Portrait – Ricky Ellis, Swimmer

Portrait – Ricky Ellis, Swimmer

Medals Galore Amid AK-47s On The Floor

Photographer: @JayCaboz for @ForbesAfricaMagazine

Despite seeing assault rifles stranded in the stands, the Africa Games in Brazzaville left swimmer Ricky Ellis impressed.

If you haven’t heard about it, you’ve already missed it. The 2015 Africa Games in Brazzaville, Congo, came and went without much ado. But, if you were South African swimmer Ricky Ellis, coming back with one gold and three silver medals from the small francophone country, it was a time of his life, in the pool and out.

“Obviously, Africa [swimming] is not considered great. But, the competition wasn’t as easy as we thought. We knew the Egyptians were going to come at us.,” says Ellis.

Buy this months magazine to read more.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Virgin Active, Victory Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, November 2015 edition


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Powerful #FeesMustFall images from South Africa

Location: Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa

On assignment for Forbes Africa Magazine  to cover the #FeesMustFall campaign

We went expecting drama, and we got it. On the back of the growing #FeesMustFall campaign, thousands of University students protested on the banks of the Union Buildings in an effort to reduce fee increases which were set to rise as much as 10%.

As the bangs of of stun grenades met the cheers of students taunting police, Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, met with University officials and student leaders to negotiate terms. It was a case of too little too late as an isolated group of 50 students ran riot, fueled by frustration, setting toilets, cars and tyres alight. The group tore down the fence blockading the national landmark and pelted police with wrenches, rocks and pretty much anything they could find.

By the time tear gas canisters were launched into the air, the president was to announce that an settlement of a 0% fee increase for 2016 was reached. The crowd was yet to be informed.

The scene was bizarre. Among all this violence, the atmosphere beyond was light hearted and  relaxed.  I caught a number of students, standing next to the inferno, with people launching projectiles over the fence,  posing for selfies.

It was unfortunate that the thousands of other students, who were for the most part peacefully attending the protest, were caught in the peppery gas. In my view, the crowd was dispersed in the nick of time: I had seen three students preparing petrol bombs from an the abandoned generator left behind by the TV. Things could have gotten far worse.

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“This was the moment the police line broke and all hell broke loose” says Photojournalist @jaycaboz on his photo taken today at the #UnionBuildings #FeesMustFall protests. This on the back of President Jacob Zuma agreeing to a 0% fee increase for 2016.

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A small group of students led the violence outside the Union Buildings. The tension grew as the crowd got bolder, beginning with burning tyres and throwing projectiles.

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Students then grabbed toilets and set those alight.

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Among the bizarre, were students posing for selfies while behind them more fuel was fed to the inferno.

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More posing for the camera, while the smoke engulfs the hill.

 

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Illustrating my point. Here are students standing with a placard…

 

 

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…next to them are other students throwing rocks at the police.

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This was the moment the police line broke and all hell broke loose. After a wave of rocks, wrenches and bottles were thrown at them the police were forced back. Seconds later, the razor wire barrier came.

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After the students gained their foothold they began to destroy the police vehicles, ultimately leading to the tear gas.

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Students flee from the tear gas.

 




 

 

Cover Shoot – Analjit Singh, Healthcare for Forbes Africa Magazine

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Portrait – Analjit Singh, Healthcare

Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Words by our very own Editor of Forbes Woman Africa MagazineRenuka Methil

We step out of Analjit Singh’s blue Lexus into a picture postcard. Such is the scenic beauty greeting us. Singh is dressed in blue–shirt, turban and Nehru jacket–and poses with the panoramic mountains, also blue, in the background. We are standing under a benevolent April sun in Leeu Estates, Singh’s farm in Franschhoek, a picturesque wine town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Singh points to a large white cross perched like a beacon on the slopes of the Dassenberg Mountain. “Everything below that cross is mine,” he says.

FA 2015 Jul OFCWe are on 68 hectares of farmland featuring vineyards, pomegranate and plum fields, oaks, olive trees and herb gardens. Men are at work laying bricks, building and restoring Cape Dutch edifices, putting together the many elements of what will be a boutique winery and 25-room, five-star hotel set to open next year as part of the Leeu Collection. “Leeu is our name [in South Africa]. In Afrikaans it means lion, just as Singh in Sanskrit means lion,” says Singh. For the record, the number plate on his Lexus SW is, no surprise, LEEU 1.

