Photography by the students of the Aileen Getty School of Journalism, part of the YaLa Academy
To Coup or not to Coup
— By Itai Muridzo from Zimbabwe
If you have been following the news lately, my country Zimbabwe has been making the headlines this past week. The economy has collapsed, high levels of unemployment and social decay are prevalent. The president has been caught up in a party succession struggle and this Monday the army put him under house arrest. There was a debate within the media if whether this is a coup or not, seeing that the army took over the national broadcaster, closed off the parliament as well as the President’s office and arrested some ministers. But no one was killed and Mugabe, the current President was allowed to carry out some of his duties. The people went about their business. No fuss. Today, they marched to the Capital to show their discontent with the current running of the country. So, so many people. Embassies were also filled. As I am currently in South Africa, I went to protest the maladministration at the embassy. These photos are of me and some other people protesting in Johannesburg. But I was amazed by how Zimbabweans and the Zimbabwean army were so peaceful about it while the whole world couldn’t quite figure out and define if this is a coup or not.
Electricity Issues in Kenya
— By Samantha from Kenya
This project was completed as part of a special course on electricity, in partnership with the Enel Foundation.
Finding Kenyan locals joking about their electrical situation is quite common for it makes evident the predicament we are all under; outages last for close to six hours in some circumstances on a weekly basis. This hinders operation in major cities; businesses like supermarkets and banks that keenly rely on electricity for operation are disabled, food in refrigerators spoil in turn causing financial strains and security for a huge mass of residents in Nairobi to be under threat.
In my first photo, I display one of the most desired needs: electricity. Since we are becoming a global village, it is becoming compulsory for people to have power in order to stay connected with the happenings around the world. However, power installation is still expensive.
The second one, we see the substitute for electricity: a candle. This is the most affordable and easily accessible stand-in for electricity. It is cheaper than lanterns and electrical lamps, however the main concern with using it a lot is that it leads to eye ache.
In the third, many power poles are being vandalized by unruly youth who want to sell the electrical wires and transformer oil for a minute profit. Outages mainly happen due to this, and it takes a lengthy period for it to be fixed by the service provider: KenyaPower.
Electricity being the most dependent source of energy and Kenya Power being the monopoly in energy provision, we incur slow customer care service at times and spend hours waiting for them to fix the power problem. Luckily this is being fixed by KenyaPower offering better customer-care services, where they have social media sites so people can contact them and have their problems fixed. With the introduction of the token system, people are able to manage their power consumption. In addition, more power stations are being set up to increase power coverage and laws have been passed to ensure vandalism is punished by the highest accord.
The Loss of the Rural
— By Ifeoluwa from Nigeria
My family has a farmland close to the city where I live. Anytime I visit, like today, I experience a different kind of serenity which is absent from the hustle and bustle in the city. In Nigeria, as more people move to the cities, the villages are being abandoned and in the aftermath, farming and general food crop cultivation suffers. These dilapidated mud huts are a proof of such desertion – outgrown with bushes and the roof caving over. This maize and cassava farm will feed people in the city in a couple of months. They will eat the cob of corn: boiled or roasted and not pay attention to the reality – that without these farms, our very sustenance is at risk.
Construction and Happiness in Namulesa
— By Sam from Uganda
I took these photos of rural kids in Namulesa Village, Jinja District, Eastern Uganda who are excited about the presence of heavy trucks that are part of a road construction project in the area.
The kids leave their homes to come by the road side to wave at the trucks and if the truck driver reciprocates, then the kid who waved first claims the ownership of that truck.
Despite the harsh living and economic conditions in their homes, these kids are happy. Happy that they can play while they wait for the trucks to pass, happy that they are witnessing the construction of a new road that is going to transform their community in future, and happy that they can discuss about what they learn at school with their peers.
