“Langa Township” was established in 1923 as a trial community. Many volunteers have joined in to build homes for residents who live in dangerous conditions. Fires that are triggered by the live electric wires overhead spread quickly into nearby homes due to their close proximity. The promise of better living conditions is still one of the many undertakings that has yet to be fulfilled by the government of South Africa.
The sign, “Please Don’t Kill Us” is striking, and a bit unnerving for those passing by, with its caution yellow and bold words. The sign, however, is a gesture of artistic expression that could catch the attention of city-trotters anywhere, especially those trotting through South Africa’s scenic and (still) racially-segregated Cape Town.
Built under the principle of segregation, "Khayelitsha Township” is yet another photo of a township from the road. The rows after rows of shanties look endless. To many tourists and residents of South Africa alike, Khayelitsha is a constant reminder of the beauty and contradictions of the Rainbow Nation, even after the close of Apartheid.
Poet and photographer Chaun Ballard was raised in both St. Louis, Missouri, and San Bernardino, California. For six years now, he and his wife have been teaching in the Middle East and West Africa. He is currently a graduate student in the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s MFA Program. He’s had poems recently accepted by Apogee Journal, The Caribbean Writer, Cactus Heart, Grist: The Journal for Writers, Sukoon, Orbis: Quarterly International Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Rattle and other literary magazines. His photos can be seen in the latest issues of Gravel and The Silk Road Review.