'Ruthy Goes to Church' is a portrait of Ruth Jones, resident of Manenberg, one of Cape Town's notorious areas, where drug trafficking and gang-related crime are business as usual. Every Sunday the unbearable past and harsh reality fall from her shoulders when she dedicates herself to the church's marching band.
'Ruthy Goes to Church' is the 2nd installment of Julia Gunther's ongoing project 'Proud Women of Africa': a photographic record of women who live or work in Africa.
￼During my one year stay in Cape Town, 2008, I met Ruth Jones.
She cooks and cleans for a production company in City Bowl, Cape Town, where I also worked. I realized early on how religious Ruthy is, what strong survival instincts she was born with, and how she has been dealing with growing up in a violent township like Manenberg.
When she was 14 years old, Ruthy was raped by a man who worked at her local swimming pool. Pregnant and unable to finish her schooling, Ruthy returned to the Anglican Church in Manenberg, the place where she was baptized and the one constant in her turbulent life. Here she feels safe, that her life has more meaning, and that she is able to help the new generation of Manenberg children cope with the demands of this often violent society.
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