My Journey to Dubai
— By Grace from Nigeria
My friends/colleagues and I were fortunate to recently travel to Dubai on an assignment, and as the fun lovers that we are, we ensured that we had fun and enjoyed ourselves as best as we could, by visiting as many beautiful places in Dubai as possible. We all had the time of our lives because to some of us, it was our first visit to the great city and a well deserved time spent away from the newsroom and its deadlines.
— By Oluwole Sulayman from Nigeria
I took a trip with a 3-man team to the heart of Badagry to capture these pictures on slavery in Africa. Badagry, located in the riverine area of Lagos State, Nigeria, is widely known as the route from Africa to Europe by sea during the Slave trade era, and there is a popular point called the “Point of No Return.” It is good when we go back to history to learn better about our culture.
— By Arlene from Burundi
Let me present to all of you…”Kabo” Restaurant. A small but cosy and warm space. Moreover, the place is a safe space for young women enterpreneurs to come and be encouraged. “Kabo” witnesses great ideas coming to life, women come here for a monthly support group meeting. The wall in back has inspirational quotes painted on it, and whoever enters the space will feel boosted to believe in the gift of life, and the amount of things that can be done with it. And the best part, the food is AWESOME.
Sanitation Issues in Ghana
— By Selorm from Ghana
Ghana is undoubtedly one of the best countries in Africa, endowed with nature’s beauty. The country boasts of a lot of tourist sites, among are the beautiful Afadjato (a mountain in the Volta Region in Ghana), beautiful water falls, forest reserves, not forgetting the beaches, and above all the hospitable people with a great culture.
But apart from all the peace the world believes Ghana is enjoying, the country and its citizens have an inner war they’ve been fighting for quite long.
The country has been battling with issues of sanitation for a very long time. Research has proven that about 80% of urban dwellers have no access to improved sanitation in the country.
A tour around the streets and especially the beaches of the nation’s capital, Accra reveals the nature of poor waste management as the shores are swamped with both plastic and human excreta. This has disfigured the beauty of the beaches.
Previous governments and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) involved with water and sanitation issues have waged war on the canker, thus the call to ban the use of plastics in the country.
Meanwhile, the current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has vowed to make the capital city of Ghana one of the cleanest in Africa, hence the creation of a ministry to take charge of sanitation in the country.
However, most of the citizens think the president can’t achieve his goal, because it requires a lot of funds and energy.
Celebrating Children’s Day
— By Eddy from Nigeria
May 27th annually is Children’s day.
In commemoration of the day, my friends and I decided to hold an outreach programme to primary schools in Benin City, Southern Nigeria and inspire the children.
We arrived at Oba Eware Primary school few minutes past 10am and the children were already in class. After introducing ourselves to the teachers and obtaining necessary permission, we divided ourselves into groups of two’s to cover all classes.
I was in charge of speaking to a group of students aged 9-11 years and was marveled at how intelligent they answered my questions when I asked ‘How will you bring change to our Country-Nigeria’?
One of the children responded ‘By first bringing change to myself; changing my perspective about the country; be patriotic and also think of the good I can do for Nigeria.
Together with the children, we deliberated on ways of bringing change to our countries beginning with our local communities.
I also taught them the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, social responsibility and choices.
At the end, we distributed pencils, erasers, notebooks, biros and other gift items and wished them a happy children’s day.
On my way home, I ruminated over the experience and felt fulfilled.
It remembered that one can buy children anything in the world but the memories we make with them is what will last. I was happy I was able to make a good memory with them.
Global Citizens’ Club
— By Cecil from Kenya
In mid 2016, I founded the Global Citizens’ Club, Kenya, which is an initiative that seeks to globalize the outlook of underprivileged pupils living in the slums of Kenya. We do this by teaching them a foreign language as well as ICT skills on a voluntary basis. It has been the most fun, educational, and inspiring experience to both myself and the students. If any of you are interested in joining us on our journey, please tag along! We hope that our student members will grow up to address issues that not only affect their communities, but the whole globe as well.
