Cape Town, South Africa

“If I can change, anyone can.”

Shane lives under the bridge with his unsheltered friends in Cape Town. When he was 17, Shane left school to work and support his family. His tough childhood led him to hang out with the wrong people and he ended up in prison. When he came out, he decided to live a different life on the street.

Photography: Phinius Sebatsane
26-05-2021
Est. 2 minutes

Shane (43) and his 2 sisters grew up in Cape Town without a father figure or mentor and were raised by their grandparents. A Stats SA report showed that 70% of kids in South Africa grow up in homes with absent fathers. When he was 17, Shane left school to work and support his family.

When we asked how he was doing on this winter day in Cape Town, he smiled and said, “I feel happy because I had my hair cut today and am thankful for this Shelterbag. This weather is bad.”




Shane lives under a bridge with his unsheltered friends in Muizenberg, Cape Town. His tough childhood led him to hang out with the wrong people and he ended up in prison for 8 and a half years. When he came out, he decided to live a different life on the street.


“When I came out of prison, I ended up on the street, parking cars and motivating young men from college not to end up where I am. Life is hard, but I have found purpose in my pain.”

– Shane

Shane grew up playing soccer but he got injured and started to struggle to walk as he got older. Like many people on the streets of Cape Town, Shane used to make some money by parking cars. Now that he is struggling to walk, this is no longer an option for him, and he relies on the help of others.

These days, Shane spends most of his time under the bridge resting and encouraging young college boys to work hard at school and stay out of trouble. His dream is to be reunited with his siblings and children.

“If I can change, anyone can.”

– Shane

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About this project

For this ongoing project, we engage with unhoused communities in various cities. The intimate documentary reflects the unraveling of society and exposes the equal measures of strength and vulnerability of each of its characters.

By capturing these raw moments in a new light, we challenge the mainstream representation of a growing, forgotten group. It reminds us that people who experience homelessness should neither be labeled nor disregarded. Everyone has a story to tell.