Photographer captures KZN beach life

Wits Vuvuzela spoke to photographer Matt Kay, whose photographic exhibition “The Front” opened at the Market Photography Workshop in Newtown on March 25. The exhibition showcases the diverse activity on the beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline.


A LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHIC NARRATIVE: Students and lecturers of photography came to the Market Photography Workshop in Newtown to experience Matt Kay's exhibition on Kwa Zulu Natal's coastline.

A LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHIC NARRATIVE: Students and lecturers of photography came to the Market Photography Workshop in Newtown to experience Matt Kay’s exhibition on Kwa Zulu-Natal’s coastline. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Matt Kay has had an extraordinary year. Not only did he receive the 2014 Tierney Fellowship, which supports young photographers to produce a body of work over the course of a year, but he was also mentored by renowned South African photographer David Goldblatt.

“I grew up in Nottingham road in Natal, it’s my memories of Durban that inspired this body of work,” Kay said. His previous works were about public spaces, particularly malls, and the beach seemed to be a natural progression from there.

“I wanted to capture and highlight some of the things that I don’t understand, they captivate and interest me”

With images that span the 15 beaches  of Durban’s coastline, Kay ‘s exhibition captures the peculiar actions and behaviors of people and nature on the beach. “I wanted to capture and highlight some of the things that I don’t understand, they captivate and interest me”.

“Powerful pictures have details,” said Kay. His photographic representations offer detailed accounts of a multitude of isolated and communal activity from religious baptisms, old women taking a dip in the ocean to dilapidated sand statues.

Matt Kay Market photo workshop

BEACH LIFE: Photographer Matt Kay has showcased life on the beach through his exhibition on the beaches of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Samantha Camara.

“It is important to document the coastline now, because the sea moves and change is inevitable, that’s why it must be captured now.”

Having left South Africa in 2004 to travel around the world to places like the Caribbean, Kay returned to find a Durban that had become what he calls a “showpiece for tourism”. Something that he says is not reflective of the daily lives of individuals occupying the space.

He lamented that he “deliberately tried to avoid race”, in his work but conceded that one cannot escape the socio-political and historic background of KwaZulu-Natal.

The artist hopes that he represented the space as honestly as possible and that tourists and South Africans alike will start seeing the space in more layered and meaningful way as opposed to the pristine, generic and “kinda fake” way that the space has been represented.





Du Toit hat-trick squares varsity hockey derby

Dodge This: Wits' Jaime Martin jumps out of the way of a ball from a UJ penalty corner drag flick

The Wits Hockey Ladies A team drew 4-4 with varsity rivals University of Johannesburg A at an indoor premier league match at Fourways High School last night.

The match proved to be an interesting affair as the Wits ladies managed to play the entire game without a goal keeper.

From the start, Wits pressurised the UJ backline with three players up front, courtesy of the extra player who was not in goals. UJ’s two defenders fended off Wits’ challenges with calm composure for the first few minutes until gaps were closed down by the Wits front three, who forced UJ to use the side boards to get the ball out of their own half.

Demi Du Toit scores one of her goals during the game

However, it was UJ who scored the first goal of the game against the run of play.

Wits’ Demi du Toit replied in quick succession with a penalty corner drag flick goal of her own, which brought the score line back to even at 1-1.

UJ looked flustered after conceding whereas Wits continued to claim a number of penalty corners and shots. Wits only managed to score once more with another stunning flick by Du Toit.

Shortly before the end of the first half UJ came back with a good counter-attack strategy and put in their second goal of the match (2-2).

The second half went down to the wire as both sides looked to gain a goal advantage. UJ’s Jenna du Preez slotted in a third as the UJ side managed to find ways around Wits’ three player wall. Credit needs to go to Du Toit and the rest of the Wits defence after they made some crucial tackles in their goal area to keep UJ from scoring further.

Witsie Jules Cass, blue, and Jenna du Preez, orange tussel along the boards in their indoor match

The game opened up toward the final stages and with more space, Wits’ Jaimé Martin and Jules Cass wove holes through the UJ defence. Cass put in a third goal to equalize and then shortly after Du Toit completed her hat-trick to give Wits a one goal cushion at 4-3 with eight minutes to go.

A final goal scored in a penalty corner by UJ put everything square with five minutes to play.
Player of match went to Demi du Toit who not only scored a hat-trick but also marshalled the Wits defence without a goal keeper.


The match was the final one of the season for the Ladies squad. This draw puts them safely in the middle of the Premier League Table. The ladies will begin their Outdoor League Season on Sunday 15 April against Vaal Technikon at the Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbijlpark.

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Photographs by Jay Caboz  follow him on @JayCaboz