Singh says that the manor house under construction will also include a library containing both Gandhi and Mandela memorabilia. The manor house overlooks a manicured garden with art occupying center stage–life-size bronze sculptures by South African artist Deborah Bell handpicked by Singh. “I know all the people in the art world in Cape Town,” he says. “We have been acquiring art and sculptures, all of which will be displayed at our estate.”

Leeu Estates is a composite of three adjoining farms–Dieu Donné, Klein Dassenberg and Von Ortloff–that Singh bought in a year. The total investment in the development is $35 million.

The estate will include a gym and spa and a winery producing the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, overseen by husband-wife winemaking duo Chris and Andrea Mullineux. Winners of the 2014 Platter’s Winery of the Year Award, the couple will develop a Leeu range of premium wines for release at the end of 2016.

Follow the link to read more: Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

So there we were, in the wine valley of Franschhoek, and we get to meet Analjit Singh. It might not look it from the photos, but I promise you that it was raining for basically the entire time we had with him. The sun came out for about an hour, and in that time, we had to drive to his farmhouse (which is still being built), set up and then shoot like mad.

No time, for expensive lighting. Nada. So I whipped out my trusty flash on wifi remote and we got going.

I remember telling the editor of Forbes Woman Africa, on our way back:

“This story is going to be cover material. I bet you its going to be a cover.” — Well I was right.

Originally we were only going to shoot for an interior story, so the fact that the weather came out to play for a bit was no real issue. BUT if there is one lesson you can learn from being a journalist is never underestimate the importance of a story. The same should be applied if you are a photographer along for the ride.

Everything came together for a few minutes just enough time to get the shots I wanted. What a miserable day it would have been if we couldn’t an outdoor portrait to drive the point home, who wants to do an indoor photoshoot when you are here in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa.

So what did I learn from this shoot? — Shoot as if every photo you are taking is going to be seen on the cover of a magazine. No matter who is behind the lens, the fact that you are speaking with a Billionaire does lend itself to that but you just never know.

As far as my interaction with Mr Singh went? The saying “he is a true scholar and a gentleman” is meant for him.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, July 2015 edition

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Portrait – Edward Moshole, The Unlikely Millionaire

Portrait – Edward Moshole, The Unlikely Millionaire

Edward Moshole was destined for a life as a cleaner in a factory; until inspiration came on a breath of fresh cherry-scented air in a storage room surrounded by detergents. Last year the former cleaner sold 70,000 bottles of detergent a month to the largest retail shopping chains in South Africa, worth about R12 million ($1 million) a year.

“A broomstick is what started my business. It was the only thing that I owned… Getting a job as a cleaner at Enterprise changed my life; them giving me the boots and overalls and saying ‘here clean’. I could feel in my heart I wanted to be something more,” he says.

With humble beginnings in the small township of Gapane, a place few have heard of in the Limpopo province of South Africa, Moshole’s story is uncommon. He grew up without parents from the age of 16 and failed eighth grade five years in a row. Moshole says when he was young he never dreamed he could become a millionaire.

His life changed when he moved to Cape Town to live with his brother. He says the move woke him up. Moshole finished his schooling and became a cleaner in a factory run by food chain Enterprise. In this factory, in a two-square-meter storage room that smelled of cherries; among piles of detergent, bleach, cleaners and soaps, Moshole had an idea.

“Getting into that store room, I could see that the quality doesn’t measure the performance of the cleaners. I could improve things. I could see myself becoming a detergent manufacturing champion,” he says.

It began with $6 and a broom stick says Moshole. The then cleaner went directly to a manufacturer and bought a five-liter bleach bottle. His first sales pitch was short and simple.

“I went to an ordinary person and said ‘look I’ve got detergent, I’ve got cleaner and they go for R15 ($1.20) a litre’,” he says.

Moshole’s part-time business took off. He targeted his co-workers who finished work too late to make it to the shops. A few months later, Moshole began selling door-to-door. He moved to spaza shops and sold to neighbors.

Moshole soon grew tired of the life of a middleman salesman and decided to create his own brand. With the money he earned, he bought a pile of 25-litre spice drums from Enterprise for around $1 each. He spent the following weekends churning detergent with a homemade metal mixer in his backyard.

“At the end of the day my hands were blistered,” he recalls.

For three years, Moshole toiled over his blue spice drums. His brand, Chem-Fresh, garnered the interests of supermarket giant Pick n Pay, owned by Raymond Ackerman, who is ranked 38th on Forbes’ list of richest Africans. It was the big break that Moshole needed.

