African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A sunset in a small rural village of Matatiele - Eastern Cape province, near the Lesotho mountains.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Muhtle, 11, sits on his horse after a heavy rainfall.

Horses and dogs are loyal and loved companions in the villages of the Eastern Cape. Muhtle rides horses since the age of three. He says:

'I love horses. Riding a horse makes me happy. It makes me feel free. Sometimes it feels like flying.'

This is his father's horse; it is the strongest and biggest horse in the village.

 Thabo, 13, rides one of his father's seven horses through the mountainous landscape of Matatiele.

Thabo, 13, rides one of his father's seven horses through the mountainous landscape of Matatiele.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Malign, 87, worked his entire life underground, digging for gold in the mines of Johannesburg. Today, he needs care and help from the community to manage the daily routines.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Scwebu, 46, rushes home after a long day on the farm.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Smalls (14) and Jake (14), return from a fierce horse race, which they won. They are the fastest guys in Matatiele. They live in the same village and go to school together.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Xhosa women and mothers of initiates drink a lot of alcohol to celebrate their son's transition into manhood. Tomorrow their 'children' will return from the mountains and reunite with their families and communities as respected men.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Three friends drink alcohol in the early evening outside a bar. Alcohol plays a big part of daily life at the Eastern Cape. Alcohol consumption is very normal and often explained as part of the culture. However, the alcohol consumed is no longer homemade traditional beer but strong and expensive liquor, which is enjoyed by many on a daily basis. People would often go without food for the entire day, but spend money on alcohol.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Kahlo, 16, gets ready for the Sunday church service. The Sunday service is very important amongst the Xhosa and Sotho people. It creates positive spirits in the communities, togetherness and a network of support. The ceremonies can become emotional when attendees occassionally cry, scream, sing or stomp their feet to the rhythm of the drums.

cricket.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

About twenty-five people visit the Sunday church service. The attendees are family members, close friends and neighbours. The service lasts for more than three hours.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horse home.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Three friends ride their horses in a small village named Zikhalini, in Matatiele - Eastern Cape Province. There are approximately 80 horses in this village, which is inhabited by Sotho and Xhosa people.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Three Sotho guys covered in Sotho blankets have difficulties to control one of their wilder horses.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Smalls, 14, uses the whip to make his horse jump. He is officially the fastest in his village and the horse, which he inherited from his father, is number one.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Two Sotho men sit on their horses and are covered in their Sotho blankets.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Early in the morning, school children brush their teeth in the garden and prepare for school.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horses home.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A rural village at the Eastern Cape - Queenstown.

AFrican cowboys-3.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

People relax and drink outside a bar, in the village of Zikhalini. There is not much to do in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. The tavern is the place where people meet, drink, dance, fight, smoke, lime in the grass or just pass by.

AfricanCowboys
AfricanCowboys

Xhosa men sit together and drink traditional home made beer.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Xhosa and Sotho men from two neighbouring villages meet to participate in a horse race.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Xhosa and Sotho men from two neighbouring villages meet to participate in a horse race

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Friends and neighbours of a village drink bottles of Black Label in a small tavern.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Friends sit together and drink large bottles of beer after a horse race. Also Smalls, who is only 14 is allowed to sit with the older 'guys' due to his excellent riding skills.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Friends sit together after a horse race and drink beer. 

AFrican cowboys-27.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Hlubi tribe initiates return home after they spent five weeks on the mountains. At 5:30 a.m in the morning, initiates throw their spears towards the rising sun.

AFrican cowboys-29.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

For a majority of women at the Eastern Cape it is a daily routine to carry buckets of fresh spring water from the water source to their household. Running water, sanitation, and electricity have not reached small, and remote rural villages.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

People gather around a water spring or arrive with cars, to collect fresh water for their households.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Horses are the fastest mode of transport in the mountainous rural areas of the Eastern Cape. 

