Bo Kaap color

From what I understand Cape Town’s Bo Kaap neighborhood was settled by freed slaves from Dutch colonial areas back in the 1600s. It’s been a vibrant home to the Cape Malays since shortly thereafter. One man came up to me while I was shooting these homes and asked from under a thin moustache, “Are you a professional photographer?” The answer is… yes… but I felt this was a trick question. “Why,” I asked, trying to be as abrupt as he was. He went after me again, “Are you local?”

“I’m from Jo’burg,” I said, twanging my accent as best I could to sound anything but American. The truth was I started my trip in Johannesburg and nine days later had worked my way here, for thankfully the only dispute with anyone on the trip. “Nobody makes a cent off of these professional photographers’ post cards, you know?” It felt like the brightly-colored walls were closing in around me, and I only had 10 minutes to shoot the neighborhood and book it – so I offered to fight the fight alongside my detractor rather than against him. “You know,” I started, “those photographers just don’t appreciate how long it takes to paint these walls.”

That got him. He offered up a slow and thoughtful crack-toothed smile. “OK,” he smiled, and headed up the hill.
Bo Kaap color
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