The triple storey of the township

Johannes Phala and his wife live in an elaborate, three-floor structure which is as much a house as it is a work of art through which he expresses himself and his faith.

“I happened upon his striking dwelling, named Morula City by the owner, when I was passing through the Makause informal settlement in Primrose. I stopped to take a photo when the man on the roof shouted down to me to come up for a better look,” says photographer Neil McCartney.

One of the rooms, named Sun City, is seen in Johannes’s home. Johannes lives here with his wife, Lillian, and two others that live in small sub divided shacks in the back of the property.

“I was guided to a set of stairs that were dramatically sturdier than they looked and I made my way to the top. Here I met the man who over the past years made his home into an impromptu artwork to express himself and his faith. It was obvious Johannes was very proud of his handiwork, as he guided me around. He described his plans to install a bath and referred me to a recreation area on the second floor, which he calls ‘Morula Park’.

Johannes stands on the third floor of his home where you can take in a view of the surrounding informal settlement.

“I was shown ‘Sun City’, an area where he displays various knickknacks collected over the years. I also met Lillian, his wife, who was obviously shy. But when asked if I could put her in a photo, she reappeared with a red hat and colourful dress on. Obviously, she was also very house-proud.”

Johannes and Lillian that live in the elaborate three storey shack pose for a photograph.

One of the decorated rooms on the second floor. Johannes likes to collect various things of intrest for his living space. Picture – Neil McCartney

Salvaged memorobilia, toys and statuettes decorate a room in Marula City.

Morula Park, an area on the second floor, is being established as a sitting area for visitors where he envisages people sitting and enjoying themselves at tables and chairs.

One of the shacks at the rear of the premises is decorated with various posters. Picture – Neil McCartney

Details of Johannes’s home, complete with a sign that reads: “Beware of the owner nevermind the dog, okay”. Picture – Neil McCartney

Johannes Morula City dwarfs the neighbouring tuckshop.

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