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Bulelani, 29, ex convict at an initiation ceremony, and a proud member of the 28 gang.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Sabelo, 6, sits on his favourite horse.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Bulelani, 29, ex convict at an initiation ceremony and a proud member of the 28 gang.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

At an open fire place Xhosa women prepare meat for an initiation ceremony.

cricket-17.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

During December and January, Xhosa and Sotho people celebrate the initiation of their boys. On this occasion ten slaugthered sheep are laid out for an initiation ceremony. The meat will cater for over 50 hungry initiates, their families and friends.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Xhosa women prepare and cook meat for the initiation ceremony

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A bride stands with a bouquet of flowers next to the car of her husband's family. In some larger villages of the Eastern Cape, where people have been able to accumulate wealth through cattle, farming and illegal diamond mining, German cars such as a VW Polo or Mercedes Benz have become the new status symbol. Cars and bigger houses with electricity and running water have replaced horses as a sign of wealth and social status.

cricket-18.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A young girl attends a wedding and plays with her stylish smartphone. In villages in which people have gained financial power the living standards have increased drastically. Instead of cattle and horses, fashion, new cars, and smart phones have become status symbols of the new middle class.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A couple of the Xhosa tribe gets married.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A freshly married couple dances in front of family and friends.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A traditional healer reads the bones in front of him and tells his patient how to deal with family issues and other personal problems. 

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Muhtle, 11, sits on his horse after a heavy rainfall. Horses and dogs are loyal and loved companions in the villages of the Eastern Cape. Muhtle is horse riding since the age of three. He says:

'I love horses. Riding a horse makes me happy. It makes me feel free. Sometimes it feels like flying.'

This is his father's horse; it is the strongest and biggest horse of the village.

cricket-14.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Hlubi initiates from the Sotho tribe just returned from the mountains, sit under a tent and sing traditional songs. Then, each of the initiates stands up and introduces himself, and his new clan name to the audience.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Sotho initiates just returned from the mountains, sit under a tent and sing traditional songs. Each of the initiates stands up and introduces himself, and his new clan name to the audience.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Women dance and sing to welcome the returning initiates from the mountains.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Family members, who live in the same household, sit together around a bed in the kitchen.

cricket-15.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horse to look for his father's sheep.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

James is 75, and grandfather of thirteen grandchildren. He owns five horses, fourteen cows, and over thirty chickens. This is his youngest horse, and his favourite. He says,that it is a bit stubborn and unpredictable, but very fast. The red blinkers help the horse to look straight, and prevent the horse from becoming distracted during a horse race. James uses it sometimes for fun. His grandchildren use it every day to travel, to look after the cattle, and to race across the villages. 

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Junior, 16, is dressed in his Sunday outfit and enjoys one of his grandfather's five horses. 

cricket-8.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Luis, 14, sits on the bed in one of his family's mud houses, which he shares with his older brother and father. The blue round shaped house serves as a sleeping room, community area and a kitchen.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Thabo, 72, sits in his mud house and listens to the radio. He complains that there is nothing to do and that life is hard. The government has promised them all kinds of things, but has not delivered any of their promises.

'We are not really living here. They have forgotten about us.'

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Jake, 23, sits on his bed and smokes cannabis.

He says: 'I have nothing to do all day. I have finished school, but for what? There are no jobs. I am bored, and if I stay at home all day I would become crazy. To keep myself busy I wake up in the morning, then go to town and push people's trollies outside the Spar supermarket. Then I come back home to the village and sell cannabis, and hang out with my friends.

I want to find a job and do something meaningful with my life. But there is nothing. You have to be very lucky to find a job around here.'

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Zola, 47, lives with his mother and his brother (45) who is in a wheelchair. Zola creates and sells furniture, and with the small income he supports his mother and handicaped brother.

'The government does not care about us. They have never done anything for the people living around here. I have stopped to vote for any politician. They are all liars'.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Martha, 67, stands in the kitchen of her small house.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Kagiso, 35, sits in his mud house, which serves as a kitchen and a sleeping room for him and his two brothers.

cricket-3.jpg
cricket-4.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Thebo, 20, dropped out of school and sells cannabis. 'My friends who finished school are all without a job, or they have left to Johannesburg.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

Kahlo, 16, races his grandfather's horse through the village.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys
 Thabo, 13, rides one of his father's seven horses through the mountainous landscape of Matatiele.
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
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African Cowboys
AfricanCowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
AFrican cowboys-27.jpg
African Cowboys
AFrican cowboys-29.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-17.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-18.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-14.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-15.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-8.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
cricket-3.jpg
cricket-4.jpg
African Cowboys
African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A sunset in a small rural village of Matatiele - Eastern Cape province, near the Lesotho mountains.