Botswana Youth Jobs Fair
— By Mmabatho from Botswana
This is a huge project I and my blog is part of called the Botswana Youth Jobs Fair. The aim of the fair is to boost job readiness and foster sustainable employment for youth through being a hub of various forms of employment activity. At the fair, young people were able to submit their cv’s have mock interviews and even get employed real time. A few young people met various opportunities such as scholarships and investors for their businesses. We’re doing this fair to holistically decrease unemployment in Botswana.
Fishing in Kenya
— By Matheka from Kenya
Fishing is one of the main economic activities of the coastal people in the republic of Kenya . The name of the coast came up due to the fact that it borders the Indian ocean. In fact, that it is the gateway to Kenya where all imports of the sea pass through and made the place to grow very fast in the recent years. However, many people who rely on fishing have been faced with a lot of difficulties in doing their daily activities of fishing. For instance, many fishermen cannot afford to buy new technological fishing nets. Instead, they have opted to make their own locally — something that has adverse effects on the aquatic animals. This is because not only the required fish are trapped, but also the unwanted ones. Moreover, they lack modern floaters, hence they are forced to invent theirs using plastic bottlers which are floating on the ocean. This has led to pollution, and they risk being jailed by relevant authorities over pollution. Local women line themselves by the shores and wait for the fishermen so they can buy fish, as they cannot afford to buy them from the stores. If proper strategies are put in place, perhaps the poverty level will go down and proper fishing can be done, which in turn will uplift the economy.
Ugandan Refugee Settlement
— By Denis from Uganda
Any influx of refugees in a country usually comes with worry. Some people of the hosting community think the refugees strain their economy. Sometimes, this brings out about disdain that can easily graduate into conflict.
Those who live outside these refugee settlements, most of time, don’t know what happens inside. I was one such people, before I bumped into a refugee settlement in Southwestern Uganda. Nakivaale Refugee Settlement boosts of over 100,000 displaced people from different countries including Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi, and Rwanda.
The place was vibrant. But notably, contrary to what I thought, people were engaged in different economic activities. There was a wide range of economic human activities including, agriculture, carpentry, transportation services, and retail shops. I was told through economic inclusion, these folks rebuild their lives after trauma. Refugees become self-reliant.
It was heartwarming for me to see this. It changed my mind a lot. I captured some scenes.
— By Ubwiza from Zambia
These photos are about the traditional cloth called ‘Chitenge’ in Zambia. Every woman or young lady has this in their closet. I will not speak of the use of this, in other African countries that may have this too. I will focus on the Zambian women’s use for it.
It can be wrapped on the head, which is mostly done at Funerals and other places.
It can be wrapped around your waist while covering your legs, which is done when going to the market, doing house work, resting at home, carrying a baby on your back and funerals. This is the most common way.
It can be wrapped around the waist when dancing at weddings, ceremonies
The cloth in a bigger size can be made into skirts, shirts, trousers, dresses, shorts and bags. Men wear the Chitenge only when it is made into trousers, shirts and shorts; usually they are trying to match their wife’s dresses or it is a Kitchen Party. Kitchen Party is an event before the wedding where family members and friends celebrate the engaged couple and bring gifts for the Kitchen. Chitenge is a must have item for women more than men.
The Igbo Marriage Ceremony
— By Chinemerem from Nigeria
In Igbo land, southeast Nigeria, very few ceremonies are as popular as the marriage ceremony; the feast of a baby’s birth will be one of the ceremonies that rank higher.
Families look forward to their daughters getting married. The traditional marriage ceremony is every family’s dream; maybe more than the girl’s.
Weeks before the event, several traditional rites are done. Several trips of drinks are donated by the husband-to-be and his family. They try to please the family of the girl, this is essential because if the girl’s family suspects that their In-laws-to-be are not very caring, they can terminate the marriage processes. They translate this to mean that their daughter will not be treated well in that family.
Few days before the traditional marriage ceremony, the man’s family will meet the girl’s, to conclude on how much will be the Bride price.
