In 1978 I traveled down to the Karoo from Durban. I had got a job as an exploration geologist working for a mining company that was looking for uranium near the small town of Sutherland. This would be a culture shock for me. I was now very far away from my Swahili Coast roots. So far away that I was unprepared for the bitterly cold weather of the Sutherland plateau. For the first time in my life I found myself driving and walking in snow-covered terrain where most of the locals farmers did not understand English.
1/11 : Me looking down on the town of Sutherland in the Karoo in 1978.
2/11 : The alley being the 150 year old buildings where I was staying in Sutherland.
3/11 : This was the view of the back alley from my room. No double glazing - so very cold.
4/11 : Nearby was Sutherland Church. The foreground buildings were our outhouses!. The honey wagon emptied them weekly.
5/11 : My job was to walk along the escarpment looking for uranium with a geiger counter.
6/11 : The main street of Sutherland with snow covering everything!
7/11 : These are Anglo Boer War graves of English soldiers. Very bleak looking when it was snowing!
8/11 : It looks like we were having fun. Actually no - not me! I hated the cold and began to wonder if I was in the wrong profession.
9/11 : Often when I should have been working I was fooling around with my new Nikkornat Ftn camera.
10/11 : Together with some of my co-workers, boss, field assistants and geologists, we would occasionally go up to the famous Sutherland Observatory.
11/11 : But most of the time I walked the escarpment alone with my hammer and geiger counter. I decided this was not for me so I resigned when I had enough money to bankroll my artist ambitions.