Another Task and Reading

Mount Nelson

This week we were asked to choose an image/photograph that intrigues us and write a description of this image in prose. After the initial description we were required to slowly transition into telling a story based on this image. I chose to use an image of a group of musicians performing outside the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.

I struggled with this task at first since the idea of writing in prose was new to me. But I think that I managed to do it correctly. At least I hope I did. I tried to subtly move from my descriptions into telling a story about the one member of the band who is playing the trumpet in the picture. In my story, the man describes the different rich, snobby, tourists who walk past the musicians without so much as a glance or a donation. I really like this task as it contains themes of poverty and embodies the vast gap between social classes in South Africa. This is something that is a major issue that I feel guilty about myself for being born privileged. I must note, however, that I am unsure if I was able to successfully convey the emotions felt by the main character, having no personal experience with poverty.

The second thing that I wanted to talk about in this post is the next short story that we read and discussed in class. The story is titled The Sex Lives of African Girls and was written by Taiye Selasi (2011). Similarly to my task discussed above, Selasi’s story (2011) is written in prose. It discusses the gap between the classes in Africa, as well as the hierarchical structure of society. The story follows the life of a young girl who witnesses infidelity and domestic abuse within her family. It is an extremely dark and disturbing story. This is emphasised by Selasi’s (2011) use of the second person, causing me to feel as if I were the young girl in the story. I think this is a clever devise used by the author – as it personalises the urgency of another major global issue.


African Safari Travel. Cape Town Holidays [image]. Retrieved from

Selasi, T. (2011). The sex lives of African girls. Granta: South Africa.


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