Khayelitsha, South Africa

I met this beautiful girl and her baby in South Africa earlier this year in the township Khayelitsha.

Her name is Lindiwe and she is 32 years old with three gorgeous children, Mihle, Mangxoza and Vuyani, who is being carried in the traditional way with a peice of cloth wrapped around the mothers body.
When I asked about this ... is it uncomfortable? the baby heavy? ...does your back hurt? I received blank looks from everyone.

They explained that carrying the child this way, right up until he or she walks is the way it has always been done. The child can hear the mother's heartbeat and is snuggled up and away from harms way. She can feed her baby easily by moving her around to the breast and mum can work, cook and clean knowing her baby is safe... babies that feel safe are happy babies!

These mums would never think of using a pram or buggy as we do here ... not only are they socially unacceptable but far too expensive. More importantly, someone said simply "For the child the love will not be there."

You only have to look at Lindiwe and Vuyani sleeping soundly to agree with that.

What a privilege it has been for me to be a very small part of their lives. We have a lot to learn from them all.

Painting size: 30 x 30 inches, on board.


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