With a painted face, a child has the confidence to take on their own little world and adopt an entirely new persona. This often embodies the bravery of their favourite superhero, the fierceness of their most feared animal or the beauty of the princess they dream of becoming. As we grow older, we expose ourselves to the harsh realities of the world and often forget how a simple layer of paint over our faces could change our outlook. On Tuesday 26 July, student volunteers from Rhodes University used their weekly slot devoted to St Mary’s Development and Care Centre (DCC) to add to the children’s daily routine and include more excitement to their week by organising a session of face painting.  The children beamed with exhilaration as they transformed into their favourite characters and animals.

After school the children play in the backyard, awaiting lunch time.
Lunch time has ended and the children are ready to make their way upstairs to get their faces painted.
A volunteer begins the face painting as the other children patiently await their turn.
Faces painted and ready to conquer, the girls flip through a book featuring their favourite Barbies.
“Ready to fight Superman”, he says.
With the sweetest smile and her face adorned in flowers.


“How can you be scared of tigers if they are so pretty?
The Queen of Hearts sits as still as a statue, trying to restrict herself from giggling.

Words and photos by Khinali Bagwandeen