The deal took seven years to sign. Along the way, Moshole learnt some hard lessons about mass-market production. One of them was to change from an informal backyard business to a formal one. He named his company ‘ebinter’ and started selling his Chem-Fresh products through it. Moshole also learnt he needed to become an accountant as well as a salesman. But it was the competition in the detergent business that was hardest to handle.

“Retail must retain a formal market. It’s tough. You negotiate with a buyer who takes 300 calls a day from others who supply the same product as you. Then there you are competing with the multinationals and then you are competing with the companies who own no-name brands. Your product needs to be cheap and needs to be of a consistent high quality,” says Moshole.

These days, Moshole’s factory in Wynberg, an industrial sector a few kilometers outside of Sandton, is a far cry from his backyard. Thousands of plastic bottles are piled to the ceiling. A $90,000 mixer churns bath soaps and hand wash. Another mixer prepares bleach for the day. Moshole says it takes half an hour to produce 500 liters of Chem-Fresh bleach.

His clientele has now spread across supermarket chains Spar, Pick n Pay, Massmart and Dischem.

Despite landing these promising contracts the detergent maker remains humble. He keeps the broom that he started with as a reminder of where his dreams began, minus the brush which fell off a few years ago.

With $6 and a broomstick, Moshole began selling detergent to his colleagues, bottle by bottle. Now, he sells them in the thousands. What’s more, Moshole proudly claims he has never missed a delivery.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Chem-Fresh factory, Wynberg, Johannesburg South Africa

Moshole’s story is one of those rare finds that kind of writes itself. He is one of the most humble men you could ever meet and I wanted that to come through in the image. Moshole had an incredibly genuine smile so we went with it. The background, filled to the rafters with goods, made a convincing setting to speak of where Moshole began and is now.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine

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Cover Shoot – Brimstone for Forbes Africa Magazine

SEE THE FULL STORY HERE

I flew down a few weeks ago to get my second cover of the year for Forbes Africa Magazine. March 2015 Edition, out now on shelves and also written by me.

I would like to introduce Fred Robertson, a former teacher, and his partners Mustaq Brey, a self-taught chartered account from Wynberg, and Lawrie Brozin from Johannesburg – the men of Brimstone Investment.

At the turn of South African democracy these three men, from three different worlds, set out in the shadow of Table Mountain, in Cape Town, to change their fortunes. In April, it will be 20 years since they took $840,000 from working people in Cape Town and turned it into $628 million.FA 2015 Mar OFC

Shoot

1. How I got the shot?

Shooting in harsh sunlight is not always a walk in the park. Sunlight can be your friend and also your enemy. In order to place the Brimstone crew in front of Table Mountain the angle meant they were 1/3 in shadow and the other 2/3 in the sunlight.

So what do you do?

Obviously for a cover photo we weren’t going to use natural light so we packed up two Mono Heads. You then can underexpose your photograph so that the background is slightly darker and then blast your lights at full power. (See pic 1 and pic 2 below). The same effect can be created with two speedlights synced up, the Mono Heads are more powerful though.

In effect what you want to do is overpower the sunlight with the Mono Heads to cancel out the shadows.

To darken you background and soften the glare you can also use an ND filter. The filter acts like a Polaroid lens. Ever noticed how when you are at the beach the white sand can blind you? Well this is what the ND filter reduces. It also helps to darken the background, making it easier to shoot with artificial lights.

If you didn’t have the ND filter you would have to shoot at F16 or F32,which will create more depth of field in the background. (And yes I wanted to differentiate the background so I shot at F8). It also becomes a question of balancing the artificial light. Most cameras will only be able to sync at 1/200 or slower 1/60. (You get faster but this was what I was working with) With such a bright light outside this would have been tricky. At F8, without a ND filter you are looking at a shutter speed of somewhere in the region of 1/500 or 1/1000 to fast for the artificial lights.

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Picture 1: This is a photo taken without lights. See how the shadows are quite dark on their faces. You can’t see their eyes at all. For the cover shot this was the exposure I set my camera to, notice how dark the background is.

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Picture 2: It’s not in focus but you can clearly see how a flash can overpower the surrounding light. It is made easier because you underexpose for the background.

