafokate Equestrian Club is a riding stable in the sprawling township of Soweto in South Africa, founded in 2007 by Enos Mafokate, the country’s first black showjumper and Olympic athlete in Barcelona.

The equestrian facility is currently undergoing an upgrade, for which Milmac Produce Supply, an animal feed company, has partnered with it. 

“We do fund-raising together; it’s not only about donating money. We do shows here and help promote the club and get our clients involved,” says Kirsten Bowyer, the marketing coordinator of Milmac, referring to the donations and volunteer work the facility is encouraging from the public.

July is celebrated every year as ‘Mandela Month’ in South Africa, dedicated to the late former South African president, Nelson Mandela, who was born on July 18. At the Enos Mafokate Equestrian Club in July, to honor Mandela, volunteers gave 67 minutes of their time to help with the cleaning and overhauling of the stable and yards. 

 In this image, at the facility, a young man is washing a horse at dusk, before the sun rays make way for a starry night.

Among other things, he works hard during the day cleaning the barns and ensuring the horses are safely ensconced in their stables.

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Big Shots

Poll Position: The South African 2019 Elections

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May 8, a landmark day for Africa’s second biggest economy. South Africans will cast their votes for the country’s sixth general elections since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

In the run-up to the polls, the country saw flagrant protests in some parts, as disgruntled citizens expressed disapproval of their stifling living conditions. 

In this image, a resident of Alexandra, a township in the north of Johannesburg, squats in the middle of a busy road leading to the opulent precincts of Sandton, Africa’s richest square mile.  

The dichotomy of socio-economic circumstances is an accelerant in one of the country’s poorest communities filled to the brim with squatter camps and the restlessness of unemployment.

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Cash, Credit And Community

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The billion-rand spaza shop (township tuckshop) industry in South Africa is not a regulated sector. Most transactions at these shops are in cash, and not electronically tracked. This makes it difficult for spaza shops to be financially credited in South Africa.

But there are now fintech solutions such as Zande Africa offering financial and distribution platforms, operating out of warehouses, to assist these spaza shops in their townships, by delivering daily necessities to them.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES | The Occupation Of Unemployment In South Africa

 In this image, Tedy Tizedo, the owner of Thandabantu, a tuckshop in Ermelo in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, pays a local Zande Africa agent for delivering bread from its distribution warehouse.

 The fintech company provides cash and credit service offerings to all spaza shop owners and creates relationships with them for better pricing and service. 

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Gathering Around The Kraal

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Men gather around a kraal in Mcwangele, a village in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Most traditional families in rural South Africa own kraals, or enclosures designated for livestock.

During ceremonies, women are traditionally not allowed inside the kraal, unless they are more mature and elderly, and on the rare occasion, selected to speak.

In this picture, a cow is confined to a kraal to observe rituals ahead of the unveiling of a tombstone (a culture practiced mostly by black South Africans). A cow is used, rather than sheep, on this occasion.

Decades ago, my great grandparents were buried in this village of their birth about 840kms from Johannesburg.

Three generations later, I am here with my family to support our grandparents who felt the need to mark their parents’ graves that had been in a dilapidated condition. 

Remembering her father, my  grandmother Dade Patricia Monnakgotla, said: “Our father, Dabula Petros Nhose, would travel regularly to Gauteng by bicycle or horse from here and it would take him about 10 days.”

The anecdotes from the older generation about a bygone era were indeed engrossing. Nhose died in 1977, while his wife, my great grandmother, Monica Chule Nhose, died in 1971.

The legacy of the Nhose clan name lives on, tattooed on my arm.

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