Maverick Life

PHOTOGRAPHY

Lockdown South Africa (Part One)

Lockdown South Africa (Part One)

In 2015, the Wild Shots Outreach programme was launched to support young South Africans from disadvantaged communities through photography. Five young photographers from the Wild Shots Outreach Media Team captured what the lockdown meant to them. Here are their images.

Mike Kendrick, a Life Sciences and Photography teacher and the founder and director of Wild Shots Outreach explains that Wild Shots Outreach  “aims to support young South Africans from disadvantaged communities in accessing their wildlife heritage and developing employment skills in wildlife and tourism through photography”. He founded the program in November 2015 after noticing that almost none of the local school children – Kendrick lives in Hoedspruit, Limpopo where the program is based – had been into Kruger or the neighbouring reserves.

“I thought photography would be a great way to engage young people in nature and conservation. It combines my passions of photography, conservation and social upliftment”, he says.

The programme expanded from covering just high schools in the first year to also include groups of young unemployed people. “As the programme grew, I have been able to provide donated second hand cameras for some of the most talented students. They are now able to tell visual stories themselves. In the last two years, I have also been able to access work experience placements for some of my students and place some in employment. I have come to realise that photography is a great teaching tool and it builds pride and self-esteem in the students”, he adds.

Today, the programme, a registered NPO which receives “funds from private individuals, charitable foundations and from some companies involved in the photography industry”, prioritises high school students from government schools and unemployed youth bordering the Kruger Park.  It teaches to about 150 students every year, “transferable skills, providing a ‘focus’ and introduction to the natural world and helps raise the aspirations of these learners – the conservationists of tomorrow”.

***

Rivoni Mkansi in Thulamahashe, Mpumalanga

“Rivoni Mkansi took the Wild Shots Outreach programme at his high school in 2016. He did a year at veterinary school before starting his own photography business in 2019. As part of the Wild Shots Outreach media team, Rivoni has covered several key assignments including shoots for Rhino Revolution and Elephants Alive. His images combine thought, creativity and technical expertise”, says Kendrick.

Photograph by Rivoni Mkansi

Photograph by Rivoni Mkansi

Photograph by Rivoni Mkansi

Photograph by Rivoni Mkansi

Photograph by Rivoni Mkansi

***

Rifumo Mathebula in White City, Mpumalanga

“Rifumo is the longest serving graduate of the Wild Shots Outreach programme. His organisational skills have been put to good use in arranging and delivering WSO courses for young job-seekers in his home village of Ludlow. Rifumo has completed placements at a local paper and a safari lodge. He now works for Conservation South Africa through the Yes4Youth programme. Rifumo’s images always have an honesty and integrity about them and he is in great demand for photo assignments both as an event photographer and as a photojournalist”.

Photograph by Rifumo Mathebula

Photograph by Rifumo Mathebula

Photograph by Rifumo Mathebula

Photograph by Rifumo Mathebula

Photograph by Rifumo Mathebula

DM/ ML

Gallery

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