Creases of reds, greens and blues fill my pockets: Those are South African Rand.
Rand that can feed, clothe, and destroy.
Taking the easy way out to shoot the child that frowns, or his mother and her furrowed brow.
Catch that kid with dirt smeared on his face, he is sad.
Fly to Tanzania, photograph the ill persons and their “I’m going to die” faces.
An even better Africa.
Bones sticking out. That’s sensational.
Forget to bring out the camera when she tells you about her first kiss with Abasi.
Forget to highlight the piggyback rides you give out like candy.
Forget to snap a photo of the mouthwatering dishes prepared for you in their homes.
But that sushi looks great on your Instagram.
Cut to the weight of an intoxicated woman once wandering the streets, now passing out into my arm.
Feel her imbalance, her vulnerability; the weight of her world now on my shoulder.
She spits in my face, “What are you going to do for these children? You take photos of them and go back to America to show your friends how poor we are! You are not welcome here! Why are you taking photos of my people? What are you going to do for us?”
Now look in the mirror.
Are you genuinely trying to revolutionize this country? These people?
First we had Apartheid and now we have HIV.
The new struggle.
We’ve heard this story before. We’ve seen this already.
Let me switch off.
The western way is the only way
Google AIDS in Africa- we’re all smiling in “Fight AIDS” t-shirts
Does this help our social issues? No.
Add that to the list of public transport issues, agricultural issues, economical issues, unfair wages, unemployment, condos built up to block the view of tin roofs.
Put those visitors high up in their palace.
Have them face the ocean.
Enjoy your stay here.
Let me come into your life
and tell your stories