God takes the train to work too

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

Guest Post by Asanda Kaka
In 1986, the South African photographer Santu Mofokeng decided to document “train churches” — the culture of mobile worship by working class black South Africans on the country’s commuter trains that continues till today. Mofokeng was traveling daily between his home in Soweto and his work as a dark room assistant at an Afrikaans newspaper in Johannesburg. At first he was annoyed by the practice — he preferred to nap — but soon warmed to its significance: “It captures two of the most significant features of South African life: the experience of commuting and the pervasiveness of spirituality.” Mofokeng’s photographs were taken when traveling long distances from isolated and dusty township homes to domestic and gardening jobs in white suburbs was the norm — residential Apartheid was enforced by law. Leaving in the early hours of the morning and returning to their families late at…

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