by Yaya Mavundla
Men are so intimidated by women that they are even scared women will take over. It’s a sad case but then again, it needs attention because it will put women’s lives in danger.
This past weekend (20-22 March 2014) I attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg at Sandton Convention Centre and Celebrity Fashion Show at Melrose Arch and in both spaces I faced same challenges.
On Thursday I was not really keen on attending but when Lesiba Mothibe convinced me that we go I thought let me just go especially because I always enjoyed Marianne Fassler and Abigail Betz shows. Luckily we still had enough time to get ready and still catch both shows as Marianne was showing at 19h30 and Abigail at 21h00.
Lesiba was so excited and told me how she adores Marianne Fassler. We rushed and took taxis to JHB CBD and went to the Gautrain at Park Station to Sandton. We got at the station on time and the train took exactly 8min and we were in Sandton. We then immediately rushed to Sandton Convention Centre where the Fashion Week by Africa Fashion International was happening. We collected our accreditation and went inside and sadly, we found the show halfway in, so we could not watch the whole collection by Marianne but we still got to experience the whole collection by Abigail which were both amazing!
During the interval waiting for the next show it got so busy that you literary feel like you are in Times Square in New York. Countless celebrities, cameras flashing as if they had seen Kim Kardashian and Kanye West walk past and you got to experience different looks/fashion.
The backstage was worse in a way that for a moment if you had watched Devil Wears Prada you will believe it that it is déjà vu.
People in general have issues seeing a women carrying a camera, worse if they are dressed up with make-up and the works. I was constantly asked to show my wristband when I wanted to go backstage even though my lanyard was written photographer and all photographers had access to the backstage and after showing them the wristband I will get the look “are you sure you are a photographer?”
Little did I know that the worst was yet to come! When Abigail Betz show started I decided I would not sit in my allocated seat but will stand where other photographers are. The last time I saw such angry people was on a movie I watched at the Out In Africa film festival opening a years ago that I even forgot what it was called. Men were so angry that I had come to distract them. I really do not know how because we all had the same view of the runway. I was constantly asked to move because they are trying to take photographs of the models but mine was “I am doing the exact same thing you are trying to do, so let’s respect each other”. They really didn’t get the idea of why would someone with make-up and high heels be a photographer, it’s for men.
Just after the show, people that knew me asked me questions, if am I now a photographer?
Why would I do men’s job, but still the same people wanted me to photograph them and asked questions like “are these going to be on your blog?”
“When can I check it out” I’m like people are so typical, it sad.
Just when I thought it was better, when I was at the Celebrity Fashion Show I felt like it was World War III. I was literary attacked by one photographer who came to me and said I’m blocking the view for the people who are seated, I mean the runway is like approximately 110 metres long.
I couldn’t believe it!
My response was, “where do you come in? can’t they say this themselves?”
“Well I will not move because basically what you want to do is stand here on the same position I’m standing” He decided to move and go somewhere else. From that experience I learnt that most men are cowards, they know there are always people who are capable of doing what they do better than them. People that are women specifically have chances of making it as big in the industry that is associated with men. That boosted my confidence and love to photograph events.
The power we possess can make the world be in a stand still.
To interact with me follow me on twitter and Instagram @YayaRSA.
You can follow Inkanyiso on twitter @Inkanyiso_Org or Zanele Muholi @MuholiZanele