Usually, the Bride price is a little money, very little money to be exchanged for the lady to be married.
Modern day feminists have argued the relevance of this Bride price, saying that it means that the woman is being sold. But tradition remains tradition.
On the morning of the event, young girls are tasked with sweeping the compounds, the boys are in charge of getting water for the cooking. Older boys set the canopies, and arrange the seats. The environment is brought to perfection, in anticipation of the in-laws (groom and his family).
In the afternoon, the in-laws arrive, looking their best. And then, the ceremony commences.
The bride, accompanied by her train of maidens, takes a calabash of palm wine to her groom (the church marriage’s equivalent of exchanging rings). The man drinks the wine and they dance.
At this point, the family members and the guests all come out and dance; all while throwing money at the new couple.
Food and drinks are served, music is blasting from the speakers, and those who are in the mood, dance. The atmosphere is filled with joy and merriment. The two families rejoice with each other, as guests pray for a happy married life for the couple.
Late in the evening, when the event is over, the bride takes all her things that was in her father’s house, and follows the groom to his own home – their own home. All the guests come out and wave at the in-laws as they’re leaving.
At that point, most brides and mothers cry (happy tears, anyway), because the girl leaves her family, and follows another family home.
Traditional Igbo Wrestling
— By Ekene from Nigeria
Traditional wrestling is a type of sports activity found within Igbo communities, inhabitants of southeast Nigeria. This practice is to audit for skillful energetic young men within a particular community. These group wrestlers in some cases form the warriors and traditional soldiers of the community from different age grades. For the purpose of festivity, it is expected that all the age grades participate with one person emerging victorious from each grade. Outside entertainment, traditional wrestling is among platforms young men use to prove their physical strength. When a man fight with his agemates and comes victorious he is rewarded, celebrated and admired by all, especially young ladies even years after. Just like we have in English wrestling, the winner enjoys a lot of traditional endorsement and titles within the year he won until defeated in next wrestling season, unless otherwise he maintains his position. It is also the activity to mark the end of farming season and introduce the new season in Igbo calendar. Wrestling is used to promote peace and unity amongst villages and bring together in-laws from another town who couldn’t visit during the farming seasoning. Sometimes it may be used to settle local disputes or decide a rightful suitor for a young lady, especially from royal families. Today I was privileged to witness the traditional wrestling rehearsal of Ama-Enu Afikpo, Afikpo North Local Government Area in Ebonyi State, southeast Nigeria for the community’s traditional wrestling come September. Here are images from the scene.
Electricity in Rwanda
— By Assumpta from Rwanda
30 percent of the population of Rwanda has access to electricity. Rwandan manufacturing enterprises experience power outages sometimes. As a result, many firms operate their own diesel generators.
Power tariffs in most parts of the country fall in the range of US$0.2 per kilowatt including a bonus of 15 kilowatts at the beginning of every month for non-commercial subscribers. By 2020, the government of Rwanda hopes that 70% of the population will have access to electricity.
My photo essay deals with the electricity situation in Rwandan families’ everyday life in four pictures:
This story was completed as part of a special course on electricity in Africa in collaboration with the Enel Foundation.
— By Doose from Nigeria
In local Nigerian setting, a mother would bathe her child from a bucket in the open. This is usually a time for the child to either play or cry. I don’t know how it is in other African countries but I’d like to know. Who else can relate to this?
— By Kennedy from Kenya
These are pictures I took of an aspirant for the seat of Senate in Nandi County, in Kenya. The aspirant is 28 year old Samson Kiprotich Cheragei showing an old woman his campaign portrait during one of his campaigns in the county. The aspirant won the party primaries and is slated to face other aspirants vying under different parties on 8th August 2017 when Kenya electorates goes to the poll.
