One morning in Rietvallei

Where the streets have no names…
through a portal of mattress-springs (…here be dreams)

skip around the arrogance of cauliflowers…
and the colours will not be still…
stuff your fists into your ears.
It is now that you must hear through your eyes.—

(Elliot Mlalazi’s nursery in Rietvallei ext1, West Rand, Johannesburg)

Published by


I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

13 thoughts on “One morning in Rietvallei”

  1. I love the midst of poverty … of so-called “3rd world” status, something so beautiful can arise.

    I also love your attached poem that blends so well with the pictures 🙂

    (that’s the last time I rely on my rss reader to pick updates from your always lags :/)

  2. It reminds me of the guy who built a lil garden,beautifully, on a corner near marlbaro. My brothr took pics,n soon after,we saw his talents hadnt gone unnoticed by others.he appeard in the newspaper n was given a good job.its not our circumstances that define us,but what we do with it

  3. Ahh Rietvallei…Seems like just yesterday that it was but a mere twinkle in some skwatta’s eye…how she’s grown!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *