Change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.

Love: a street view

Homeless people. We pass them every other day. Some ask for food, some carry babies. Every so often, we’ll see a couple holding hands. But we never ask them how they met or fell in love. Cape Town photographer Noncedo Mathibela dared to ask.

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“There are so many people living on the street. We forget that they are like us. They might be living in different circumstances, but they experience the same human emotion – love”.

These are the words of photographer Noncedo Mathibela, who spent two months documenting couples who live on the streets of Cape Town. Noncedo, who was born in Ladysmith, completed her photographic studies in 2010. After a fi ve-year stint at Media24, she left the publishing space in 2015 to pursue art full-time. She has showcased her work in several exhibitions, including the Lovell Gallery Competition and the Bonani group exhibition. Noncedo’s photographic works are on display at Amplify Studio in Cape Town.

The exhibition, To Love or Not to Love: A Street View will be showcased until 13 March 2017. “I am honoured and humbled to have had the privilege to access people’s lives and stories. I am grateful that I have built trust between us, which encouraged them to open up to me, even though they do not really know me at all,” she says. Noncedo set out to find how the couples experience love in their daily lives. At the end of her project, she discovered a few truths about her personal love journey. “Following couples who live on the street and are able to stay together and commit to each other – even under strains of temporary shelter and living below the breadline – inspires me that no matter the challenge, loving (others) is possible. Through them, I learnt more about myself, and my potential to love and be loved,” she adds

In studio

Amplify Studio runs an artist-inresidence programme, called Amplify AIR, which supports up to 12 aspiring South African photographers each year. During the two-month programme, the photographers are exposed to advanced camera technique sessions, macro photography, portraiture, studio lighting techniques and commercial photography. They also learn more about darkroom techniques, professional printing, client briefing and sales techniques. Many of the lectures and workshops are facilitated by industry leaders. For more information about the programme, email

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