by Lerato Dumse
The intercom from downstairs rings around 9am on Saturday April 2 2016 and Sandisiwe Dlamini quickly answers it. The security guard announces, “Ziyanda has arrived,” after Sandisiwe confirms that she is expected, the guard allows her in.
Ziyanda Majozi steps into Zanele Muholi’s flat, takes a seat on one of the sleeper couches and wears her usual smile. Majozi pays the morning visit because Muholi has requested a follow-up shoot as part of the Faces and Phases project. Today CNN Africa, who asked to document Muholi, will shadow and shoot the photographer for a “day in the life of” – styled TV series, titled Inside Africa.
Faces and Phases is one of the award-winning photographer’s most revered essay and comprises of more than 250 black and white portraits of black lesbians and transgender individuals from South Africa and neighbouring countries.
Following up on a 2013 image Muholi took of mosaic artist Majozi in Sandton, the photographer and I get ready for today’s shoot, ensuring all the essential equipment is packed. Majozi, who met Muholi in Cape Town, rushes to the barber shop for a haircut and returns sharply.
The buzzer goes off again, this time it’s Colin Hancock from CNN Africa. With Colin’s colleague Nick in tow, we all set off. First stop is Gallery Momo in Parktown North, where Majozi is currently on residency. A brief interview between Muholi and Colin followed by a photo shoot of Majozi before moving to Braamfontein to visit Stevenson gallery, which represents Muholi.
Federica Angelucci, one of the directors working closely with Muholi, is also scheduled to be interviewed, as part of Muholi’s Inside Africa insert. With the sun still shining bright, we made the 40-minute drive from Johannesburg to Kwa-Thema, situated in the east of Jozi.
When we arrive Tumi Nkopane gets picked up to be photographed later. With most of our stomachs growling, we go to a fast food spot to buy food. Time is already against us, as the sun is moving fast. The next location is to Lebo Mashifane’s home in Tsakane for her own follow up shot, from two incredibly beautiful 2009 portraits taken in Cape Town. Tumi and I both from Thema, are next to be photographed. The last hour or so before the sun sets is used for a sit down Q&A interview with Colin, while Nick is behind the cameras.
This brought to an end a productive day of documenting and being documented.