Sydelle Willow Smith

True faces of Africa
words by Carol Mashigo, Images by Sydelle Willow Smith

I live in a province that is known as The Mother City; home to Table Mountain, voted one of the world’s ‘new seven wonders, the historic Robben Island and the pristine beaches of Camps Bay. This is the P.R side of this beautiful city seen in brochures and websites about ‘visiting Cape Town’. The other side is less glamorous and often captured by photographers who work for NGOs (or international news agencies). The ‘non profit’ side of the Mother City is shanty towns, littered streets and the filthy children that play in them. These are the two playgrounds photographers have to choose from; the cosmopolitan city with its beautiful backdrop or the poverty and gangsters of its townships. Sydelle Willow Smith occupies both spaces and she seems very comfortable with photographing bands performing in the heart of ‘Hipster Cape Town’ as well as the Wide Open Walls project in The Gambia.

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