News / Africa

South Africa Youth See New Life Through Photography

South Africa Youth See New Life Through Photographyi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
September 26, 2013 4:43 PM
There is a growing initiative in Johannesburg, South Africa, that teaches disadvantaged children how to take photographs and sell their prints in high-end parts of the city. The project is called "I was shot in Joburg" -- a word play on the city's violent reputation. As Emilie Iob reports, the initiative is providing children with a new perspective and is helping to change their lives.
South Africa Youth See New Life Through Photography
There is a growing iniative in Johannesburg, South Africa, that teaches disadvantanged children how to take photographs and sell their prints in high-end parts of the city.  The project is called "I was shot in Joburg" -- a word play on the city's violent reputation.  The initiative is providing children with a new perspective and is helping to change their lives.

Shooting photographs of people has become a way of life for Pritchard Ndlovu.  

Four and a-half years ago, he was living at Twilight Shelter in Hillbrow, one of  the most disadvantaged areas of Johannesburg.  That's when he met Bernard Viljoen, who enrolled him in his new photography workshop at the shelter.

"Before, I didn't have a vision of photography.  I was just in a shelter because I needed maybe to go to school.  And after school, I would do something about my life, but I didn't know what. So when Bernard came to the shelter and he introduced photography, that's when I thought, 'Okay, doing things like this in my life maybe can bring some change,'" Ndlovu said.

Viljoen started the workshop four years ago and began with a simple guideline for the teenagers. "I literally said to the guys, 'Take the cameras, walk out the gates, and find beauty where you thought there was none," he said.

In this crime and poverty-ridden neighborhood, Viljoen urged the teenagers to see things in a new way. "I wanted to tell them that with photography, if you see something that you don't like, that does not resonate with you, you just change your eyes and find something else," stated Viljoen.

The challenge intrigued Pritchard Ndlovu. "We had all this life that we were introduced to, a little bit violent and all the stuff.  But through photography, we had to see the arty part and be able to meet with people and communicate with people -- get to know about positive things about our city, how to make the place around you a better place," he said.

The project now has its own permanent studio in one of the fanciest places in Johannesburg.  The studio employs six former students full-time, including Pritchard, who is now the studio's manager.

"My favorite picture is not mine, but it says something about real life.  It's called 'Write the Future.'  It says a lot, 'Write the Future.'  It's different, inspiring, and makes you curious about what's happening," Ndlovu said. "What will happen tomorrow".

Besides photo prints, the studio sells merchandise made by the teenagers of the Twilight Shelter -- pillows, coasters, refrigerator magnets, cell phone cases --  and the catalog keeps on expanding.

Cathy Williams works for one of the project's sponsoring companies. "For me it was taking street children out of that shelter and giving them an opportunity to earn money.  They don't have to be your professors, or your doctors or your lawyers, because not everybody can afford to do that.  But by working hard and creating with your hands and getting ideas, you can sell and make money and be productive," Williams said.

The initiative will continue to hold annual exhibits and is now looking at ways to sell the photos and merchandise in retail stores, potentially giving students the chance to start their own businesses.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid