African Photography: Photojournalism, Part 4

African Photography: Photojournalism, Part 4

Posted in Photography

In the 1980s, many photographers were committed to the coverage of political and social events in Africa. At that time, photography was seen as a weapon of the people powerless against a repressive government or during war of independence. There were even photographers risking their lives to capture the reality of daily life as it was truly lived, whether in poverty or prosperity. They strongly felt the need to reveal society the way it was and the way they experienced it.

John Mauluka

John Mauluka was born in 1932 in Salisbury – now Harare, Zimbabwe. He learnt photography when he started working for the photographer Aubrey Urbach. After a few years, he joined the Daily News while continuing to work as a freelance commercial photographer for several studios. Mauluka’s commitment to journalism pushed him to do anything to get a good photograph to illustrate a story. He once confronted the colonial police in Northern Rhodesia – now Zambia as they tried to quell the agitation for independence among the African nationalists. Mauluka later became chief photographer of the newspaper and has facilitated the emergence of young photographers such as Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, who is now recognized as the leading photojournalist in Zimbabwe. In 1983, Mauluka was named best photographer of the Commonwealth. This award allowed him to make a trip to India where he realized a documentary of black and white photographs.

Independence Day by John Mauluka

Alexander Joe

Alexander Joe was born in 1951 in Harare, Zimbabwe. He grew an interest in photography during adolescence under the influence of the work of the fashion photographer David Bailey. He later turned his interest for fashion photography towards documenting the political struggle of black people in Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe. In 1975, Joe started to work for the Rhodesian Herald and covered the war of independence in his country, then the war and famine in Mozambique. In 1982, he moved to London where he covered the miners’ strike and the war in Northern Ireland for the Observer, the Times, and the Daily Mail. In 1985, Joe returned to Harare where he joined the AFP – Agence France-Presse as a freelancer covering news events such as the famine in Ethiopia. In 1991, he settled in Nairobi from where he documented several stories including the fall of two Ugandan governments, the coronation of the King of Swaziland, the war in Angola, the famine in Somalia, the liberation of Nelson Mandela, and the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi. His photographs have been exhibited internationally.

Children in rural Madagascar by Alexander Joe

John Liebenberg

John Liebenberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1958. He was introduced to photography in his youth by his uncle who gave him his first camera. In 1976, he was conscripted into the SADF – South African Defence Force which was occupying Namibia at the time. A self-taught photographer, he openly disregarded the censorship regulations in South Africa and showed the horrible face of the Apartheid regime of South Africa. In 1985, Liebenberg was appointed photographer of The Namibian newspaper and Reuters. He took many pictures of the Apartheid regime’s wars in the neighbouring countries: Namibia and Angola. In 1990, Liebenberg moved with his family to Johannesburg where he worked as a press photographer for Reuters Television. He covered the Angolan civil war and the photos he took made front page worldwide. He later joined the NBC-TV before returning to freelance photography. Portraits and landscape photography are the main motifs of his work which has been exhibited in Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and France.

Swapo Woman by John Liebenberg


Posted in Photography  |  April 23, 2016