A former Independent Media photographer is a finalist in an international prize for young photojournalists organised by Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya.
Phando Jikelo, 31, who worked for the Cape Times when he took the picture up for the award, which was used on page one, has been shortlisted for the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, selected by a jury and includes photographers from 14 countries. The winners will be announced on August 7 in Moscow.
He has since been transferred to Sekunjalo's African News Agency Pictures (ANA Pictures).
Executive chairman of Independent Media Dr Iqbal Survé said: “Phando’s ability as a young photographer goes without saying.
“He has captured moments that convey stories and his heart wrenching pictures have brought change to the lives of many people. To be shortlisted in one of the most prestigious international photographic competitions for young photojournalists is a testament to his skill and bravery for always getting the shot. I am immensely proud of Phando for being the first South African photojournalist to be shortlisted in this contest.”
ANA Pictures CEO, Amit Makan, commended Phando for his "sterling efforts in keeping photojournalism and visual storytelling alive on the African continent."
As previously, the winning photos will be displayed not only in Russia, but abroad until the end of the year.
This year, the number of countries taking part has increased, securing the contest’s status as a prestigious international platform that discovers new names in world photography.
The finalists were selected by award-winning representatives from the Russian and international photography community. The jury chaired by Stern director of Photography, Andreas Trampe, reviewed some 5 000 photos from 76 countries across four categories, including top news, sport, my planet and portrait: a hero of our time. Each category was divided into single photos and series.
Director of the Rossiya Segodnya Integrated Directorate of Photography Alexander Shtol said: “The entries are becoming stronger and more mature each year, which indicates the growing professionalism of young photojournalists.
“Also this year, we are happy to announce that our partners, Al Mayadeen TV media holding, Shanghai United Media Group and the International Committee of the Red Cross, established their own prizes for the shortlisted contestants that they believe are the best, making the total prize fund much bigger.”
Trampe, said: “This year’s entries for the Andrei Stenin award were mostly of a high level of photography. Nearly all series were outstanding in quality, in terms of the relevance of the stories and the quality of the work.
“The strongest single image categories were top news followed by portrait: a hero of our time. The works about migrants and the coverage of the crises in Syria, Libya and Ukraine were especially courageously covered.”
Jury member, editor-in-chief of Xinmin Evening News Chen Qiwei said: “The contest has shown its great international influence and professionalism. I am deeply impressed by the high quality of the pictures.”
Another jury member, ANA Pictures Director of Photography Ian Landsberg said: “This year’s entries prove to be of an exceptionally high standard, which is quite significant taken into consideration the young age of contestants (18-33 years) competing in a contest where the playing field is levelled for both young and experienced visual storytellers.”