My name is Marlon, a photographer, sort-of-software-programmer, nature-lover and homesteader(smallholder?) living at the very bottom part of Africa, doing the best I can with what I’ve got (not much, by design).
I have studied electronics and software development, and worked as a software programmer for most of my career. For the last few years I have been on a change of course, for many personal reasons to be revealed on my writings and upcoming videos. My dream is to be less-reliant on the things people take for granted, spend lots of money on, etc – allowing me to increasingly spend more time with my wife and dogs (and chickens,
and rat, and plants), allowing me to regain old passions for technology (and use it for good, not evil!) and to eventually be on my farm and/or homestead permanently (underway…). This site will try to cover a lot of ground, and hopefully gain content and quality over time (please help me with this!).
I have used all kinds of cameras, starting on a 110 Film Safeway as a child, moving on to the first affordable digitals (Kodaks and Samsungs), prosumers (FujiFilms) and ending up with DSLR’s which I use at this very time.
Photography gives me an opportunity to capture reality at a very specific time, and freeze that forever into an image that I can look at in the future. For me, it is about what I want from my images, but at the same time, anticipating what others with a similar mindset might appreciate. Humans live vastly unique lives (well, most…) and photography, video and creative arts convey moods and emotions, knowledge and inspiration between us all.
A photo can reveal things that one might never have seen in person, it can expose details in the world of insects and plants at substrate level or answer questions no-one thought to ask. An image can preserve the mood from a place where you might never go again, or carry the emotion to someone who may never go there. It can sprout research and passions, it can look good on a wall or backdrop, it is versatile and photography has no limits at intellectual and emotional levels.
With my loved one by my side, I love trailing into the desolate hills and mountains of South Africa, going places that seem mundane and showing the real beauty, finding life in the arid nooks and crannies and learning about the purpose of every tree, flower and rock scattered over the Kalahari, Karoo and the backyards of rural Cape Town. We traveled a lot, absorbed and appreciated. The people we meet at the Food Festivals, the cultures and backgrounds we get exposed to, the sub-zero nights we spend in our tent and the amazing winter morning coffees enjoyed on the edges of waterfalls while having local bird-life steal our breakfasts are just a few things that make it all worth it. Photographic preservation of these moments, places and things is a means of sharing and caring. Last but not least, my personal and spiritual attachment with my world (especially the expanses of the karoo) and its life, inspires my goals and dreams greatly and for this, again, photographs act as blueprints to my life’s plans. At the time of writing this, I am looking into the principles of permaculture, and how I can fit all (or some) of it into my plans for living with the ecosystem, instead of against it. If you can understand the balance of nature, and understand the role that everything has to play… you can manage it responsibly. There is no such thing as a ‘pest’, merely a lost creature or plant that used to live where you cast your foundations of iron and mortar.
Farm and Homestead
In recent months, our dreams of setting up a homestead became reality. It seems as if everyday provides new challenges to achieving that goal, but we get closer and closer. I want to work towards living and working hard on my very own piece of land, where I can learn, fail and succeed at raising animals and growing plants necessary for self-sustenance. Documenting, photographing and getting better at living a cleaner and healthier life, while avoiding the politics and negative traits of the city, is my dream and priority. We have opportunities, and made friends (read my blog) and we are thankful. Hopefully these will propel us to our ultimate end-goal. There is not much to say on this page, as you will need to follow contextual progress as I write about it.
I explore. With my loved-one by my side, we try to find peace and natural beauty in places people usually avoid. With respect, we hike, explore, plant, feed and think – taking it all in. The mountains, the plains, the flowers, berries, bugs, rocks and dirt.
If only freedom I could buy…
Please help me get the ball rolling, motivating and discussing ‘homesteading’ in Africa for all at our subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/afristeading/