It is January 2017 and I am driving through Winterveldt, an informal settlement, north of Pretoria. While driving, something catches my attention. I noticed a group of people bending down to a wide variety of clothes scattered on the ground. I can't help, but stop to wonder what is happening. 

As I stop to take a closer look, I am told that this is where people come to shop for second-hand cheap clothing. According to the patrons, if you take time to bend down and negotiate long enough, you can get quality items at a bargain. Locals say they come here to get everything - from fashion savvy to basic supplies - at a fraction of the retail price.

"When these clothes are on me, nobody will know how much they cost. You see, this is dunusa (means to bend down in Zulu). We call it dunusa because the clothes are scattered on the floor and you need to go down to pick and choose," says Rebecca Motsepe. 

When I asked where these clothes are from, I am told many different answers. Some say that they are donated, purchased in bulk from second-hand shops and yet some passerbys allege that they could be stolen from people's houses in crime escapades.  

There are many opinions about the origin of these clothes and it makes it all the more complicated. However, whether you love it or hate it, dunusa is an important part of various South African communities. 

Dunusa at Winterveldt informal settlement, north of PretoriaDunusa at Winterveldt informal settlement, north of Pretoria

 

 

 

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