Cover Shoot – Analjit Singh, Healthcare for Forbes Africa Magazine

IMG_2057

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

IMG_2049

Advertisements

The Tablets Curing Rural Education – #photograph #article in #Forbes Africa May

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.

IMG_5649 IMG_5888 IMG_5688 IMG_5770 IMG_5805 IMG_5811 IMG_5929

Hunting the Hunters, South African Anti-Rhino Poachers- Photo Essay

Forbes Life – Photo Essay published in October, FORBES LIFE

066-069_Rhinos.indd 066-069_Rhinos.indd 066-069_Rhinos.indd 066-069_Rhinos.indd

The foot soldiers in the war against rhino poaching risk their lives every night. Preventing poachers from wiping the rhino off the face of Africa is a job for unsung heroes. Often, all they have are blisters to show for it.

They face questions from loved ones over the risky lives they lead. Last year a lion dragged a sleeping anti-poaching officer from his bed under the stars and killed him.

It costs R20,000 ($1,900) a month for one unit, working as a two man team.

They have to be quick. All it takes for a poacher to kill a rhino is an hour. In five hours, the horn can be over the border and on a plane. Anti-poaching officers are on high alert 24/7. All have military training. This is a taste of their hard lives, as private money is introduced to the brutal game to save the rhino.

20130523-IMG_8613 20130523-IMG_8633 20130523-IMG_8656 20130523-IMG_8753 20130523-IMG_8762 20130523-IMG_8765 20130523-IMG_8787 20130523-IMG_8793 20130523-IMG_8966 20130523-IMG_9038-2 IMG_7835 IMG_7954 IMG_8009 IMG_8029 IMG_8098 IMG_8085 IMG_8159 IMG_8124 IMG_8169 IMG_8192 IMG_8216 IMG_8250 IMG_8283 IMG_8545-2 IMG_8424 IMG_8372 IMG_8362