African Cowboys

Muhtle, 11, sits on his horse after a heavy rainfall.

Horses and dogs are loyal and loved companions in the villages of the Eastern Cape. Muhtle rides horses since the age of three. He says:

'I love horses. Riding a horse makes me happy. It makes me feel free. Sometimes it feels like flying.'

This is his father's horse; it is the strongest and biggest horse in the village.

Thabo, 13, rides one of his father's seven horses through the mountainous landscape of Matatiele.

African Cowboys

Malign, 87, worked his entire life underground, digging for gold in the mines of Johannesburg. Today, he needs care and help from the community to manage the daily routines.

African Cowboys

Scwebu, 46, rushes home after a long day on the farm.

African Cowboys

Smalls (14) and Jake (14), return from a fierce horse race, which they won. They are the fastest guys in Matatiele. They live in the same village and go to school together.

African Cowboys

Xhosa women and mothers of initiates drink a lot of alcohol to celebrate their son's transition into manhood. Tomorrow their 'children' will return from the mountains and reunite with their families and communities as respected men.

African Cowboys

Three friends drink alcohol in the early evening outside a bar. Alcohol plays a big part of daily life at the Eastern Cape. Alcohol consumption is very normal and often explained as part of the culture. However, the alcohol consumed is no longer homemade traditional beer but strong and expensive liquor, which is enjoyed by many on a daily basis. People would often go without food for the entire day, but spend money on alcohol.

African Cowboys

Kahlo, 16, gets ready for the Sunday church service. The Sunday service is very important amongst the Xhosa and Sotho people. It creates positive spirits in the communities, togetherness and a network of support. The ceremonies can become emotional when attendees occassionally cry, scream, sing or stomp their feet to the rhythm of the drums.

African Cowboys

About twenty-five people visit the Sunday church service. The attendees are family members, close friends and neighbours. The service lasts for more than three hours.

African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horse home.

African Cowboys

Three friends ride their horses in a small village named Zikhalini, in Matatiele - Eastern Cape Province. There are approximately 80 horses in this village, which is inhabited by Sotho and Xhosa people.

African Cowboys

Three Sotho guys covered in Sotho blankets have difficulties to control one of their wilder horses.

African Cowboys

Smalls, 14, uses the whip to make his horse jump. He is officially the fastest in his village and the horse, which he inherited from his father, is number one.

African Cowboys

Two Sotho men sit on their horses and are covered in their Sotho blankets.

African Cowboys

Early in the morning, school children brush their teeth in the garden and prepare for school.

African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horses home.

African Cowboys

A rural village at the Eastern Cape - Queenstown.

African Cowboys

People relax and drink outside a bar, in the village of Zikhalini. There is not much to do in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. The tavern is the place where people meet, drink, dance, fight, smoke, lime in the grass or just pass by.

AfricanCowboys

Xhosa men sit together and drink traditional home made beer.

African Cowboys

Xhosa and Sotho men from two neighbouring villages meet to participate in a horse race.

African Cowboys

Xhosa and Sotho men from two neighbouring villages meet to participate in a horse race

African Cowboys

Friends and neighbours of a village drink bottles of Black Label in a small tavern.

African Cowboys

Friends sit together and drink large bottles of beer after a horse race. Also Smalls, who is only 14 is allowed to sit with the older 'guys' due to his excellent riding skills.

African Cowboys

Friends sit together after a horse race and drink beer. 

African Cowboys

Hlubi tribe initiates return home after they spent five weeks on the mountains. At 5:30 a.m in the morning, initiates throw their spears towards the rising sun.

African Cowboys

For a majority of women at the Eastern Cape it is a daily routine to carry buckets of fresh spring water from the water source to their household. Running water, sanitation, and electricity have not reached small, and remote rural villages.

African Cowboys

People gather around a water spring or arrive with cars, to collect fresh water for their households.

African Cowboys

Horses are the fastest mode of transport in the mountainous rural areas of the Eastern Cape. 

African Cowboys

Bulelani, 29, ex convict at an initiation ceremony, and a proud member of the 28 gang.

African Cowboys

Sabelo, 6, sits on his favourite horse.

African Cowboys

Bulelani, 29, ex convict at an initiation ceremony and a proud member of the 28 gang.

African Cowboys

At an open fire place Xhosa women prepare meat for an initiation ceremony.

