Sunday, April 1, 2007


Poverty won't allow him to lift up his head; dignity won't allow him to bow it down. Madagasy Proverb

Johannes Stuurman, illiterate, alone and one of the finest gentlemen I have ever had the honour to meet. Most of his family has died violent deaths, now he has Marta, his partner and his extended "adopted" family. His own son was murdered in front of him in a brawl right there where I took this picture and last year his brother was stabbed to death. He has a garden and he would bring me plants and I would give him "twak" (tobacco). He always took time for me and I have hundreds of photographs of him. I spent hours just talking to him. He is only about 54.

I can picture him now setting off at sunrise collecting the firewood, tipping his hat to me and slowly making his way back home, with the wood piled on top of his head. His frail body, but his strength is his kindness and always , dignity..."It Will Not Cry"