|Particpant at the opening match of the Macambini Sports ground - paid for in whole by Tongaat Huletts and Simamisa
|Learner at Bhekeshowe during the KZN Rally to Read.
The cynic would point out that I get paid to do these photo shoots. There’s more to it than a pay check though - I need to feed, clothe and school my children after all. There’s a reward involved in photographing community members and actually being part of a team that is trying to help that goes beyond any material reward for the work done.
There is also the eye-opening aspect to the work. Photographing ‘wellness-days’ at the paediatric HIV clinic at Ndwedwe over the last two years has been emotionally draining. The images I capture are not meant to show the destruction and devastation of the ravaging disease. Rather, they are supposed to show hope and the ability of children to overcome. There are images of smiling children, some very sick, children with a light in their eyes. The sadness is not in the children, but in the adults that burdened the youth with their troubles. So I find it difficult sometimes to create images that the client needs to promote their charity work in a positive light.
|Learner at the Ethel Mthiyane School for children with special needs. The building in the background was built on funds provided by the Chairman of Tongaat Hulett Sugar, Steven Saunders
|Painting the paediatric ward at Catherine Booth Hospital (my assistant, Claire is second from right painting the blue bird)
Other times it’s easier, like when I joined the CRD unit and Simamisa to paint the paediatric ward at Catherine Booth Hospital (servicing a deep rural area), or when I took part in Mandela Day along with the CRDU at a school in Zululand to paint the school buildings. On occasions like these I actually get to put the camera down and take part. During other events, like the KZN Rally to Read, just being there is uplifting. Then there are the sports days in several rural areas where the client has poured literally millions of Rands into sports development within the communities (Tongaat Huletts community upliftment, education and health budget is astounding)
|Learners at the opening of the Nkosazana Primary School near Empangeni
|Children peering into the officials tent at the Mandela Day celebrations at Ofasimba School in 2013
|Nhlanhla Ntuli addressing students at the Nkosibomvu High school careers day in 2014