The Girls of Gugulethu

Meet the girls featured in The Born Frees. Read some short excerpts of their writing and listen to recordings as they read their own words.



I am a writer by birth

A vocalist by choice

An expressionist by nature

And an instrument by voice.

Listen to Annasuena read her writing:




iGugulethu, ilakishi, ikasi, the ghetto. It is where I was born and where I have spent twenty years of my life. And guess what? I’m still alive. See, that’s the very thing I like about Gugs. You always have a choice. …

Listen to Sharon read her writing:



Ntombizanele (“Ntombi”)

To me, being a Born Free means I can live my life without having to be suppressed by other people. It means I can be able to raise my voice and be heard. I can bring change to others and also to my surroundings. I can climb mountains of our beautiful creation, I can dream what is said to be impossible.

Listen to Ntombi read her writing:

Olwethu & Sive

Olwethu (left) and Sive

I’m the history of this continent

And also the future of this continent. 

I am the sister of brothers. 

I am a human

Trying to survive.





To me, writing is me. 

It is me listening 

to what I have to say, 

to what I want to say, 

to what my heart says. 




I wish I could get out of my comfort zone. I wish I could be as adventurous as George of the Jungle. I wish I could turn my weaknesses into strengths. I wish I could conquer my fears. I wish I could be more focused in whatever I do. I wish I could fly like a bird and be as bright as a jackal.


All photographs by Kimberly Burge.