— By Nobantu from South Africa
On Friday 26 May I had the pleasure of taking a friend, who was visiting South Africa, on a tour of Johannesburg. It was a busy day, packed with tons to see and even more to learn. Being a youth activist living in Kenya, meant that Angel was eager to visit historic sights of political significance. We toured “Constitutional Hill,” sampled the gallery at the Hill, and drove through much of Johannesburg until we had our longest stop at the “Apartheid Museum.” We polished off the day with pizza and drinks at “86 Public,” a restaurant renowned for its heart-warming pizzas. Unfortunately, we were not always allowed to take pictures in some paid exhibits. However, we managed to get lots of other cool snaps along the way.
— By Nomalungelo from South Africa
South Africa is one of the most beautiful and lovely countries in the world. We have different events that unite different nationalities together to celebrate:
Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon race, occurring annually every May/June in the province of KZN between the two cities of Durban and the Capital City of KZN, Pietermaritzburg, or visa versa. Comrades Marathon is an ultra-marathon of approximately 89 km. It started in 1921 until now, and 7,100 runners participated in the 2017 Marathon. The race is opened to everybody, and different nations keep on running this race.
Each and every route that the runners pass, the community comes out in their numbers to support the runners. Some of the runners run for charity reasons, some for advertising products, others to promote their culture, others promoting their countries, and others for health reasons. However, the most important is that Comrades Marathon promotes unity between countries /nations.
We are South Africans, Durbanites, you cannot take that from us.
A Day at the Beach
— By Sophie from Madagascar
Overcoming Unemployment in Zimbabwe
— By Samantha from Zimbabwe
With the increase in the rate of unemployment any source of income is a lifeline in the lives of many Zimbabweans. From selling traditional pots made from mud, grass brooms, fruits, snacks and vegetables many have been able to supplement salaries to make ends meet. These various small sources of income have put food on the table, pay for school fees and provide some basic needs. In some cases these ventures are the only source of income for some families. In such an economy any open space can be converted to a market place. From the gate to the bus stop any place that has people passing by is suitable to have a table with diverse products to sale.
What I Mind is Community Lives
— By McDonald from Malawi
This is a photo story about my friend Cecilia Mankhwala. She is a Project Field Coordinator for a project called Smallholder Dairy Improvement Project (SDIP) at Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI). Cecilia is a young lady who has inspired many girls for her love to work with rural communities. She does not mind conditions faced on her mission to bring change to rural areas. Most of areas she works in are typical remote with challenging environment but she humbles herself to achieve her objectives. I have just taken some shots of what Cecilia is proud of doing. Cecilia is popular in the community for the SDIP that has initiated for the improvement of incomes at household of dairy farmers due to increase of milk production from 5 litres per cow per day to 12 – 30 litres per cow per day.
SDIP was funded by Rural Livelihood Economic Enhancement Programme (RLEEP) by the Government of Malawi and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The restaurant where Cecilia takes her lunch is at the well-known trading centre called Goliati in Thyolo district in the southern region of Malawi. Goliati is the home area of the Malawi’s current president and is about 7 kilometres to the cemetery of the former president of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika brother to Peter wa Mutharika the current president.
— By Sanet from South Africa
While there are many beautiful things I could share about my country, I have chosen to share some of the realities surrounding protests in support of bringing down university fees. Thus, here are South African students rallying together for the common cause of bringing down university fees.
— By Festus from Nigeria
As a humanitarian, I take out time, sometimes to visit the vulnerable or orphans. I recently graced the 10th year anniversary of Tabitha home. A home for both orphans and vulnerable children; it plays host to both orphans and children who are vulnerable, including those their parents can afford to pay their school fees. Mrs Febisola Okonkwo is the director of this wonderful home also known as help initiative. She has a heart of gold. She left her banking job 10 years ago just to start helping the vulnerable children hawking wares on the street or orphans who don’t have anyone to send them to school. In the last 10 years she has sponsored more than 3 students who are University graduates. She’s currently helping 14 vulnerable children to live a comfortable life.
