Contrasts continued

Yesterday I visited Soweto. Among the shanty-town-type areas this was one of the more palatial residences:

A house in Soweto

We visited one of the smaller one-room houses and met this man and his wife:

Soweto family

He said it was a good house because it was very close to the water pipe:

Stand pipe

There was one bed, which most of the family shared, and he slept on a straw mat on the floor.

Beside the straw mat on the floor was his mobile phone, with headphones plugged in so he could listen to MP3 files.


Amazing post Quentin especially how mobile communications, low power consumption devices have the capability of accessing the whole world. What sort of music did they listen too? Did they all look so happy and well nourished? – or was it the picture highly selective.

Interesting. Where does he charge his mobile? (or is this the destination of all the hand-cranked/solar cellphone chargers?)

Yes, most of the people looked reasonably healthy, helped perhaps by the fact that there’s a big hospital next door. Probably also helped by tourists like me turning up on a regular basis.

Just below his right elbow, you might be able to see a car battery and an inverter, which is the main source of power around here for things like the radio (just behind his wife). I imagine it’s also good for charging up phones…

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