This is a story of a village that has been pejoratively stereotyped for decades due to its socio-political circumstances. Indeed, this is an unusual village with limited resources almost in every way. However, deep beneath the stereotypes, there is something unknown, or perhaps something that has been there for decades but it had never been seen until now.
Thokozani village is located closer to Amsterdam on the eastern side of Mpumalanga, a place that was known to be occupied predominantly by the poorer. But now, the relationship has shifted dramatically, there is a pellucid distinction between the poorer and the richer.
This village is a host to many kinds of animals, plants and flowers that destructs one’s attention from the poverty-stricken reality. In the greenish grass, surprisingly the fertility of the soil nourishes the flowers, considering that Thokozani village is much farther from any factories makes its air immaculately clean.
To behold the magnificence and grandeur of the tiny insects is often hard. Insects like caterpillars and grasshoppers prefer an environment that is serene as they become vulnerable when in contact with human.
In the wild where the locals’ livestock grazes, there are beautiful dry trees and rocks which could mistakenly be perceived as art. The wild is not only the grazing area, but the arty work of the birds can also be found; the nests.
Do not judge a book by its cover is an accurate attribute in the case of Thokozani village. A village that had continuously been badly described, is now attempting to improve its status. It has indeed proven that beyond the turmoil, it is still a village worthy of being given sufficient time to be studied so that its hidden beauty can be plainly manifested.
All images courtesy of Magnificent Mndebele.