They Are Catalysts for Societal Wellness
— By Macdonald from Malawi
Women are agents for every society. They haven’t endorsed for this responsibility but are naturally responsible in everything to move in a family, community and nation at large. Women have unique responsibility and capability to develop their families. They do what they can to make lives of their children and family healthy and happy. Women in Malawi are such hard workers -as any woman on earth- to bring happiness in lives. For instance, female dairy farmers in Thyolo district are contributing to economic growth and infrastructural development in Malawi through milk production. Malawian women are also in forefront when it comes to governance participation.
Kids of Ouagadougou
— By Alexandrine from Burkina Faso
When walking in Ouagadougou, day and night, I captured the images of children that were offered to me. I want to show those who keep smiling despite the difficulties of life.
— By Assumpta from Rwanda
These pictures deal with child labor, lack of water and education. It’s a true story, my story. I grew up in poor conditions of living. This made my education so hard. My country was recovering from genocide, and clean water was a serious matter: before going to school my first task was fetching water in a valley located a bit far from my home. Once upon the time, Yala citizen journalism gave a story telling assignment (Photograph Essay), and this gave me an idea of visiting the valley close to where I grew up. Two scenarios took me back in history; people fetching dirty water and a young boy pushing water on his bike. That’s exactly similar to my childhood situation except for the bike. Fortunately, my story is not a tragedy due to “education for all”; a Rwandan government policy introduced to promote girls education.
A Ride to University
— By Linus from Nigeria
Without these hardworking taxi drivers, students in the University of Nigeria based in southeastern Nigeria woulld struggle to go to classes. Every morning, students walk to the bus stations nearby to board these cabs or what’s called “UNN shuttle” to go to classes. Each car carries four students for well below 15 cents.
Kampala Dry, Kampala Wet
— By Clare from Uganda
This is Kampala on two different weather days; on a dry and rainy day. On a rainy day, Kampala streets flood, and the city gets congested, especially at the peak hours when people are travelling back home from work. On dry days, you will find street children and beggars on the streets.
Women Making Ends Meet
— By Theodora from Ghana
Here in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, a major way uneducated women make ends meet is through street hawking. They do this to supports their family. They sell pineapple and pawpaw, braised rice with sardines, vegetables, bar soaps, detergents and sponges, watermelon, sachet water and so on.
The Joy and Art of Dressing
— By Ajayi from Nigeria
John Galliano once said that “the joy of dressing is an art”. Fashion is indeed a form of art dedicated to the creation of clothing and other lifestyle accessories. Fashion varies as a result of religion, country, styles and taste. My focus is on Africa Print.
Africa Print, popularly known as Ankara, is primarily associated with Africa mainly because of the tribal-like patterns and motifs. Ankara was formerly known as Dutch wax print, originally manufactured by the Dutch for the Indonesian textile market. But the prints gained more interest in West Africa and reflected Africa culture and lifestyle more. It is a very versatile fabric and many items such as shoes, bags, clothing and accessories are designed.
With Mariam Abubakar Lawal, a close friend and an exquisite Ankara designer- start-up entrepreneur, who creates and designs shoes, bags and clothing with the fabric prints. She has special skills in combining colours, tones and shades in an original manner. Mariam’s journey as a designer started because of her undiluted passion for fashion and the skills she had, despite her skills she had a month intensive training. Her business was supported financially by families and friends. Her business thrives well in Lagos, Nigeria with over 30 customers within 3 months of opening her business.
Fashion is about styles and fashion is life.
Madagascar the Island
— By Lova from Madagascar
These are some picture of my countryside, where my mother grew up. A very beautiful place with beauty, calm and happiness.
Morning in Bujumbura
— By Elvis from Burundi
Bujumbura is life in the morning. People, me included, wake up early in morning at 5:00 to work. Some are going on the church, others are going to work in their field. Women are talking, children are helping their parents in cooking and cleaning dishes, moto bicycles taxi driveers are waiting for people. Bicycles taxi driveers are carrying grass for animals. Everyone is happy to go to work. I took these pictures myself between 5:30am and 7am.
— By Denis from Uganda