I Can Paint

Before I became a housewife, I used to think that all housewives did was either clean and take care of kids, or they played mahjong and gossiped all day over tea.

Now I know that the world is a much better place with housewives in it. Other than obvious gorgeous homes and delicious dinners on the tables, there’s a bunch of housewives out there who have big hearts. I know housewives who spend their time raising funds to build schools and kitchens, rallying for donations to help pay for kids’ uniforms and meals, teaching English to young students, and so much more..

And a bunch of them would spend 5 hours hovered over large canvases to create paintings for a newly built dining hall in a large school in Diepsloot, one of the largest townships (slums) in Johannesburg. Diepsloot is a place that people literally shudder when they hear I’ve been there. I know of people who have broken into cold sweat just because they had accidentally driven through this township.

Yet, a bunch of housewives go there every week to do various forms of community work. And I was invited to go along to do some of that painting. It was not a difficult task, but standing in this position for hours was back breaking.

These paintings would line the walls of a new dining hall for the Diepsloot Combined School. That’s the same school where a separate bunch of volunteers (half of them housewives!) have shot Help Portrait shots for 1,600 kids earlier this year. The kids have been eating their lunch in the rain whenever there was bad weather and the school had finally raised funds to build a covered dining hall so that they no longer have to eat and dodge raindrops at the same time. These paintings were gorgeous and would add a vibrant atmosphere to the new building.

And being very unartistic as usual, I managed to get paint all over my hands and T-shirt, and struggled all morning trying to paint within the lines. Haha..

So yeah, there really are housewives out there who do heaps for this world. Like bringing art, culture and colour to a less privileged community. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to participate in their work. =)


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