Malawian art at Camps Bay

Malawian art
I tend to be taken for a tourist when walking around Camps Bay beach (with my bulky camera) and immediately attract the attention of a gentle stream of informal traders selling their arts and crafts.

Jake, the Malawian artist in the photo, commented in me taking photos and then quickly proceeded with his sales routine. I wasn't in the market for paintings - but since I wasn't in a particular rush to get anywhere I didn't mind listening to his story.

Jake and his brother are from Malawi and came to Cape Town (like many other foreign nationals) to seek a better life. I don't know if he's found the better life, but he spends his days near the sea selling paintings and at night goes home to work on more stock - which doesn't sound too bad, right?

Unfortunately, often these guys can't afford good accommodation, so they often don't live in the very nice conditions. Given this, and given the wealth of Camps Bay that they face each day, I find it extremely admirable to see how jovial they seem; on the outside at least.

For reference, before negotiating Jake will offer you a painting at R180 (which isn't a bad price for art, actually). If you don't have the money on you, he's fully prepared to negotiate the price - but don't be too stingy now. Ok? ;)

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