Its 4am, and the sound of my alarm shocks me awake.
The humidity and the salty ocean air reminds me of where I am... 2500km away from my own bed back in Johannesburg.
I’m currently on location on the island of Zanzibar on the east coast of Africa, for an eight-day fashion editorial shoot.
Today is Sunday, the only day that I have off… this is my only chance to capture the Zanzibar that I have seen over the last six days.
Not the one that you see in holiday brochures and websites, but the raw and gritty unseen Zanzibar that most tourists don’t see or, some of them, choose not to acknowledge.
I wanted to capture the world just out side of the “photographic” frame, instead of the idyllic island life that we had been capturing all week.
I have to make the next shooting hours count. You technically only have six hours of shooting time in a day. Three hours in the morning before the harsh sun comes out (and burns you to a crisp) and three hours in the late afternoon before the sun disappears (and you become a feast for the mosquitoes).
A huge factor that influenced this photographic project was the contrast between the abject poverty alongside the affluence and luxury of the tourist resorts.
As a South African, one is not naïve about the poverty in Africa, but it is still a shock when you are confronted by the drastic living conditions you were not expecting in such a beautiful place.
One of the local guides and translators suggested that we head north to the small fishing village of Nungwi.
The resulting collection captures an authentic slice of Zanzibar, shot in 21600 seconds. The images are untarnished by tourism, and portray a more real Zanzibar.
What also stood out for me was that no one would pose for free, I had to pay for every portrait I took.
This shows that in a country where tourism is the number-one income spinner, everyone has to find a way to make the industry work for them…