A look into the lives of children in Soweto
Children are the epitome of being carefree. Worry does not know them and joy resides within them. Sowetan Creative Director and photographer @ituthegod took photographs of children whose soles kiss the ground of Soweto daily. We are so touched by them that we do not have a single word to describe them although, we can describe the feeling that they give us. Looking at the photos makes us feel like compressed emotions have slowly exited our body. Seeing children’s bodies defying gravity during their playtime on a trampoline is like seeing the occurrence of a needed exhalation.
These photos are a visual of peace and bring a longing to be hugged by our childhood memories.
‘Children of the Ghetto’
In addition to what we feel when we look at the life depicted in these photographs, we know that the photographer wanted us to come into contact with everything that defines the life of children raised in Soweto. We know this from the title of the photographic work: Children of the Ghetto. The photographs portray children who are not just children from anywhere. They are the children of the ghetto in Soweto. Therefore, @ituthegod is opening the door to their lives, their mundane, their extraordinary.
The inner child who came to visit
Having grown up with cousins who grew up in Orlando East, we know that having the coins to pay for jumps on the trampoline gives one happy afternoons. Seeing this child jump takes us back. In addition to this, it reminds us that the children we were never die; they come back to visit us in our nostalgia. Therefore, we imagine that when people who grew up in Soweto, people like our cousins, saw these photographs they saw more than just a child playing on a trampoline.
However, it is not just about jumping on a trampoline. To reduce their lives to jumping is ignorant. These are children with homes and boxes of their own memories. It is important to note that there is also life in going home after being sent to the shop and feeling safe in the streets of your home. We think that @ituthegod did an excellent job in portraying the lives of Sowetan children although, this is only four windows into their lives.
We would love to see a continuation of this (archival) documentation. This is because as much as it is moves us, we believe this documentation is for these children. In a few years time, they will see these photographs and have the door open to go back to relive in these moments.
If you are a child of Sowetan soil, let us know what memories these photographs grant you access to.
All images sourced from @ituthegod on Instagram.