Photographers' Blog

Mandela and my son

South Africa

By Mike Hutchings

Balancing the dual roles of photojournalist and parent can be challenging at times – unpredictable hours and long assignments can be disruptive to family life.

But being the son of a photojournalist has its perks. My son Daniel had the chance to meet former South African President Nelson Mandela three times while accompanying me on stories.

On the first occasion, he was only six weeks old. I had been waiting for Mandela to arrive at a function in Cape Town’s Waterfront district when my partner Shannon called and asked where I was.

“Waiting for Mandela at the Waterfront,” I replied.

Her response was fast.  So fast in fact that I could almost hear the slamming of doors and the screeching of tires as she grabbed hold of Daniel and sped off to join me. In a flash they were standing next to me, moments before Mandela arrived.

Mandela’s love for children was well known, driven perhaps by the pain of separation from his own family during his incarceration and early political life. Invariably, when he appeared in public, he would immediately zoom in on any children present. And that engagement always made for good pictures.

Witness to the Lonmin shootings

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

By Siphiwe Sibeko

When people ask if I enjoy my job, I usually tell them: “Who wouldn’t – I always have a different view from my mobile office each day”.

But the view I had on August 16 of the deadliest South African police security operation since apartheid ended will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase from my mind.

SLIDESHOW: SOUTH AFRICA’S “HILL OF HORROR”

I’d been sent to cover a tense stand-off between police and striking platinum miners at a dusty mine northwest of Johannesburg. Little did I know that I would witness a police operation that led to 34 miners shot dead and more than 70 injured.

No turning back as Africa’s hour arrives

A local child carries a ball while playing soccer at a dirt field in Soweto, Johannesburg June 7, 2010. The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup kicks off on June 11.          REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The 2010 World Cup has been a memorable and momentous occasion not only for me, but for South Africa, the African continent and the rest of the world.

It has indeed been incredible. It has been a unifying factor, with people beginning to appreciate the importance of their national symbols such as flags.

Ghana's Samuel Inkoom runs with the South African flag after the team's victory over the United States in a 2010 World Cup second round match at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg June 26, 2010.        REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

As a photographer for an institution such as Reuters, one can say that I have been privileged to be a part of this historic occasion. It was indeed a privilege to be among hordes of international media covering the event. I was here during the Confederations Cup, but the feeling of covering the World Cup is enormous – it is part of history.

Hardship deepens for South Africa’s Poor Whites

SAFRICA-WHITES
Children walk through a squatter camp for poor white South Africans at Coronation Park in Krugersdorp, March 6, 2010. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly

Sitting in a deck chair at a white South African squatter camp, Ann le Roux, 60, holds a yellowing photo from her daughter’s wedding day.

Taken not long after Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president in 1994, it shows Le Roux standing with her Afrikaans husband and their daughter outside their home in Melville, an upmarket Johannesburg neighborhood.

South Africa’s child-rape epidemic

“Don’t ask me to smile, I don’t know how to smile,” says Fumana Ntontlo, as she poses for a portrait, hands folded in her lap, on the bed of her one-room shack in South Africa’s Khayelitsha township.

SOUTH-AFRICA/

The walls and roof of her tiny home are made from corrugated metal, insulated on the inside with splintered and stained plywood, from which hangs a faded blue fabric pouch holding several pairs of well-worn shoes. Some yellowed and curling magazine pictures are taped at eye-level and a lace curtain flutters in the breeze of a small window protected by metal burglar bars. A bare bulb hangs from the ceiling by a wire.

Ntontlo is a “survivor” – the word used by health workers to describe victims of sexual violence.

Violence in South Africa: Audio slideshow

Reuters photographer Siphiwe Sibeko talks about his experiences capturing dramatic images of the outbreak of violence in South Africa.

 

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