The likes of the late Malick Sidibe from Mali, Nigerian Solomon Osagie, and South Africa’s Alf Kumalo are just some African artists who have gone on to garner international acclaim, setting a precedent for a younger generation of creatives.
We present a snapshot of some of the artists whose work captures audiences both locally and abroad.
MÁRIO MACILAU – MOZAMBIQUE
Mário’s family struggled to make ends meet, causing him to drop out of school at the age of ten. Later, a lifeline emerged in the form of photography when a friend lent him a camera. Today, Mario’s work is featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, and he has won several awards.
JOANA CHOUMALI – CÔTE D'IVOIRE
Joana’s passion for photography was sparked at an early age when her parents hired a professional photographer for a family portrait at home, and was further fuelled when she received a camera at 13. Her work highlights the richness of African cultures and traditions.
LAKIN OGUNBANWO – NIGERIA
Fashion photographer Lakin is known for creating bold, moody portraits. His work has been featured in several international publications such as Vogue, British GQ and Times New York. He has also shot some of Nigeria’s most prominent figures, including author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
EMMANUEL JAMBO – KENYA
Born in South Sudan but based in Kenya, Emmanuel is famous as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official photographer. When not working with politicians and celebrities, Emmanuel creates eye-catching fashion, wedding and commercial portraits.
ZOHRA BENSEMRA – ALGERIA
The Algerian photojournalist provides in-depth coverage of conflict, humanitarian issues and women in politics. Zohra’s work has taken her all over the world, often to places others avoided, including Iraq in 2003.
MICHAEL TSEGAYE – ETHIOPIA
An allergy to oil paint saw Michael switch painting for photography in 2003. Exploring remote parts of Ethiopia, his work depicts a range of social issues that affect people in his homeland.
Michael believes his goal as an artist is to understand his life and standpoint in this century, and then express it through art.
ZANELE MUHOLI – SOUTH AFRICA
Sexual and gender identity form the core of Zanele’s work; the photographer devotes a large part of her career to a LGBTI rights. The subjects in her award-winning photo series Faces and Phases are starkly framed in black and white, each image representing a positive record of the lives of members of the South African LGBTI community.
LAURA EL-TANTAWY – EGYPT
Born in England to Egyptian parents, Laura El-Tantawy’s work explores issues of identity, touching on religion, social and environmental issues. She began her career by documenting the lives of everyday Egyptians, but in 2011, Laura documented Egypt’s revolution, her work culminating in an arresting photobook, In the Shadow of the Pyramids.