Photo: Sam Nzima

Remembering Sam Nzima, The Photographer Who Exposed The Ills of Apartheid to The World

Sam Nzima, who died on Saturday, took one of the most famous photos of apartheid in South Africa.

Legendary South African photographer Sam Nzima died on Saturday at the age of 83. Nzima is behind one of the most famous photographs in South Africa, the one of young Hector Pieterson being carried by a fellow schoolmate, Mbuyisa Makhubu, after he got shot at by apartheid police in Soweto on June 16, 1976. Pieterson's sister Antoinette Sithole can be seen running alongside the young man carrying his brother.


Nzima took the image during the event that's now known as The June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising. He was covering the protest for The World, the newspaper he worked for.



"They were all happy. They were carrying placards, not guns," Nizma told the Mail & Guardian in 2016. The students were protesting Afrikaans being made the compulsory language of instruction in South African schools.

Nzima is said to have snapped six shots on his film camera, a Pentax SL, which he had kept until his time of passing, and was considering auctioning sometime to raise funds for opening a museum at his home in Mpumalanga. After taking the photos, he hid the film in his sock. The image would make the front page of The World, the next morning, and get published in some British newspapers.

Nzima was then wanted by the apartheid police after the government accused him of portraying the country in bad light.

He was forced to flee from Soweto where he lived with his family to his hometown of Lillydale. The World was soon shut down and Nzima's photojournalism career came to an end. The image led to sanctions being enforced on South Africa.

The photo has been widely used. But Nzima only recovered rights to it only in 1998 after a long copyright battle, but enforcing the rights was a tough task. As a result, he didn't gain much financially from one of the most famous and most used photographs in South Africa and the world.

Prior to his death, Nzima was running a school of photography in Bucksbridge in the Mpumalanga province.

The photographer was bitter for not being recognized enough by the government for the image. He is one of many other black South Africans who fought during the struggle against apartheid, but don't have much to show for it even after the ANC took power in 1994. Pilfering of images of the struggle taken by black photographers is an ongoing ill that mostly goes unpunished.

Nzima did however get some recognition. He is a recipient of the highest arts award in South Africa, The Order of Ikhamanga. He was given a bronze price for his photojournalism shining the international spotlight on apartheid.

The ANC did release a statement after Nzima's death was announced:

Spokesperson Pule Mabe said: "It is this photo that forced the world to come to terms with the brutality of and evils of apartheid system. It came at a price as Nzima was subjected to countless acts of intimidation and harassment by the cowardly security police who kept him under constant surveillance."

The Presidency's statement:

"It was through his lenses that South Africa saw he brutality and oppression suffered by its people under apartheid. The president sends his condolences to the Nzima family and wishes them strength during this difficult time."

President Cyril Ramaphosa's message:

"Mr Sam Nzima was one of a kind‚ his camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation's psyche and history from the Defiance Campaign through to forced removals and the Soweto student uprisings.
"We will especially remember his iconic photograph of a dying young Hector Pieterson which became a symbol of resistance against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in the black schools‚"

Tributes are still pouring in for the photographer who blew a whistle to the world about the ills of apartheid.

(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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Brazil Has Made Yoruba an Official Language

The language will also be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum in the country, says the Minister of Culture.

Yoruba history and culture has an undeniably strong presence in Brazilian society, due of course, to the Transatlantic slave trade which brought millions of enslaved West Africans to the Americas. Despite the inhumanity they faced, many managed to keep their ancestral culture and traditions alive.

Centuries have passed, and Yoruba influences still continue to thrive in various regions of the country, as many Brazilians maintain a strong relationship with the language and religion. Its influence can be seen through the music, food and spiritual practices of various communities. Last month the Ooni of Ife—the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people—visited the country, where he was met by crowds of Black Brazilians who turned up to pay their respects.

This connection will likely remain strong for future generations, as the language has now become an official foreign language in the country.

WATCH: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness Back to Carnival

Brazil's Minister of Culture, Dr. Sérgio Sá Leitão, has said that the language will now be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum, reports the Nigerian Voice.

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This EP Blends the Afro-Brazilian Rhythms of Bahia With Bass Music

Get into Telefunksoul and Felipe Pomar's Ré_Con Ba$$ EP.

Brazilian producers Felipe Pomar (of TrapFunk & Alivio) and Telefunksoul come through with a dizzyingly energetic EP in the form of Ré_Con Ba$$.

Telefunksoul, who happens to be one of the main promoters of Bahia Bass music, came up with the concept of exploring the rhythms coming out of Recôncavo of Bahia and showing how they can fit into bass music.

Through the 7-track Ré_Con Ba$$ EP, him and Pomar mold and transform the diverse music of Bahia, fusing its rhythms with afrobeat, future house, deep house and much more.

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