Drum majorettes of Cape Town – a photo essay

By Alice Mann

Dr Van Der Ross primary school is located in one of the poorest areas of Cape Town, where gang violence and drug abuse is prevalent. The school's drum majorettes' team, affectionately known as the drummies, inspires an aspirational culture in the school and the wider community. Photographer Alice Mann photographed the drum majorettes and spoke with their coach Morisha Prince

While there have been various debates around the notions of femininity that drum majorettes represent, at many South African schools, it is taken seriously as a competitive sport. For the girls at this school, being a “drummie” is a privilege and an achievement, indicative of success on and off the field. It gives them a positive focus and sense of belonging, providing them with structure in a community where opportunities are limited. “Drummies” is vehicle through which they can excel.

This is part of my ongoing work, exploring notions of femininity and empowerment in modern society. I hope to communicate the pride and confidence that these girls have achieved through identifying as “drummies” in a context where they face many social challenges.

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