Vignettes of a South African Township called Mdantsane

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mdantsane Breathing

Mdantsane is the second biggest township after Soweto in South Africa. This series of watercolour and poems are made possible due to my close encounters on a daily basis to the township life here. Mdantsane like many other South African townships is a glowing example of survival against all odds, its people who refuse to bow down to disparity and extreme distress till this day.

they come early in the morning
waiting long hours to be seen
till another evening
night shadows reach the long corridor at the end
where healing is yet another drought
a surface scarred of multiple incisions
like the hospital floor
when will the woman sing again
when would the child stop fearing the sun
when would the baby learn to smile
when would the man break the liquor bottle on his head one night
i look beyond the same corridors.

Poem and Watercolour on a handmade paper by Amitabh Mitra


  1. Amitabh, let's sing again, let's smile again, let's love the sun and let's throw the bottle away - Kerala Varma

  2. I especially liked this evocative line:

    "where healing is yet another drought"

    It says so many things at once, about so many people, so many places.