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.

 




 

 

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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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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.

 

Behind the scenes of FORBES AFRICA assignment: AFRICA’S NOTORIOUS PEST TURNED FURRY SAVIOUR – Jay Caboz

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The below shot was taken a few minutes after this shot. Taken at the Apopo training field in Angola.

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This story took eight months to complete. Angola is not the easiest location to work as a journalist, there is a lot of red tape. In the end it was worth the effort. Angola is the third most landmine ridden country in the world with estimates of between 10-20 million landmines still uncovered in the countries rural areas.

The Apopo rats story is one of Africa’s great achievements that will help save lives across the world, not just Africa.

One other interesting thing is that the rats can be trained to sniff out TB, which could drastically change the face of African disease detection.

For more on the article I wrote – follow the links below

CNBC Africa – AFRICA’S NOTORIOUS PEST TURNED FURRY SAVIOUR

CNBC Africa – TV interview

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How did I get this shot? — look below. This was an actual mine field in the village of Camatenda, Malanje in Angola. You’ll see I am wearing the full safety gear. 

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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.

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Making ‘hedge’ways

So the family, creeps and I went on a fun night hedge journey. Maize Mazes hosts the nighttime treasure hunt through a winding bamboo forest. It’s mainly made for kids but was actually quite a challenge finding all the clues in the allotted time. Anyhow is was a good chance to practice my low light photography and once it got dark test out the high ISO capabilities of the Canon Mk ii which are remarkably better than my old camera the Canon 500D.

In the end an overall pleasing result.

A tale of two days

I spent a good part of this morning and last night working on the 3rd draft of my essay. It’s been an intensive couple of hours.

With some good advice from Ruth Hopkins and Fred de Vries I spent most of that working on improving my introduction.

Initially when I started my introduction I was captivated by a story Richard Ngoma told me. The story revolved around a day when Ngoma met the same people who sentenced him to prison almost 11 years ago.

When I was interviewing him his story seemed so strong come from his mouth. The emotion and hardships he experienced was so evident when it was coming from his mouth. Because of this I strongly felt this would make a good introduction for the piece. The story reflected, all in one, the difficulties one has to face being a prisoner in the outside world.

Because of the feeling and emotion during the interview I thought the best way to portray this would be to put the introduction in a narrative format. This however ended up being confusing and hard to follow. There was simply too much to follow.

Ruth and Fred suggested I try play with it some more and I went for a more basic introduction that filled in some of the missing gaps. Along with improving my explanation and finding more focus throughout the essay. This I am hoping has put me on the right track.

In the meantime my days productivity was disrupted after going to Wits. The computers there have been under some real strain and are pretty full. There was not enough space on them to edit my videos, which was quite a pain.

The trip cost me an hour and 30 minutes worth of valuable editing time I could have easily done at my house.

As if things didn’t need to get worse my USB crashed at 19h00 and completely fried my entire afternoon’s worth of work, which included this blog, the beginnings of my self-reflection essay and my editing.

Luckily I was able to recover my essay draft because I had sent it in early to Fred and Ruth. A good lesson for all those people leaving things for the last minute, DONT, send the stuff through as soon as you can and make sure you have multiple copies of everything you do. I lost only 5 hours of work, but it could have been my entire project.