2019 Mar. 18: Traffic tracing at the Yithi Laba exhibition – Week 1

By Lindiwe Dhlamini

A week after the opening of the Yith Laba exhibition I was asked to observe and trace the traffic of guests who come to view the show at the Market Photo Workshop (MPW) in Newtown, Johannesburg. Yithi Laba has drawn attention to many and the media has been following through since its opening on the 28th of February 2019. It is no surprise, after all, Prof/Sir Zanele Muholi, Bernie Searle, Ruth Motau, Neo Ntsoma and Lindeka Qampi know how to express themselves through photographs and this time they seem to have outdone themselves, the response from the public has been very impressive.

I first arrived at MPW on Monday 11 March 2019 at 09:00 to make sure the set up for a register is positioned and that I give myself enough time to settle in before guests start coming in. To my dismay, I was not expected to arrive on that day by the MPW staff, the gallery was closed, and the receptionist did not know anything about the agreement between Inkanyiso and MPW me coming to work in the gallery till the end of the show 14 April 2019. I asked to meet with Khona Dlamini, the liaising person between Inkanyiso.Org and MPW who was aware I would be coming but not on that day, she was busy and could not attend to me immediately. I had to wait approximately 30-40 minutes to be introduced to the person who is responsible for the gallery. Despite, this little mishap the staff was friendly and ready to ensure my comfort was paramount and that all the information I needed was supplied.

The day went on well without any problems except for few students with an attitude who would either walk in and out without greeting and some refusing to sign the register saying they have never been expected to do so because they study here (MPW). On the contrary, some of the students are friendly and cooperative, the same applied to some of the guests who would choose to rather walk out without seeing the show because they are refusing to fill in the register. The days were different throughout the week, on Monday we had 11 guests who agreed to sign the register, I did not keep track of those who refused to sign or who were rude to avoid unnecessary anxiety for myself.

There was one guest who caught my attention, a teacher from Alexandra High School who was in the vicinity and decided to walk in. The teacher was very friendly and loved the show and uttered that he wished that his learners could have an opportunity to see the exhibition but, due to financial strains for the school it was not possible for them to come. I was touched by our conversation as it reminded me of how the issue of access disadvantages black children growing up in township schools. It reminded me of my own experiences as a young writer in high school, designing and handwriting my school newsletter I was told it is just a hobby, I should put more focus on subjects with career prospects that would put food in the table immediately, not by chance. My passion was not aided in a way that would put me in the same level as my peers who went to Model C schools and had access to spaces that motivated their talents.

As the week progressed, there was a fluctuation in the numbers of guests who visit the gallery; on Tuesday there were 24 visitors and just before I knock off, a group of 17 tourists from Canada came in and I gave them the tour and explained about each of the works on the wall. On Wednesday we had 31 guests and 12 of these were a group of students from E.D Mashabane High School, from Sebokeng, Vaal area who were in Newtown to visit the Market Theatre and they wandered around till they saw MPW gallery they were fascinated and excited that they could view the images free of charge. I took this group around the gallery while answering their questions, I had a conversation with a few of them who were interested in the arts but with not much knowledge of how to break into the industry, shared a few links to art opportunities for young people.

On Thursday I requested to go and welcome my niece to the world as my sister had just given birth to a beautiful healthy baby Lesedi. I asked Khona Dlamini to assist with opening and laying out the register for guests to sign but only 1 guest signed, I am not sure how many people came in on this day. By Friday, I was happy the end of week one had finally come, though I was not in the gallery in the morning 2 guests had signed in before Muholi and the Inkanyiso crew brought in learners and educators from Umbelebele High School in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) who came to Gauteng on Educational Tour.
2019 March 16 Umbelebele High School _ KZN - Gauteng - EduTour 9962


Muholi is an alumni and they decided to give back to the school by covering the costs of return flights, accommodation, food and entertainment to 15 Tourism learners and 3 educators. The group were taken to a weekend tour around Gauteng and exposed them to spaces they had no access to in their school or hometown.
I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop on intersectionality, bullying, gender and sexuality for the learners and the teachers. This excursion made it a perfect ending to a somewhat interesting and challenging week.



