Drive-through testing for the coronavirus in Gauteng. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)
Drive-through testing for the coronavirus in Gauteng. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)

PICS: Honouring ANA’s front line photographers on World Photography Day

By Lance Witten Time of article published Aug 19, 2020

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It's often said that a picture paints a thousand words, but not all words string together to tell a coherent story.

The art of photography is being able to capture the essence of a moment and tell the story well, in a way that evokes emotion, creates a response in the viewer, conveys a message with meaning and context.

At the African News Agency, we have some of the best photographers in the world. They have won local and international awards, gained global recognition, and have told stories visually in ways that often could never be quantified in words.

Photojournalism is a calling, a craft. It's often also said that when others are running out of burning buildings, only firefighters and journalists are running in. This has never rung more true than during the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

While millions of us stayed at home, fearing for our lives and the lives of our loved ones, our team of photojournalists was on the frontlines.

Mayvise Phungula (88), from Phoenix, getting tested for Covid-19 at the Transnet-Phelophape healthcare train clinic. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Yes, they did their best to maintain safe physical distancing, did their best to protect themselves by sanitising their hands and equipment, wearing the necessary personal protective equipment, avoiding high-risk places and individuals, but the threat of infection was always present.

Grade R learners at Durbanville Preparatory School doing a movement class using physical distancing blocks. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

And many of them fell ill. Many of them contracted this dreaded virus and pulled through. Some of our media colleagues have not been so lucky.

Gift of the Givers delivering 250 food parcels to the village of Quzini in King William's Town. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

This World Photography Day, I would like to pay tribute to our exceptional team of photographers - the photojournalists who capture and document the first draft of history. They put their lives on the line to share with the world the stories that need telling.

As part of Gift of the Givers water intervention project, 6000 litres of water a day is delivered to four areas around Adelaide. Here, residents of Lingelethu township receive their daily supply. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Our content manager for photography, Ian Landsberg, says: "I love Photojournalism because it is the craft of doing things yesterday! What is exposed visually focusses not only on the present but also history's attention on what is right and wrong with the world."

Former mayor Thembe Njilo engaging with the community ahead of the re-opening of schools in Pietermaritzburg in June. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Photojournalist Armand Hough says: "To be able to give a voice to those who have been silenced is something I am grateful for every day and to experience life through a lens, places life into perspective for myself."

Dr AV Mahomed, chief trustee of the Juma Mosque in Durban, sits alone in the mosque where over a thousand Muslims would usually come to pray during Ramadaan. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

Brendan Magaar says: "It's my way of exposing the viewer to the truth through my images. Giving them the opportunity to see through my eyes."

Gift of the givers distributing PPE at Fort Beaufort Hospital. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

"I love it because it informs, educates and is the way of writing history," says Ayanda Ndamane. "To me Photojournalism, it's a lifestyle. We reach places that other people can't. We make them part of it, bringing them along for the ride. We create conversations. To change people's lives big or small, that makes me satisfied."

A family watches the virtual Good Friday service, held by Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba and joined by President Cyril Ramphosa and his wife Tshepo Motsepe, from the safety of their home. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

"Interpreting moments of life through my experiences with the use of a lens," is how Shelley Kjonstad describes her craft. "Creating lasting memories, to share now and with generations to come."

Zip Zap performers Jacobus Classen (in air) and Jason Barnard (holding performer) execute a circus move in front of the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Our team of exceptional African News Agency photojournalists make me proud every day. They can confidently stand among the best in the world.

A Grade 1 pupil sanitises his hands before entering class. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

News photography is so much more than shooting pictures - it's telling stories visually. And this superb team outshines themselves day in and day out.

A pregnant Athlone woman wears a face mask as protection against the spread of Covid-9. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

* Lance Witten is the Chief Content Officer for African News Agency: Syndication

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