Intern photographer Andy Mkosi and writer Sabelo Mkhabela from Live Mag teamed up to create Then and Now, a photo essay which explores post-democratic South African politics. They found a handful of young South Africans, born in the year 1994, and interviewed them with their parents. The in-depth interviews scratched at some sensitive issues in South Africa.
Brendon Van Zyl (20) Unemployed: I’m going to vote for education to be free.
Brenda Van Zyl (53) Unemployed: There has been a slight change in South Africa since 1994, but the government has failed us too many times in a lot of ways.
This photo essay was inspired by the current campaign which encourages young South Africans to vote in the 2014 elections. This essay explores the frustrations of the ‘born-frees’ and their parents, and how some of the Apartheid struggles and frustrations are still a reality. Andy and Sabelo went into the homes of South Africans, to capture their thoughts in the space where they are most comfortable and honest. The pairs were asked what they would be voting for in the next election, and whether they they have seen any changes since voting for the first time in 1994. The majority of them expressed disappointment and lack of faith in the current government.
Siyasanda Matshisi (20) Unemployed: I want homophobic attacks to end in South Africa. Homophobia is not 20 years of democracy.
Phindiwe Matshisi (37) Domestic worker: In ‘94, I was voting for freedom and for free and equal education for our children. We are [still] not free in South Africa, crime is a big problem, especially in the townships.
Vuyolwethu Dubese (20) TV presenter:Things are gradually changing in South Africa. Government should set realistic goals.
Nontobeko Dubese (48) Teacher: As a teacher (which makes me a nurse, a parent, a mentor…everything actually), I voted for us to be appreciated and paid more. I haven’t seen much change, even though I’ve been voting, so I don’t think I’m voting in 2014.
Xola Njengele (20) Student: I’m going to vote for the EFF for Malema to take back our land because, right now, white people are ruling us.
Thulani Njengele (39) Unemployed: In ‘94, I was happy to vote for the first black president. In terms of change, there’s been a huge difference between then and now. For instance, colour doesn’t determine where one can go or be. It doesn’t determine what kind of job, what school you send your kids to. In 2014, I’ll be voting against corruption and poor service delivery.
Phillip Ngcamu (20) Radio intern: I will vote for the Democratic Alliance party because they deliver services to the citizens of the Western Cape.
Pretty Ngcamu (36) Domestic worker: I want to vote for a party that will unite South Africa regardless of whether you are black or white, not a party that will take us back to oppression. It doesn’t matter which party it is.
“I know that 6 couples does not represent SA, and therefore the photo essay is still in progress,” says Andy.