Living in Joburg is like having a boyfriend with more than seven tattoos that you would never take home to meet your Mom.
He may be an excellent kisser, wear the perfect skinny jeans, love dogs and play the bass guitar, but man alive is he scrappy, unreliable and able to break your heart when you least expect. He is Joburg. And you’re sixteen and can’t believe this rock star wants to hold your hand.
And everytime he disappoints you, you think ‘This is it, I’m leaving for good. Go and trash someone else’s life, asshole’, he arrives on your doorstep with a spectacular sunset, a stranger’s random act of kindness or a new building, (the breathtaking Circa Gallery). And your heart softens and you stay because you know for every flaw, he has a meellion strengths you haven’t yet discovered. With cautious optimism (and for the last time you tell yourself) you tack your heart back onto your sleeve, take Joburg’s hand and stay a just a bit longer to see what will happen next.
This year is Joburg and my ten year anniversary. It’s been a torrid relationship. But one with many perks and little regret. And I think we’re probably in this for the long run. Growing up together, making friends that became family and having family that became friends. I love you Joburg, you drive me crazy and break my heart to glue it back together to bulldoze it apart again, but geez, you make me happy and keep me excited and unnerved and curious and inspired. So thank you, I’m thinking about inviting my mom to come and meet you properly soon.
My brother Ty and I did a shoot with our Dad in Main Street in the city a while ago. Thanks Ty for always taking beautiful pictures, Papa for being a super willing model and Joburg for being your unapologetic self. This is my favourite shot.