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Picture 3: Here is a behind the scenes shot. See how Nisaar and Nazima have to hold the lights up. As a consequence we couldn’t use diffusers to soften the white light with the monopods — they would have blown away. (We even had sandbags by the way) You can also see the wind blowing Brozin’s jacket on the far left.

2. Unexpected things? – WIND

Weather permitting Cape Town is one of the most beautiful locations in Africa to shoot. Emphasis on weather permitting. Luckily we had a few hands on deck to hold up the mono lights thanks Nisaar and Nazima! 🙂 (Picture 3)

It’s pretty much a waiting game when it comes to capturing the right moment. Outdoor shoots are tricky when you have to wait for the wind to lull. But the Brimstone crew were willing to embrace the moment (which I am quite grateful about)

3. Body Positioning?

Body position can make or break a shot. In Picture 1 you can see the Brimstone crew are standing in a tiered position. Shoulder behind shoulder. When we were initially brain storming the shoot (Yes we do this for all our shoots) we thought this would look appealing.

At the shoot I felt this was a little too posed and it looked extremely unnatural and too much like a Facebook photo.

We eventually moved the gentlemen to more of an inverted pyramid. 1. It slims the figure. 2. It leads the eye to the subjects. 3. In bright sunlight people tend to squint so I had to angle the bodies to get the subjects to look at me without closing their eyes.
Overall I was very happy with the outcome. It was something different to put on our cover and it was a challenge to overcome.

Cover Shoot – Nicky Oppenheimer for Forbes Africa Magazine

My first cover for the year turns out to be one of the biggest names in African business – Nicky Oppenheimer, for Forbes Africa Magazine.

Nicky Oppenheimer and his family – worth $6.8 billion according to FORBES – are looking to blaze a trail across Africa – its out with diamonds and in with investment in Africa’s entrepreneurs.  The Oppenheimer wealth makes them the third richest in Africa.

“The Oppenheimer family ended its 85-year reign atop diamond giant De Beers in 2012 when Nicky sold his 40% stake to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $5.1 billion in cash. Anglo American, which Nicky’s grandfather founded, now controls 85% of De Beers; the government of Botswana owns the remaining 15%. 

Nicky Oppenheimer served on Anglo American’s board for 37 years through 2011, and he retains an estimated 1.8% stake in the company. Now he’s turning to private equity through his E. Oppenheimer & Son, which controls investment arms Stockdale Street Capital and Tana Africa Capital, a joint venture with Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek. Tana holds minority interests in African food manufacturers Promasidor and Regina Co.”

— (FORBES.com)

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I didn’t quite know what to expect when meeting Mr Oppenheimer. He is known to be very media shy. He turned out to be quite relaxed as we chatted about cricket and Pangolins during the shoot. Time with businessmen is a rare thing, and with Mr Oppenheimer we had about half an hour to shoot.

Things to do to make the most of your half an hour shoot:

1. Pre-scout

With limited time and with us shooting on location it’s always advised that you try and arrange a pre-scout of the space. Also try go at the same time as the shoot to gauge the lighting.

2. Have a backup.

When we did Mr Oppenheimer’s pre-scout, I immediately noticed the office space was too busy for our cover shot. There was too much going on. So we brainstormed other solutions and came up with a low key shoot with a black backdrop.

3. A mock set-up

When renting kit, you could always practice on someone the day before, at another similar location, so that you have an idea where to put your equipment and the settings.

4. Don’t mess around

You and your client are not there to mess around. Work efficiently. Know the body positions you want to work with. Have everything set up (arrive an hour before the client if you have to) before the client arrives. Then make minor adjustments to your lighting. The last thing you want to have is technical issues before you have even started.

5. Have a spare flash to shoot ‘off the grid’

Nothing ever goes according to plan. An interview may run late. Your subject may need to leave on an emergency. Have a portable flash set up and be ready to go if you have to abandon the studio. Follow the client until they have to leave…and then follow them to their car. Snap along the way if you have to make sure you have got a variety of shots.

Shoot

This gives you a better idea of how we set up the photo.

This gives you a better idea of how we set up the photo. I removed the softbox on the right of the figure, and lowered the power to 1/16 for the head shot.

 

 

 

 

Portrait – Mark Bennett, iSchool

Portrait – Mark Bennett, iSchool

Beneath a rusty ceiling, in a room whose light blue paint is peeling from its cracked walls, Juste chisenga hands each of his seven-year-old pupils their latest learning aid – ultra-cheap tablet computers with software in Bemba, a language spoken across north-east Zambia. Known as ZEduPads, the tablets are part of a project aimed at making computers part of the everyday schooling of all young Zambians.

