‘Beauty’ and the Happy Crab Snack bar. 1999.

Sometimes a man needs a shot. A shot of this, a shot of that, a shot of whisky, a shot at goal, a shot in the dark, a photographic shot. There’s nothing wrong with a shot or two. Just beware of too many shots as there’s a fine line between too many shot’s and too few shots. Photographically, there are generally two modes of shooting; the quicker mode and the slightly longer one. Through the years, I have slowed down considerably, from a fast shooter to a more selective shot maker. In the town of Lüderitz, I drive past the ‘Happy Crab Snack Bar’ and decide to take a shot. For me, to produce a good shot can take a while to shoot. Otherwise, why bother? First, I just sit there and survey the scene, checking out the visual graphics. After a while, a brightly dressed lady comes out of the snack bar with two men. They seem to be in a jovial mood. She is ‘Beauty’ Mbangiswana and I ask her if I can shoot her.

After a bit of this and a bit of that, I take a quick shot. I know that it’s a shit shot and say that she should come closer and that her two boyfriends should join in. A triple shot, so to speak. I take a loose shot and ask them if they use condoms. Everybody laughs. This is quite funny out there on the outskirts of a misty Lüderitz —- but image wise, not a particularly good shot. Beauty is now starting to get restless and you know very well that all you have on film is a shitty shot. It flashes through your mind that you have spent the last 40 years trying to get away from mediocre shots. You have mere seconds to play with, so you throw in a big shot; your last shot. You say, “Beauty, my name is Obie and I collect condoms for my two sons. Does the Happy Crab have condoms? You know —ek sê —- coloured ones like they have down in Sauff Èffrica? Those with the flag on them, so the boys can feel they’re doing it for their country. It would be lekker taking some coloured Namibian ones along, so they can get some international shots”. Beauty laughs. I shoot. Lucky shot.

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