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2019 March 3: Yithi Laba Exhibition Opening




2019 Feb. 20: Yithi Laba exhibition





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2019 March. 11: Spending my day at VMCI in Sebokeng

Text by Bajabulile Dhlamini

Photos by Z Muholi

Waking up to a beautiful and sunny Sunday morning, Inkanyiso team and I prepared to attend a service at Victory Ministries Church International (VMCI). They were officially opening Vaal branch on March 3rd 2019 and ordaining to Deaconship an elder Fumi Nkosi, who comes from Soweto.


We got to church at 12h00, the ceremony had already started and we missed the ordaining ceremony. We were on time for the main service where welcoming was underway. We were welcomed by a word on the book of 2Corinthians 9v7 and then a worship session started, singing and praising the Lord.
I noticed a dish of water circulating the pastoral section and they all partook in the washing of hands, which seemed to be the tradition of the church.

Then the Senior pastor of VMCI Apostle Z. Zungu observed all protocol and acknowledged pastors and leadership in the house. He also welcomed all congregants. Pastor Moshodi was Co- sharing the pulpit as the interpreting Pastor. Apostle Zungu preached the word and delivered the sermon of the day from the book of Luke 15 whose emphasis is on the parable of  “Lost and Found”.

“Luke 15 is the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records three parables of Jesus Christ: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost or ‘prodigal’ son.
These parables introduce the importance of sinners for Jesus, and thus for disciples whose drama is built on the tension of an attempt to find something that has been lost. Anyone who has lost anything or loses anything on a regular basis can identify with this tension.” (Scriber’s interpretation)

Apostle explained the link and the importance of being found. He used daily expressions and experiences to exhibit God’s love and passion in finding the lost. He then made an alter call for those who wanted to accept the Lord as their personal saviour. Zungu prayed for them as they entered their new salvation path, ridding the old and being reborn.

Zungu also prayed for the Pastorate and officially declared the ” VMCI Vaal branch opened” with Pastor Mokgatla as the leader of the branch. Attending the ceremony and service was Pastor Mazibuko from Soweto, Pastor Royo from Katlehong, Evangelist Puseletso from Joburg cbd, Pastor Sibisi from Kwa-Thema, Evangelist Bafana Mhlanga from Nelspruit. They all broke bread and shared Holy Communion amongst themselves and the congregation after Pastor Mazibuko had blessed the “Eucharist”.

Pastor Sibisi who was the M.C took offering, pastor Ramathavha (youth pastor) made announcements and notices while Sister Mamokete  closed with prayer.

©️ BVL  @Sebokeng,Gauteng

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2019 March. 7: Gallery hopping on Tuesday for the love of art and learning.

This gallery contains 2 photos.

By Lindiwe Dhlamini The day started with laughter around the breakfast table, sharing a meal with Professor Sir Zanele Muholi, Lindeka Qampi, Bajabulile Dhlamini and my childhood friend Khabonina Makhoba. The plan was to go to Wits University Drama Department, … Continue reading

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2019 March 3: Yithi Laba Exhibition Opening

by Lihle Mkhize

The exhibition titled Yithi Laba is a celebration of reflection and commemoration of five women photographers in response to the Twenty-five years of Democracy.

The show features a combination of five award winning photographers including Professor Zanele Muholi, Lindeka Qampi, Neo Ntsoma and Berni Searle. The exhibition took place on February 28th 2019, at The Market Photo Workshop, situated in 138 Lillian Ngoyi Street, Newtown Johannesburg.


Yithi Video


The audience’s response to the exhibition was amazing. In my experience of exhibitions, especially openings based on photography. I have never seen such an amazing event. Everyone was free, motivated and happy about the work of these five photographers. They were really celebrated.

The viewers, young photographers, visitors and members of the community received priceless motivation from the celebrated photographers.

