Shack Dwelling 3D Pictures

Sithembele Mgadi

Stall 106

Framed and unframed township shack-pictures

       Contact me at:

Cell:          078 023 8096




People live there . 

When people drive past the townships and see the squatter houses, they can easily make judgements that do not reflect the truth about these places. Because people live there, and each family surrounds itself with the best type of house they can build with whatever materials they can afford. And in the end, it all works. People use this beginning to try to make a new life that will give them opportunities to become something better.



But when you look a little closer, you see the personalities of the individuals, their sense of humour, their imagination, ingenuity and their art. I try to capture these good things in my pictures to show the townships as places where there is much beauty behind all the daily struggle of the people. The closer you look, the more you see, and I hope these pictures of the townships as I see them will be a message of hope, and help to change the view of others on these places where as I said, real people live and work. For my pictures too are made of bits and pieces that are recycled to produce items of beauty.


And my own story is also in there hidden in these pictures. I come from a little village called Dumalisile near my home town of Willowvale in the Easter Cape, formerly the Transkei.


In 1987, I arrived in the Western Cape to look for work but as with so many other people, was not able to find a permanent job. Those were tough times and I often had to go without food for three to four days, while living in a small shack with a leaking roof that let the rain through in winter, and could not keep the terrible heat out in summer.


I was very unhappy about my situation and I wanted to show others how I was living. One day I took bits and pieces of scrap and made a picture of our houses to send to my parents. When I took it to the post office to send off, the Postmaster saw it and asked me to sell it to him. The idea was born and I rushed back to my shack and began to make more to sell. That is how my business of 3D shack pictures was born.

I make my pictures very strong, sometimes stronger than the shacks themselves, and they are not expensive, and last forever. People find them interesting and colourful, but they are also a reminder to everyone that people live here. I have learned to find the beauty in these leaky dwellings and turn them into pictures of hope.



Last Updated 20 October 2018 18:39