PHOTO ESSAY: Dr Cahi on the agony and ecstasy of the #RWC2023 #RSAvsENG semi-final clash in Paris

Published Oct 27, 2023


Johannesburg – In this Saturday Star photography series, Dr Cahi Takes Joburg, we feature the work of acclaimed Johannesburg dentist. Dr Norman Cahi.

Affectionately known as the “dentist to the stars”, Cahi has a quest for learning, a thirst for knowledge and a deep interest in his roots and the history of his past.

In this series, we feature Dr. Cahi and his prosthodontist brother Emile at South Africa’s epic win against England during the Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final in Paris, France on Saturday night.

“Paris was a trip of agony and, of course, ecstasy,” he told The Saturday Star this week.

He explained that it was planned at the spur of the moment when he realised that the Springboks were actually in the semi-finals.

“We booked for a trip which became nothing short of sensational.”

This included the nail-biting Springboks victory, as well as the location where the match was played.

“The romantic city of Paris needs no introduction to the world with all her delight, beauty, iconic world hallmarks and exquisite Hausman architecture.

“But to hear ‘GO BOKKE!’ on the Champs Elysee and to see our green ‘n gold apparel over this centre of haute couture and fashion was simply surreal,” Cahi said.

He added that the Stade de France was “totally stunning” and despite the rain, the game took him down into the depths of disappointment and despair before the scintillating last 10 minutes and the brilliance of the Springboks.

“The actual moment of the final whistle is a blur and I have never ever heard such raucous and raw emotion before,” he explained.

“The screaming, grown men sobbing and euphoria was on another level and total exuberance.”

He added that it would definitely be a night to remember.

“Those are the memories that I will forever bank.”

Cahi’s passion for photography comes from his passion to capture moments in time. This journey has taken him on a journey across the globe which he shares with his hundreds of friends and followers on social media each week.

Cahi has dedicated his life to oral healthcare for 40 years and is one of the pioneers for teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry in South Africa. Together with his daughter Chelsea, and brother, Emile, he runs the Cahi Dental & Prosthodontic Practice in Parktown North.

Most notably, the family has been working with the Miss SA Foundation for about seven years, after they were approached by beauty queen Claudia Henkel, who held the title in 2004 and has worked for the organisation to provide dental care to the finalists.

His job as a dentist is to make people smile, literally, but it is his love for photographing art, architecture and the beauty of Joburg, which he hopes will evoke a sense of nostalgia.

“I see and appreciate the beauty in everything – in nature and our environment. I admire art, architecture and getting a sense of the spirit of the community. But I feel sad and helpless when I see the homeless and hopeless. I am deeply moved when I see the poor, the downtrodden and the marginalised of our society.”

The Saturday Star