The blog Africa far and wide was started in 2012 when we lived in the middle of Mozambique. Years later, we moved to the Southern tip of Malawi and most recently, we find ourselves back on my family farm in South Africa.
The life of this blog seems to roll in chapters, with every new African country that we’ve moved to, being a new chapter. This is the 3rd time I’m rewriting my About page, coinciding with our move back to my home country, South Africa.
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change – Heraclitus”
Our move back to South Africa in 2016 has certainly earned it’s new About page, being so completely different to the previous years. This photographic blog started a number of years ago when my husband and I lived in central Mozambique. But our story started in Zimbabwe a few years before. I got married and moved to Zimbabwe, a country in the throes of hyperinflation and ruled by a dictator. There I began to write, documenting my experience of living in a country where every single resident was a ‘trillionaire,’ only a trillion dollars could hardly buy you a box of matches!
We’d wait for hours in queues to buy a loaf of bread, some cooking oil or a bag of sugar with a tog bag full up of Zimbabwean dollars. We’d pay our bills with fuel, we cooked on fire most nights and we’d attempt to make a living by farming paprika.
Life in Zimbabwe during the hyperinflation, in a nutshell!
2 years later, we were given a great opportunity to farm sugarcane in central Mozambique for a South African sugar company. We were there for 8 years. This is when I started the Africa far and wide blog. I had to do something more with my time there and it seemed obvious to pick up a camera and my pen and begin documenting our lives and the lives of others in this fascinating war-recovering country, Mozambique. I fell in love with Mozambique and bit by bit, I began to look a little deeper and ask more questions. With my camera in hand, I took notice of the everyday life, the struggles, the celebrations, the disputes…I observed a life nothing like mine.
Mozambique – a country still recovering from a 15 year-long civil war in the late 70’s to early 90’s. Over 1 million people died in this war.
8 years later, we moved to Nchalo – another sugarcane estate on the Southern tip of Malawi. We lived there as expats for a blissful 2 years – making new friends and exploring Malawi and it’s magnificent lake.
Malawi – a small land-locked country in Southern Africa with a population of over 18 million people and a spectacular lake that is commonly known as the Lake of Stars.
I loved our expat life; a life of ‘permanent’ travel, of meeting people from all walks of life and continually discovering new things. Little did we know, a completely new way of life was coming our way. We were offered a good opportunity in South Africa that would mean we return ‘home’ and live on the farm that I grew up on in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The years teach much the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Leaving behind a way of life that I loved must have been one of the most difficult things I have done. It’s like mending a broken heart. It takes time to accept what is gone and time to see what is in front of you or what can be.
And so Chapter 3 of this blog begins; the start of a professional photography career and rediscovering South Africa – a land of opportunity, complexity, turmoil and hope. And as with all chapters, always an ADVENTURE!
“The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.” – Rich Ridgeway