The country will celebrate iconic photographer’s life

Sam Nzima. (Picture: Facebook)

The country is mourning the death of local photography legend Sam Masana Nzima.
The iconic photographer was originally from Lilydale in Bushbuckridge.

The 83-year-old died in one of the local hospitals on Saturday evening.
He took the well-know image of Hector Pieterson during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

It, however, took him 22 years to receive the copyright for the photograph and a lengthy battle at that.

Nzima was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze – given to South African citizens who excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism or sport.

ALSO READ:Iconic photographer Sam Nzima dies at age 83

According to the presidency, his interest in photography developed at a very young age when one of his teachers had a camera. Young Nzima was fascinated by the concept of pictures coming out of a box.

In 1968 he was invited to join The World newspaper as a full-time photojournalist. When he took the photograph of

Hector Pieterson, he was still working for this publication when he was covering the students’ strike.
Affected by the stance on journalists and students, he decided to return home. In 1979 Homeland Chief Minister Hudson Ntswanisi of the Gazankulu Bantustan offered him a job at the legislative assembly.

On Monday Premier Refilwe Mtshweni visited his family to pay her respects on behalf of the people in the province.

The Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation confirmed Nzima’s death and said, “The camera was his weapon of choice and he used it to expose the injustices of the previous regime.”

Local journalist Siphiwe Nyathi’s post on social media read: “I promised you to not quit writing and I will keep that promise. Legends don’t die, but sleep. Have a rest, till we meet again. It is all vanitas vanitatum. Leak us a clip of Hector Pieterson in Heaven. A lancinating loss of yet another stentorian voice against the apartheid regime. Through your lenses the world saw the brutality of the apartheid government during 1976 Soweto uprising. We shall not cry. Tatana Sam Nzima! We rather celebrate a remarkable life of a great
storyteller.”

  AUTHOR
Bridget Mpande

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