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In the middle of a pandemic, when so many have passed away in circumstances too terrible to contemplate, often leaving behind, as one friend expressed in poetry, “the sour taste, of not being able, to say goodbye” — it seems especially difficult to bid farewell to someone who was so very special to so many people, but I am going to try.

On 13 October 2021, we had a call from Cati, our friend and neighbour of more than 20 years about the passing of Drew (Andrew) Lindsay, a lifelong friend of hers, from what appears to have been a repeat of an episode of heart failure. Many friends outside South Africa will probably have never heard of Drew, but a walk around Joburg and many other locations countrywide will find evidence of his work.

He was a community artist most of his adult life. He established, ran and lived at the Spaza Art Gallery in Troyeville, one of the poorest parts of our city, and which for almost 20 years has been home to countless art workshops, first-time and more established exhibition openings, a tea garden, music and poetry events, comedy, dance classes, sublime food and gatherings of every description.