Since living on the streets of Cape Town, I’ve learnt how to stay strong and behave in a manner that is respectful of the next person. Last year I met a women named Michelle, a sex worker. Downtown, on the Parade where Nelson Mandela gave his freedom speech, young women and men sell their bodies for R10 or R20. It pains me when I see and watch what happens to some women.
When we were together I felt relaxed which is something I don’t do easily, letting my guard down. It is not easy for most females to just feel free, and that is because there are more men than women living on the street. We became close and that made the guys angry. Whenever a male or group of men came past us sitting on the bench, comments were made and sometimes they would take out a knife to try and scare me and let me know that I was asking for trouble if Michelle and me were involved. Usually we laughed it off, but it got worse.
We just connected as if we had known each other for years, and so are friendship began. We both loved laughing, and were not as bitter or full of misery as others around us. I decided that she would be my muse, and a portrait that I drew of her was quickly bought. That day I realized that I could make money from drawing.