Jika Joe is a shanty town in the middle of the City of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, it is a place of narrow pathways between homes that butt up against one another, people live here to be close to their places of work. The city fathers would prefer that they lived else where but these people can’t afford the bus fares that move would involve.
Castle is a brand of beer that is widely sold in the shabeens (bars) of the area, children of Jika Joe make extra money collecting the empty bottles left in the pathways and returning them for the deposit offered by the brewery for them.
The shoe on the child’s foot was not top most on my mind when I took these images but a few weeks later when I leveled and contrasted the image they were topmost in regards to the construction of this photograph. At the time of shooting in Jika Joe I was more involved with capturing moments, the moment at the time was just a child in a shanty town delivering empty beer bottles… – In a sober moment long after the hype of the shot moment has passed the dawning of the significance of the adult shoes that this child fills arises for me.