Posted on Jun 4, 2014 in People |

On 21 March 2014, Commonground members from across the city took a few hours out of their day to do something different for TWD and raise funds for much-needed education and employment in our country. One campaign group – Nails & Nails – decided to visit the Haven Night Shelter in Wynberg to get their own hands dirty by scrubbing walls and cleaning dorms and bathrooms while the rest pampered the men and women who stay there with manicures and pedicures. A catering company even sponsored a delicious lunch. Needless to say they thoroughly enjoyed it. While they had plenty volunteers to clean and paint nails, I spent the few hours there documenting the day (video by Richard Bolland) and also taking portrait photographs. A few weeks later I returned to hand out the printed pictures for them to keep, hoping that in some small way they can see what beautiful people they really are. I don’t know their stories, but I’ve learnt most of their names. Living in a shelter – whether it’s for a few days, months or years – must be tough and many have ended up here due to unforeseen circumstances. I used to think I knew what that kind of person looked like. But my expectations have been challenged and changed. I hope yours will be too.

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This is Kenny:

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This is Andre:

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This is Maggie:

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This is Steve:

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This is Stanley:

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This is Simone:

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This is Donald:

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This is Thelma:

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This is Patience, showing off her manicured nails:

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This is Monica:

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This is Elizabeth. I so wished she could see her portrait since it’s one of my favourites. Beautiful face:

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This is Jonny, Elizabeth’s husband:

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┬áThis is ‘Oupa’, one of the shelter’s eldest residents. I just love his smile:

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This is Walter, also one of the eldest residents:

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This is the resident cat, having a nap:

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This is Liesl:

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This is Eugene:

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This is Ursula:

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And this is Ivan, who recently moved out of the shelter into a place of his own:

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