“Note that the camera has no gender so those who are scared to touch the button, it is possible” said Prof Muholi. The power of these words decreased the fear of success in photography. They further mentioned “it is possible to make money through photography”. The exhibition was productive and helpful to all the attendees.

This was the most unique exhibition, It was not only about photography. Poets and singers also performed during the exhibition opening. It was everyone’s platform. Africa rises tremendously through art, silencing poverty and unemployment.


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2019 Mar. 1: Yithi Laba State of Photography Address

By Lindiwe Dhlamini

Photos by Inkanyiso Team



Qampi & Muholi, are friends and co-facilitators of Mobile School of Photography who celebrated with the guests at the exhibition opening. Photo by Kamo Petlele (2019)


The echoing voices of the crowd that was in attendance during  Yithi Laba (This is us) exhibition opening curated by Lerato Dumse & Zakara Raitt at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg on the 28th February 2019 are still resounding in my head.

The sounds of joy, laughter and mind-blowing poetry still gives me goosebumps and one cannot deny the power that the five photographers Lindeka Qampi, Bernie Searle, Ruth Motau, Neo Ntsoma and Professor Zanele Muholi have. They gathered over 200 people in the same gallery, at the same time to witness greatness hanging on the walls. The works displayed spoke a different yet similar language, it was definitely the language of LOVE of different spaces, different objects, different people with different expressions.




I was first captured by the beautiful poster display on the glass doors of the gallery with images of each of these legends mentioned above, and the work displayed inside was even more breathtaking. I have never in my life witnessed such a historical and powerful collaboration with images that told stories I could relate to as a Black South African queer person from a township. Walking around the gallery, looking at how some of the people in attendance were encapsulated by the works of these legends. I had the pleasure of getting vox pops from some of the people who were there, the interactions were genuine as people felt relatable to the space and the artworks.

Speaking to some of the attendees, here are some of the comments I gathered;  “This is by far one of the best exhibitions I have attended in a long time. I love the Black *women only collaboration, I wish I could see more collaborations like these from other artists in South Africa and abroad. This was just brilliant.” – Luyanda Makhubo

I am a die-hard Lebo Mathosa stan, the minute I saw her image on the wall captured by the talented Neo Ntsoma I knew the show was going to be LIT!” – Mzwakhe Nkambule (28)


“I am particularly drawn to Lindeka Qampi’s work because I never thought that trash can be transformed into something so beautiful – this is pure talent, creativity and everything great about art – I am blown away. I also love Bernie Searle’s images, the use of color and how it transcends from one picture to the other is so fascinating, bold and forces you to take another look– over all powerful show” – Lungile Mdluli (24)




“As a spiritual person I relate more to Ruth’s work. In an era of false prophets, I thought that was a powerful selection to remind us that no matter what we must always keep the faith alive, I loved it” – Serati Moeti (33)

While not everyone in attendance had good things to say about the show, the positive feedback outweighed the bad. The show was a success and the people were happy to see one of the best shows end February 2019 on high spirits. As if that was not enough, the attendees broke out into struggle songs in celebration of the brilliance they had witnessed. The festivities of the night carried on, food and drinks were shared among guests before taking different transport safely home covering several Gauteng municipalities.




The showing photographers mingled with the crowd, while also taking selfies with them. In the midst of all that I managed to scoop a comment from Lindeka Qampi who was looking drop dead gorgeous in a beautiful Black maxi dress with African print design. “You know Lindi, I have never had a birthday and this today, what I am seeing here, feels like my birthday and I am so happy to see my work being celebrated. I am so blessed to have people like Muholi and all of you in the crew, you are family to me and all the love you have shown, and all your teachings resulted in what you see on the walls today.” Lindeka Qampi – Yithi Laba exhibitor.

The next day, we were called in to do interviews at the Market Photo Workshop where the Yithi Laba exhibition is still on show till 15 April 2019. I had the honor of interviewing Ruth Motau and Neo Ntsoma, whose responses reignited a fire in me to never stop dreaming. I was inspired by the way they both managed to break through boundaries to be where they are today. It is always encouraging to see Black woman who have paved the way for young upcoming Black female photographers sharing the stage and doing it so gracefully. I cannot wait to see the final interviews and overall show.


