There’s a saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” and a shack in Cape Town’s Joe Slovo township is the personification of this, proving that things are often not as they seem.

While looking for a builder to help a man he met on the streets of the Mother City, local photographer Joshua Rubin discovered a shack that looks like a normal shack from the outside but a upmarket apartment from the inside.

During a series of video interviews Rubin was doing in a number of areas in the Mother City, he met Christopher. He would often see Christopher sitting on the side of the street and decided to interview him.

“He was born smaller than most people and has had a very hard life because of it. I went back to his home and he was living in extremely poor conditions. He was staying in a 1.7m by 1.7m that was caving in and he was sleeping on a piece of wood with blocks underneath,” says Rubin.

This was when he knew he wanted to help Christopher and started raising funds to build him a shack, he just successfully managed to raise enough money to build him a better home when he stumbled upon a builder and his unbelievable home that is unlike any other.

Rubin met Fernando, a self-taught builder and designer living in the township. He wasn’t sure of Fernando’s capabilities so he decided to pay him a visit at his home to make sure he was capable of building a good shack for Christopher, and what a surprise awaited.

After seeing his self-made home, both Rubin and Christopher were impressed and shocked by the amazing work Fernando could do.

“We went back to his shack on the second floor of a container and when I saw it, I was blown away! It has running water, electricity and the architecture is amazing! The best part about it is he did it all himself. We became good friends and I can’t wait to do more work with him,” said Rubin.

Take a look inside Fernando’s masterpiece here:

Rubin says they have just finished building the shack for Christopher thanks to the donation received by caring locals and are now in the process of securing a bed.

Follow Rubin on @Joshwideawake on Instagram to hear more about his adventures and the unique people he meets along the way.

Pictures: Facebook/South African Stories

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.