The outside of Amaza’s home is a tattered rag. The chipped-old plaster seems to scream with penetrating pain and lets out a piercing whine with every gust of the icy Soweto wind. When I first approached her house in the midst of the mid-afternoon greyness, the flaking paint camouflaged the silhouette of the aging building, yet the large cracks surrounding the door let out a faint shriek of light that spoke life from within. A flickering light outside provided momentary brightness, but it moaned with the sound of age and overuse. This is the home of Amaza–or as I like to call her, Zaza–a 6-year-old cheery girl that has become a close companion throughout my time in Soweto.

Michael and Amaza in front of the yard where Amaza lives.