In 2003 I was living in rural Natal where the HIV prevalence was close to 40%. Driving around at weekends, you would see coffins loaded onto bakkies (trucks) as funerals took place around the province. It was at one of these funerals I saw a small 10-year-old boy weeping into the grave of his recently buried mother. The moment was as casual as a child playing with a toy. It was nothing but a brief glimpse into his pain and then it was gone. But the future of that boy struck me deeply and made me wonder how he links into all the street children and homeless boys you see at traffic lights in South African cities.
That , and my experience in post-apartheid Durban witnessing the clear tensions between Africans and Indians who were finally mixing after decades of legal and economic segregation, made me realize there was a story to tell. What would happen to an elderly, time-worn racist Indian, if he or she had to confront this new South African presence head on?