Gallery: Riding the giant snake

A commuter ‘surfs’ on a train to Tembisa. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A commuter ‘surfs’ on a train to Tembisa. Picture: Cebile Ntuli

Train to Tembisa is a project that talks about my daily journey from home in Tembisa to school in Johannesburg – my experiences in this giant snake that carries thousands of people from different places.

I look at how the space is being used by young and old; and how people act within this mode of transport, which gets very overcrowded, yet they still find ways of distracting themselves and keeping their journey interesting.

In this project, I also look at the emotions of the commuters and how they interact with the environment.

There is not a dull moment in the train as people do different things to enjoy their journey – some take risks by surfing; others play cards and have interesting conversations to pass time.

Within these packed trains, people find ways to distance themselves from the “crowdedness” and others wait patiently to get to their destinations in one piece.

A commuter ‘surfs’ on a train to Tembisa. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
Commuters inside a packed train to Tembisa. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A woman preaches during a journey – a common practice on many trains. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A group of Batswana traditional dancers entertain commuters for free. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
Some commuters keep themselves busy by playing cards – they call the game red carpet. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A young man seems to be contemplating life as he rides the train. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A preacher spreads the gospel during the morning rush to work. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
Due to overcrowding, a man exits through a window. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
Commuters are squashed into the train. Picture: Cebile Ntuli
A man prays with fellow commuters as the train rattles along the tracks. Picture: Cebile Ntuli

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