African Cowboys

During December and January, Xhosa and Sotho people celebrate the initiation of their boys. On this occasion ten slaugthered sheep are laid out for an initiation ceremony. The meat will cater for over 50 hungry initiates, their families and friends.

African Cowboys

Xhosa women prepare and cook meat for the initiation ceremony

African Cowboys

A bride stands with a bouquet of flowers next to the car of her husband's family. In some larger villages of the Eastern Cape, where people have been able to accumulate wealth through cattle, farming and illegal diamond mining, German cars such as a VW Polo or Mercedes Benz have become the new status symbol. Cars and bigger houses with electricity and running water have replaced horses as a sign of wealth and social status.

African Cowboys

A young girl attends a wedding and plays with her stylish smartphone. In villages in which people have gained financial power the living standards have increased drastically. Instead of cattle and horses, fashion, new cars, and smart phones have become status symbols of the new middle class.

African Cowboys

A couple of the Xhosa tribe gets married.

African Cowboys

A freshly married couple dances in front of family and friends.

African Cowboys
African Cowboys

A traditional healer reads the bones in front of him and tells his patient how to deal with family issues and other personal problems. 

African Cowboys

Muhtle, 11, sits on his horse after a heavy rainfall. Horses and dogs are loyal and loved companions in the villages of the Eastern Cape. Muhtle is horse riding since the age of three. He says:

'I love horses. Riding a horse makes me happy. It makes me feel free. Sometimes it feels like flying.'

This is his father's horse; it is the strongest and biggest horse of the village.

African Cowboys

Hlubi initiates from the Sotho tribe just returned from the mountains, sit under a tent and sing traditional songs. Then, each of the initiates stands up and introduces himself, and his new clan name to the audience.

African Cowboys

Sotho initiates just returned from the mountains, sit under a tent and sing traditional songs. Each of the initiates stands up and introduces himself, and his new clan name to the audience.

African Cowboys

Women dance and sing to welcome the returning initiates from the mountains.

African Cowboys

Family members, who live in the same household, sit together around a bed in the kitchen.

African Cowboys

Thabo, 13, rides his horse to look for his father's sheep.

African Cowboys

James is 75, and grandfather of thirteen grandchildren. He owns five horses, fourteen cows, and over thirty chickens. This is his youngest horse, and his favourite. He says,that it is a bit stubborn and unpredictable, but very fast. The red blinkers help the horse to look straight, and prevent the horse from becoming distracted during a horse race. James uses it sometimes for fun. His grandchildren use it every day to travel, to look after the cattle, and to race across the villages. 

African Cowboys

Junior, 16, is dressed in his Sunday outfit and enjoys one of his grandfather's five horses. 

African Cowboys

Luis, 14, sits on the bed in one of his family's mud houses, which he shares with his older brother and father. The blue round shaped house serves as a sleeping room, community area and a kitchen.

African Cowboys

Thabo, 72, sits in his mud house and listens to the radio. He complains that there is nothing to do and that life is hard. The government has promised them all kinds of things, but has not delivered any of their promises.

'We are not really living here. They have forgotten about us.'

African Cowboys

Jake, 23, sits on his bed and smokes cannabis.

He says: 'I have nothing to do all day. I have finished school, but for what? There are no jobs. I am bored, and if I stay at home all day I would become crazy. To keep myself busy I wake up in the morning, then go to town and push people's trollies outside the Spar supermarket. Then I come back home to the village and sell cannabis, and hang out with my friends.

I want to find a job and do something meaningful with my life. But there is nothing. You have to be very lucky to find a job around here.'

African Cowboys

Zola, 47, lives with his mother and his brother (45) who is in a wheelchair. Zola creates and sells furniture, and with the small income he supports his mother and handicaped brother.

'The government does not care about us. They have never done anything for the people living around here. I have stopped to vote for any politician. They are all liars'.

African Cowboys

Martha, 67, stands in the kitchen of her small house.

African Cowboys

Kagiso, 35, sits in his mud house, which serves as a kitchen and a sleeping room for him and his two brothers.

African Cowboys

Thebo, 20, dropped out of school and sells cannabis. 'My friends who finished school are all without a job, or they have left to Johannesburg.

African Cowboys

Kahlo, 16, races his grandfather's horse through the village.

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