Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Madam Sontica's Easy Step Shoe Repairs in Mdantsane, Hi-Way Market

The Easy Step Shoe Repairs Shop

Come in and get your shoes fixed and polished, Mdantsane Shoe Repairs Shop

situated at so called HI-WAY which is one of the oldest markets in Mdantsane

The Central Business District in Mdantsane is called Hi-Way

is run by Mrs. Sontica, owner and manager.
And I have the impression the reins are in between tight fingers. 

Madam Sontica, firm and fast

"This business will never die, because people will always need shoes"

Madam Sontica has bought the shop 6 years ago
A widow, supporting her four children with the business.

Madam Sontica and her team in Mdantsane

Why a shoe repairs shop ?
" A business like this will never die completely ", she says
People always need shoes.
Shoes are important to people
( she is so right!)

Hundreds of pairs of shoes in the shelves are proof, that the owner is right. People will always need shoes. 

There are times, like this, like now, when it goes down. 
But it will never die down totally, she explains.

Shoes have become a status symbol for many

Shoes show what you are in life ! 
People accord great importance to the type of shoes they wear.

The latest fashion trends - gladiators

Skilled hands are at work repairing a tired heeli

No matter how old the shoe it can become "nearly new" and shiny again!

The machine is old and is breaking down soon! says Madam Sontica

The problem is the machine. It's old now and is breaking down soon !
And so I must do something, she adds, and not only take photos

He could not be bothered.....

Clearly understood !
And I have brought a leather flip flop from Kenya -just in case.

Repairing shoes is one of the oldest trades

which one of her three employees is repairing and hand-stitching right now.

10 cm stilettos get a new shape! At least it looks like that to us! Ahm!

The lesson learnt here is that every shoe can be repaired and made beautiful again !
No matter it's age or condition.
I am truly impressed.

But with so many repaired shoes and dozens of costumers
How can there be a lack of profit ? 

some pink between the black

Because the people do not have the money to come and collect their shoes, Mrs Sontica, says.

And the work never stops in Madam Sontica's shoe repairs shop! Sorry Easy Step Shoe Repairs Shop!

So we repair and wait until they come and pay
because everybody loves their shoes.

No lack of profit here....

All my shoes and all the shoes of my family members will go from now on to the 
TEL 043 7601415 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


In the end one does deserve respect.

Respect Tombstones is a funeral parlor that has several shops all over town. 
A big outlet is situated in Mdantsane. These pictures show a shop in Oxford street in East London's City Center

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Close Up On Mazozo

Mazozo says, she is NOT photogenic at all !

" The Mdantsane Way"  thinks however she is a hell of a sophisticated, stunning and sexy lady,  born to have her pictures taken.

She is not convinced yet, but we are happy to announce that Mazozo has come on board. 
We are proud to have her and her knowledge with us.
A lot of interesting stories are on the way !



The Good SAMARITAN Child and Youth Care Center in NU 3

has not been given this name for nothing

It is a safe haven for abused, orphaned and HIV positive children and young adults.

When I started working with NGO's and self help initiatives in Mdantsane in 2002 one of the first people I was introduced to was Mazozo.

Or let me rather reformulate she introduced herself !!
Meet Mazozo!
Working as an independent consultant and trainer in her free time, being a single mother of now three adult children and a powerful woman, she is overseeing this institution since many years. 
It is my life, she says. There is no way you could not believe her.

The guard has changed but the institution is still there. 
But we are not allowed to take pictures of the children anymore, Mazozo says, because two employees of the Good Samaritan have conducted fundraising on their own websites for themselves with the children's pictures. 

It took seven years to finally get the funds to have the leaking roof repaired.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Galaxy World is situated in the new modern Mall called  " Mdantsane City". 

It is a place of light, bling and artificial money.

Where you can spend a day, a week

or more.

It's a place like every gambling place that causes great and deep emotion

The men that work there and attend to the machines see it every day

the joy or pain that old and young may feel depending on their luck

But for them it's just work as usual

that they have gotten used to. 


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