Words by Niamh Walsh-Vorster
Endless energy pours through the streets of Durban’s Central Business District. It is the quintessential African city – vibrant, chaotic, eclectic and packed with stories new and old: Architectural designs of colonial structures, the renaissance of City Hall, HOMii buildings that house the city’s students, and pop-up shops as well as businesses belonging to foreign nationals, citizens, hustlers, and innovators alike. These buildings are only backdrops in Wandile Msomi’s photographs. The stars of the images are the people who make the city. They are presented as close-up portraits, fleeting silhouettes and street-photographer inspired frames.
Msomi’s experience of Durban’s CBD, and journey to its surrounding beaches and suburban spaces, its fast-paced, as Msomi is often on his bicycle, taking quick breaths to get a frame, or stop to have a conversation.
The collection of images, which is housed on the instagram page ‘@words_fail_me_insta’, is a love letter to his family, revealing his own unpacking of a city layered in emotion and history.
“This street photography project is dedicated to my niece and nephew.” – Wandile Msomi