The Soweto Mandela Leaves Behind

A boy kicks a football in the red, barren dust. A cloud of burned, breathless amber follows his feet as he runs. The background is flat and empty; the foreground laced with wire. That’s the image I had of Soweto, South Africa’s most notorious township: a sprawling no man’s land south west of Joburg (itself a byword for danger) with only barefoot feet and a chequered ball distinguishing it from every other impoverished, sterile desert in the world.

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