Abbey Makoe

Ken Oosterbroek was wearing blue jeans and brown boots.

The Star photographer had a hawk's eye for good pictures and mingled fearlessly among men in red headbands brandishing assegais, pangas, knob-kerries, spears and anything later known as "traditional weapons".

Nor was he submissive towards AK47-toting ANC youths determined to wipe out IFP- supporting hostel dwellers.

On August 15 1990, Ken took a photo that has now been voted among the 100 best pictures of the century by Associated Press.

His colleague, Alf Kumalo, also has a picture among the 100 selected. It is of proudly smiling Nelson and Winnie Mandela holding the little baby, Zinzi.

But back to Ken.

He was becoming a phenomenon with his photography, having won a number of top prizes.

I was a rookie reporter, empowered by the presence of this able colleague. He made me feel equally capable of anything.

Ken was amazing.

As we delved in to the Thokoza conflict, Ken left no stone unturned to record the events.

That day alone, 16 people were killed.

How I feared for his life.

I watched him leave an IFP mob without hesitation, to click with equal zeal the ANC mob.

Along Khumalo Road, I remember alerting him to the intimidating army of IFP hostel dwellers advancing our way.

Coming to think about it, my primary concern was that we quickly move to safety. But no. Ken moved towards the men, crouching and clicking.

That day, I got my first front page story in The Star - under Ken's emotional, award-winning picture.

He was killed in the same vicinity in 1994.

But his record of history will live forever. Congratulations, Ken O.