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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid