19 days in cape town

In January 2020 I had the chance to visit Cape Town for the first time. Friends who stayed in Cape Town before told me a lot about the "Mother City". The amazing nature, the wonderful beaches, the great food, the friendly people and the beautiful light. And to put it clearly – all these things are true! Especially the openness and real kindness of the people impressed me a lot!

But there is also another side of Cape Town – first of all a great poverty with all it’s sad consequences – many suffering people, many beggars and a high crime rate. If you stay there for the first time, especially when you are a tourist on your own, you have to learn a few "rules" if you want to be safe. I was lucky to have been supported by several great and really lovely people.

Especially those people showed me the best face of Cape Town, the great hospitality of the (South) Africans. They helped me a lot to get deeper into the the city… as much as you are able to get deeper when you be there for the first time and just for 19 days.

Another sad thing is that racism against the black people is still existing. It surely became better over the years, and I’m also absolutely sure that many white people do their very best to improve it. But it seems that this problem is still deeply rooted in (too) many heads. It was very sad for me to find this out.

When I started my work one idea was to take some portraits of the people I met. People I will remember and who made my first stay in Cape Town so special. I decided to show them all as simple portraits in black and white, nearly the same size, just focused on the characters. No matter whether the people were black or white, a chief cook of a high class restaurant or a resident of a township. What they all have in common is that they seem to be interesting, fascinating characters. Such characters you feel excited to meet, talk to them etc. as it was to me.

That I could be part of it all I would like to say "thank you so much" to the following great people: Azira, William from Café Paris, Sifiso, Elvis from Zimbabwe, Irvin, Cesar, Lorna, Samkange, Drikus Brink, Yasser, all the lovely people from the Cape Royale, some from the green market, the people from the township "Mandela Park" and several more.

A special thanks goes also to my German friends who made this stay possible for me in different ways: Vera, Stefan, Mr.T and of course Swenja.

And last but not least a very, very special and very, very BIG thank you to Newton. Thanks so much for all your great support bro’ !! and to Razool – my guide, bodyguard and often enough even teacher in "how to move in Cape Town"!!
Two days before I left William said to me: "You know what is said: New York may be the top of the world – but if you have visited Cape Town once you will visit it minimum a second time before you die." Well, it seems my work here is not done yet.

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Düsseldorf, Germany