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Kayamandi Township Images by Martijn Roos Interview by Hannah Costello

M

y name is Martijn Roos, one half of a pair of identical twins,

is incredibly vibrant and beautiful in its way: chaotic streets, street

24 years old. I work as photographer, shooting mainly

barbeques, and colorful self-built houses.

portraits, weddings, and travel series. Coming from a small country like the Netherlands, I have always loved to travel and to bring my camera along the way. Lately, I have been blessed to shoot more international weddings, something I used to only do in the Netherlands. I studied industrial psychology and graduated with my master’s degree last year, after which I decided to continue to take photos of awesome people and to travel more, especially to South Africa, where I try to spend my winters. Over the past couple years, I have met many amazing people here in South Africa, especially when I was studying

Who are the men photographed, and what is your relationship to them? Tony Maake, a friend from University. The rest are friends of Tony, and now are also my friends: S’Fiso Charlie Brown, Ntabiso Sojane, and Lutho Ta Pluto Gqomo. They are inspired by the gentlemen from the old days, during or before Apartheid, when the black people would dress up on Sundays to go church, for instance. They have picked these clothes themselves and wear them occasionally.

in Stellenbosch in 2012. When I was there, I worked as a volunteer

What was your inspiration for this shoot?

in the township called Kayamandi, meaning ‘Nice Home,’ and during

I have been looking at old vintage posters and old movies, LP

this time I met Tony Maake, who had grown up in the townships near

covers, and so on. The idea came to mind when I was chatting with

Johannesburg.

Tony about shooting in the township. You never see vintage fashion

Tony and his friends know the struggles of living in a township. They

photographed in places like a township, but these people know how

work hard to improve the lives of the people in the township since

to look amazing with the little means that they have. I wanted to

they have been gifted the opportunity to study at university themselves.

show the beauty of the township and to raise awareness among

Tony is actively involved with the education of township children as

people that live or travel to South Africa without knowing what life

the founder of ‘Tony’s House Children Foundation.’ By means of this

is like there. Our models grew up in the township, but they are all

shoot, I also wanted to raise awareness of the life in townships and

studying at the University of Stellenbosch now. The nice clothes in

communicate the vision of people like Tony with the world, through

the chaotic and dirty streets reflect the contrast between their roots

means that speak to the heart. Tony’s foundation was born from desire to

and their life nowadays. Old versus new, township versus gentlemen.

give children from the township a chance to excel, to grow, to learn, and

They are a true example of the fact that hard work pays off.

to reach their full potential in life. While Tony believes that we should never forget about where we came from and credits his circumstances

What do you feel this is saying?

with making him who he has become, he also believes that, ‘’It’s not

Being fashionable doesn’t have to do with how much money you

about where you come from; it’s about where you’re going.”

have, where you were born, what your past looks like. Fashion reflects the heart. These guys are rightfully proud of where they are now but

Hannah: What brought you to this specific location?

also of the place where they are from. I was hoping for that pride to

Marttijn: Because I worked in and lived relatively close to the

be reflected in these photos.

township Kayamandi, I knew what the township was like, and I also

(Follow Martijn @martijnroosphotography)

knew it was rather safe. I’ve been taking my camera to the township a lot but never with the idea of doing an actual shoot. The township

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The Maker's Post  

Volume 2

The Maker's Post  

Volume 2