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2019 Feb. 20: Yithi Laba exhibition






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2019 Feb. 20: Yithi Laba exhibition

Date: 28 February – 15 April 2019
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: The Market Photo Workshop, Newtown, Johannesburg.

Yithi Laba meaning This is Us is a command announcing the coming together of five South African photographers. Lindeka Qampi, Neo Ntsoma, Prof. Zanele Muholi, Ruth Motau and Berni Searle celebrate, reflect, commemorate and respond to 25 years of South Africa’s democracy.

Muholi who is a Visual Activist conceptualized and initiated the exhibition and invited four photographers who have “shaped and changed” Muholi’s visual life. Muholi believes that the exhibiting photographers are remarkable and that every person interested in visual art and activism should know about their work and that their content should be used to educate students in schools, colleges and universities. It is the consideration of future generations that compelled Muholi to bring this exhibition to life, to coincide with the country’s democracy reaching a silver jubilee.


This unique mix of photographers features three alumni of The Market Photo Workshop. The Market Photo Workshop has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers; this is where the exhibition will be housed for nearly two months.Lindeka Qampi has placed herself in the centre of her frame, offering images and a poem titled Inside My heart, as a point of departure speaking on the societal problem of violence, while breaking the silence and denouncing these prevalent acts of abuse. Using recycled material, the Cape Town based artist highlights the gravity of the subject in the story. She uses public spaces to produce these self-portraits, working from the beach to open veld.


Neo Ntsoma enters with a “self- reflective body of work, which aims to capture how style/fashion can become a sense of masking oneself and an expression of one’s dreams”. The portrait series titled I Am WHO I know I Am is older than South Africa’s democracy, produced to counter Apartheid’s lack of “positive images of black people in mainstream media”. Ntsoma approached the series with the belief that fashion is not just about clothes but a statement about society, dress sense, cultural identity, expression and can even be a way of resisting oppression. Ntsoma is the first female recipient of the CNN African Journalist Award for photography (2004) and her photographs have been exhibited at various international film and photo festivals.


Prof. Zanele Muholi, is set on their mission ‘to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond’. A special Yithi Laba selection includes intimate self-portrait images featuring Muholi and collaborators who were Muholi’s partners and some friends. Muholi will also showcase video material looking at lesbian intimacy and bi-racial relationships.

Seopedi.JPG copy

After studying photography for over three years, the dawn of democracy signified Ruth Motau’s launch into the field, later becoming the first black female photo editor in SA. Motau is a social documentary photographer influenced by photo journalism and the marginalization of black people and communities.


Berni Searle Colour Me 1

Cape Town native Berni Searle comes on board with art experience dating back to pre-democratic South Africa. Searle employs time-based media such as photography, video and film as a tool to capture her work with performative narratives and the self as a figure to embody history, land-memory and place. Searle will be exhibiting her series of photographs Colour Me as well as a video.


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2019 Jan. 12: Land discussion

by Mercury Duma

December 2018 the last Saturday of the year saw an informative and intriguing land discussion by the participants of the Mobile School of Photography in Durban. Lindiwe Dhlamini facilitated the session and requested participants to first read an article in the newspaper in relation with different themes discussed in the group. Discussions included religion, racism, gender, sex work, colour and so forth. After reading an article, each participant had an opportunity to present in front of the group what their article is about and how it [article] relates to the land issue. Each presentation sparked a discussion with regards to the land issue.

During the discussion participants were very articulate and had strong views towards the discussion. The conversation was robust and Lindiwe had to jump in to restore calm in the discussion.

The discussion saw very important matters being addressed, participants would even use their personal experiences as a reference to put their point across supporting themes each article had.

The discussion forms part of the shoot participants will be doing connected to the land issue. The objective of the exercise was to make it effortless when participants capture images relating to land issues.


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