Faces of Johannesburg – a photo essay

To the passionate Zulu dancers in Soweto who made me feel the music with every step they took,

To Joseph Lugube, who made me come back to the same spot twice in one day not because his veins almost popped and he broke a string of his guitar from all the passion he put into his music, but because of the sound of his raspy voice and his energy,

To Jeff, Zodwa, King, Neo, Yolanda and Nkaty, who all inspired me to keep going in my entrepreneurial journey because they live their lives for others on a daily basis to inspire them,

To all the amazing people at Once, who made me greet every day with a smile and who made me fall in love with their city,

And to all the other beautiful souls in Jozi –  Thank you for making my stay and me wanting to come back 🙂

 

Street performers/artists/musicians at the Maboneng Precinct

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Joseph Lugube – the most talented street vocalist out there. Saw him one Sunday afternoon in Maboneng and was fascinated by him – probably took 100 pictures and could hardly stop listening. His energy was incredible!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

 

@1575drummers

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Faces of Johannesburg photo essay
Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

@snowchino – Incredibly talented stencil artist who my friend introduced me too. He’s in Maboneng showcasing his work on weekends – find him on the corner of Fox and Berea.

Zulu dancers in Soweto

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

So young and so passionate about dancing. He was playfully dancing with and around the other dancers and was playing with the audience as well. So much passion!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

I have no words for this girl. She danced like nobody was watching but everyone who was watching couldn’t take their eyes off her. She should be whom the quote “feel the music” was written about.

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

People at Once in Joburg

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Lucky even arrived late to work because he showed me his home and with the help of his friend introduced me to a lot of entrepreneurs from Alex. He made my documentary really happen. A man of his word, this guy will do great things 🙂 I cannot thank you enough, Lucky 🙂

That smile you see – Thobs is ALWAYS wearing it. She’s a master organizer with a passion for music. You just cannot not love her because her pure energy will take you in!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Nanz also has this smile that will make you smile back – I mean – look at her! She’s passionate about guests diving deep into culture and organizes whole festivals around that. And… she’s the music 🙂

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Shevon is always down to dance – whatever dance you suggest. He’s a passionate ballroom and belly dancer and I learned so much from him in an hour as I hadn’t in years. His story is interesting, he’s always helpful, and he’ll push you beyond your limits without you realizing it.

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Zodwa – this young entrepreneur brought tears into my eyes when she told me about her ambitious goals for Africa and women. So young and such a go-getter, she’s very inspiring and has my support in everything she does 🙂 Wishing you the best, Zods!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Christine

Chris – probably the first and only American girl I’ll ever meet who’s spent more than two years in Swaziland. Always down for a good convo and some fun 🙂 It was great and enlightening to exchange beliefs about cultural differences with you!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay KG

KG – introduced me to his friends to make my documentary happen and showed me his home, Soweto. Always on African time, but you can never be mad because his great energy and good mood is just infectious.

 

Entrepreneurs

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Nkaty – Also a young entrepreneur who helps her mom grow her business. An “Alex girl,” she loves her home and wants to give back to her community.

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

Jeff – a young father and entrepreneur who’s already achieved so much with his bike tour through Alex and opening libraries for dyslexic learners. What an inspiration!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay

King and Neo from I Run Joburg – Probably the coolest kids on the blog. Their drive to weave traditional African culture into their modern clothes for today’s youth is unmatched. You guys better inspire so many more kids to hustle like you 🙂 Love your attitudes and what you’re about!

Faces of Johannesburg photo essay Yolanda Ndinisa designer

Yolanda – the mom of two (almost three) juggles her time between them and her fashion design business. A super woman we can all look up to 🙂 !

 

Check out these 11 best things to do in various Johannesburg neighborhoods!

If you’re wondering whether it’s safe or not to stay in Joburg, check out my opinion plus safety tips here.

And if you’re thinking of staying in Johannesburg, check out my review on Once in Joburg.

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16 comments

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  • Sarah

    Reply

    Your pictures of all these people are just incredible. Not only are they vibrant and dynamic and fun, but they seem to capture the essence of each person. Thank you for the introductions!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah <3 :)!!

  • Wow, your pictures are stunning! I love South Africa!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Taru 🙂

  • Beautiful portraits of the people, you really managed to capture the essence of them! Love it!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Unta 🙂 <3

  • Great to see people finding their own way of preserving their heritage whilst living in a westernalised society. Joburg has a special energy which you capture beautifully.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Sarah!
      Joburg definitely has a special energy and I love it!

  • The photos of the Zulu dancers and amazing, sounds cheesy to say this but you really can see the energy in the photo. Also a really lovely way of sharing beautiful images and relations from your travels.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thanks a lot, Tanya! Glad you were able to feel something through the images 🙂

  • Such a nice photo essay. The faces have so much expression, they are inviting you to guess their stories. Awesome post!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Ana 🙂 <3

  • Absolutely beautiful and personal photos, and what you wrote was lovely as well. I’ve spent many months traveling all over Africa and the people are always what really stick with me. I really enjoyed this, thank you!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Wow, thank you so much, Emily <3 What a compliment <3

  • Incredible how you connected with the people so deeply. Love Love Love seeing a South Africa Post that isn’t just about Table Mountain. You dug a little deeper and make me truly intrigued about this place, it’s history, and it’s present, it’s people.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Ari, what a lovely compliment!!! <3
      I hope you will enjoy South Africa when you get there; it's my favorite country! And let me know if you have any questions before you go 🙂

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