more than one voice

Sunday, May 29, 2011


These are the amazing ladies i work with - Didi (soon to be a new mom again), me, Nolufefe, Fisani (in a traditional Zulu outfit), and Sibongile

Recently the organisation I work for had a graduation day at one of the rural communities where we work.  The organisation, trains mostly rural women in savings and credit groups, the model is more successful than most micro finance models used in developing countries as the groups generate their own funds to loan out.

The community hall where the event took place is about 40 minutes from town, the winding road that leads there takes you into a different world.  As I was sitting in the dusty hall, with broken windows listening to the whine of the generator supplying electricity, I took out my notebook and did some sketching and writing.   Outside I could see cows and goats walking around, in between the crudely constructed homesteads. The majority of the houses are painted bright colors; turquoise blue and bright green - inspiration for new art making? 

Some of the ladies attending the ceremony wore their traditional Zulu outfits, lovely beaded aprons, beaded shoes and hats, they are very creative.  Many of the gogos (granny in Zulu) – had babies on their backs, their moms where either at school or sadly have passed away.  The singing – there is nothing like it – it lifts your spirits, makes your soul soar and gets the feet tapping. Although these people don’t have much the community spirit is wonderful, they care for each other despite the hardships that they face and they live in the most beautiful place, on top of a mountain that looks over the valley of 1000 hills.

Photo taken from - panoramio
The Valley of 1000 Hills


  1. Oh wow, these women and place looks amazing!
    All the best to a new baby! My sister is called Didi. Lovely name!

  2. Wow....a whole different beautiful in it's powerful in it's ability to stir your very soul.

    What wonderful connections to have and experience!

  3. Dear Clare thank you for this heartwarming and inspiring post!
    That photo is - WOW - what's the word? So wonderful, full of emotion, spirit and - yes - beauty - those five women are beautiful, their smiles splendid, their names pretty!!!

    I see the colorful houses with the goats and cows among them through your eyes in your sketch book - inspiration for new art making Clare? I guess, oh no, I am quite sure, that inspiration, among other things, filled your mind and your soul at this meeting - please share the outcome with us! :-)

  4. This just warmed my heart, Clare. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  5. What a beautiful place---and what happy beautiful people! Thank you for sharing. Our world is so big, yet small at the same time...


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