Note: Saturday mornings were filled with the task of thorough top-to-bottom cleaning. “Come on! Can’t eat until we’re finished!”, bellowed my Mum.
An elaborate breakfast followed afterwards; fried plantains, yams, boiled Irish potatoes, egg stew or my mum’s variant of an Italian-style omelet. She never let’s us forget she learned from one of her and my dad’s trips to Italy. The aroma would seize the air as the Sun seemed to rise from the small kitchen window, and set on the dining table in the next room.
Till today, I cannot entertain the thought of eating without having put forth work; must earn that meal. Till today, I am unapologetically committed to my Love for plantains.
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Alice Mertens (1915 -2001) was a Namibian-born photographer who travelled extensively through Southern Africa to photograph and study the scenery, wildlife, and indigenous peoples of Southern Africa. In the above photographs, Mertens captured the Xhosa people in the Transkei, focusing on the traditional costumes, beadwork and customs of the Xhosa culture. In collaboration with Joan Broster, Merterns beautifully captured the Gcaleka, Tembu, Pondo, Bomvana and Fingo peoples of the Eastern Cape which have been published in their book entitled African Elegance.