The Raw Lifestyle of Hostel Dwellers


In his series The Raw Lifestyle of Hostel Dwellers, photographer Mpumelelo Buthelezi depicts and captures the mood and the evolving lifestyle inside the Nance Field Hostel in Soweto, Johannesburg. These ageing buildings, now encircled by informal settlements with an estimated population of 3000, used to be one of the apartheid government’s labour dormitories. It gained a fearsome reputation in the 1990s, due to the political violence between hostel dwellers and people living in the surrounding areas. A long time ago, the government undertook to convert these shabby dwellings into family homes and the local residents have turned the environment into a homely, tolerant and child-friendly one. The residential complex boasts one of the busiest Shisa Nyamas (a big barbeque in townships where people come together) called Mutah, which is famous for its chicken and pap menu and is more hygienic than other vendors in the area. The hostel is home to many young men and women born here after the advent of democracy in 1994.


Groenweegje 7
3111 PB Schiedam

Opening hours: Friday: 10 AM - 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM

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