portrait photography

Mr. Khotso Pudumo, Bochabela

Khotso Pudumo graduated from the University of Free State in 2013 with a B.A. Honours in History. In 2016, after an internship at the Free State Premier’s office, Mr. Pudumo started working as a research assistant in the history department of the National Museum in Bloemfontein.

His main focus lies on oral history. As such, he is involved in the Batho Community History Project, conducting interviews with residents of Batho Location, contributing to the intangible history of Bloemfontein’s oldest township. He is a true people’s person, much involved in the community outreach programmes of the museum.

Mr. Pudumo, holding the framed, hand-coloured black-and-white wedding portrait of his grandparents.

The wedding portrait of Mr. Pudumo’s maternal great-grandparents, Samuel Tlale Nkone (left) and Rosta Nobelungu Nkone. Great-grandfather Samuel was a prison warden, Gran Rosta a domestic worker.

Plastic-wrapped, hand-coloured black-and-white photograph of the great-grandparents, Samuel Tlale Nkone and Rosta Nobelungu Nkone.

Mr. Samuel Magengenene is Mr. Pudumo's nephew. Named after the gentleman in the portrait, Samuel holds a plastic-wrapped, hand-coloured black-and-white photograph of his great-grandparents, Samuel Tlale Nkone and Rosta Nobelungu Nkone. Samuel was a prison warden, Rosta a domestic worker. Bochabela/Bloemfontein (Free State, RSA) 2018.

Mr. Pudumo holds a framed black-and-white portrait of “The Famous Bicentenary Quartette” dated 1949. On the left, his great-aunt Josephine M. Pulumo (sic).

"The Famous Bicentenary Quartette - Bloemfontein” dated 1949. They all sang in a church choir. Khotso’s great-aunt Josephine was one of the leading sopranos.

Ras Levi, Phahameng, Bultfontein

Early in the morning last Tuesday, I drove through the drizzle from Bloemfontein to Phahameng Location near Bultfontein where young film maker Ras Levi Radibolelo had organised eight homes for us to visit and ‘cut’ our family portraits. Without Radibolelo’s spot-on research, his natural flair for connecting with people and his genuine interest in their stories, without his local knowledge and his impeccable timing, we could never have pulled this one off. Give thanks for the uplifting and Irie collaboration, Bra Levi. More strength!

Mrs. Moreki, Bochabela

On December 5 2018, Khotso Pudumo of the National Museum in Bloemfontein introduced me to Mrs. Jessie Moreki (90). Bessie became my first sitter as I finally picked a project up again I had started working on in Batho Location four years earlier.

She posed with a portrait of her parents, dated 1932. Back then, Bessie was 3 years old. This morning, when I visited her with a print, she pointed me to another picture on the wall, a digital enlargement of a photo taken on her brother’s wedding day in the mid 50s. Brother Joel Mateza, first from the left, sits next to his bride. Bessie is the lady with the radiant smile, standing in the middle. She brightened my day with that same beautiful smile this morning, nearly 60 years later.

Mrs. Moreki still lives in the home her father built in Bochabela, where she grew up.