Dreamed up by British-born Mark Bennett, the solar-charged computers make technology accessible to children even where electricity supplies are non-existent. Available in all eight of Zambia’s official languages and preloaded with 12,000 classes, the tablets can be used almost anywhere in the country, allowing children to keep track of their individual progress across every subject they study.

Mark arrived in Zambia in 1985 on a two-year contract to work at a computer center at the University of Zambia. He stayed for twelve years, before branching out on his own, first starting africonnect, an internet service provider he sold to Vodacom in 2005, and then launching ZEduPad. Already, 7,000 of the tablets have been distributed across Zambia. “We’ve spent around US$6 million developing the software,” says Mark. “So far, we have had 2.3 million words translated into local languages and a quarter of a million sounds.”

Photography – Jay Caboz
Location – Kasisi Mission School, Zambia (A couple of kilometers outside of Lusaka) with Mark Bennett
Publication – see the articles here Forbes Africa Magazine May Issue, The Other Hundred Winner

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Mark Bennett (left) at Kasisi Missionary School

 

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Portrait – Chris Bishop, Editor of Forbes Africa Magazine

Portrait – Chris Bishop, Editor of Forbes Africa Magazine

To mark Forbes Africa Magazine’s third anniversary I popped out with Chris Bishop to Forbes Street, in Randburg, on a chilly Johannesburg spring morning. Forbes Africa Magazine is the best read magazine among the affluent on the continent. Confirmed by the EMS Affluent Survey in AFRICA from IPSOS.

Photography – Jay Caboz
Location – Johannesburg, Forbes Street, with Chris Bishop
Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine

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Do we need a fracking future? #frackingSA video doccie is now online.

My fracking doccie is now online. Do we need a fracking future? a CNBC Africa special in association with Forbes Africa Magazine

 

The video covers the  information regarding the Fracking issue in the Karoo, South Africa and was first broadcast on 16 October 2014. Filming and interviews were done around September 2014.

In part one, I looked at the people who are standing against it and their reasons why they think it will destroy their livelihoods.

Part two looks at the other side of fracking, the industrial and economical benefits it could bring, as well as addressing some more views on fracking as a mining process.

Hope this helps to create a platform for debate and raise awareness (both for the proposed benefits and costs if could bring for South Africa)

For more click the links below:

Last Gasp For Eden: Creating a Peaceful Buffer Against Fracking

Who said Fracking was Bad?

Fighting the Good Fight Against Fracking in South Africa

Fracking: One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poison

 

Fracking could be the $100-billion energy game changer that Africa needs at the risk of destroying this land. It’s has sparked conflict before a drill has touched the earth.

Fracking could be the $100-billion energy game changer that Africa needs at the risk of destroying this land. It’s has sparked conflict before a drill has touched the earth.

Officially a “The Other Hundred Winner” — Jay Caboz #photographer Forbes Africa Magazine

It is with great pleasure that I can announce I am one of the “The Other Hundred” winners.  My entry — The Tablets Curing Rural Education was published in the Forbes Africa May 2014 Edition.

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In a rural school that has seen better days, seven-year-olds are now learning on innovative tablets. This is the $6-million brainchild of Mark Bennett who wants Zambia to embrace education-based technology at a grassroots level.

I was very fortunate to visit one of the schools where they are using the tablets in Zambia. Amazing to see in a place with no electricity children working on these things.

More of the story in Forbes Africa May 2014 edition. You can also see it featured in the top images of the month.

Updates - Summary Box

 

The Other Hundred — focuses on stories that capture the entrepreneurial spirit of people can be when it comes to taking control of their lives.

From their Website: The Other Hundred is a unique not-for-profit photo-book initiated by the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT) aimed at providing a counterpoint to the mainstream media consensus about some of today’s most important issues.

At its heart, The Other Hundred is an attempt to introduce readers to the vast majority of people, ideas, places and cultures simply ignored by most major media publications. Whether it is an excessive focus on extremes of wealth or poverty, the obsession with whatever is dominating the current news cycle or the pushing of a particular political agenda, mainstream news no longer accurately reflects the experience of most people around the world.

Through an annual series of books, each focusing on a particular issue or subject, The Other Hundred will provide an alternative and refreshing view on everything from people and their homes to performers, chefs and authors.