In The News

Tributes are paid to photographer Alf Kumalo

Tributes are paid to photographer Alf Kumalo

TRIBUTES have been paid to the photographer Alf Kumalo whose work chronicled the horrors of the apartheid era in his home country South Africa. He passed away aged 82.

Mr. Kumalo never received training in the field in which he was to become so highly respected across the world. 

He had started out as a reporter in the 1950s and part of the job involved having to take his own photographs. Never losing his reporter’s instinct, Mr. Kumalo turned from the written word to producing photographic images that never failed to capture the emotions and cruelty of what was happening around him.

The young journalist was to meet and photograph another young men who was to eventually play such a crucial role in bringing democracy to South Africa. At the time Nelson Mandela had been working as a lawyer.

Mr. Kumalo’s work was not without personal risk. He faced constant harassment from the security forces and was beaten and arrested on a number of occasions. But he never shied away from putting himself in the best position to get the shots he wanted.

Even when the authorities began to crack down on the taking of photographs at trouble-spots, Mr. Kumalo found ways to defy the orders — sometimes setting his camera on time-delay exposure so that the police believed he was not recording what was happening.

He was on hand to photograph some of the worst moments in the country’s modern history — the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 when 69 people were shot by police; the 1964 trial which resulted in Nelson Mendela being jailed for 20 years and the Soweto Uprising in 1976.

But his work was also to record the end of apartheid and the dawning of democracy with Nelson Mandela being released from jail to become the country’s first black President.

Following his death, the ruling African National Congress Party led tributes to Mr. Kumalo. In a statement the ANC said: “South Africa has lost a self-taught giant in the media field who still bore the scars of torture and mental scars of continuous detentions by the apartheid security forces.”

To view an excerpt from an interview in which Alf Kumalo discussed his work, click here.

View previous In the News items: Widow of poet TS Eliot passes away, Former governor of the Falkland Islands Sir Rex Hunt passes away, Former Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey passes away, Headstone is erected 94 years after burial of Portadown soldier, Tributes are paid to actor Clive Dunn, Funeral of Comber soldier Channing Day to take place, Funeral of murdered prison officer David Black takes place, Former racing driver John Fitch passes away, Tributes are paid to songwriter Bill Dees, Tributes are paid to musician Jo Dunne, Composer Hans Werner Henze passes away, Battle of Britain pilot William Walker passes away, Veteran US politician George McGovern passes away, Genius inventor Stanford Ovshinsky passes away, Former footballer Helmut Haller passes away, Tributes are paid to veteran MP Sir Stuart Bell, Scientist behind cloning breakthrough passes away, Tributes are paid to former cricketer Kevin Curran, Former PoW Eric Lomax passes away, Atom bomb physicist Robert Christy passes away, Great session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan passes away, Tributes are paid to historian Eric Hobsbawm, Motown producer Frank Wilson passes away, Veteran actor Herbert Lom passes away, Singer Andy Williams passes away, Former football manager John Bond passes away, Tributes are paid to Cookstown funeral director, Tributes are paid to top wine merchant, Former London gangster Charlie Richardson passes away, American poet Louis Simpson passes away, Funeral takes place of tragic father and sons, Former footballer Jimmy Andrews passes away, Man behind advances in Formula 1 racing safety passes away, Discovered remains may be those of Richard III, Film producer Jake Eberts passes away, Inventor of modern laptop computer Bill Moggridge passes away, Wildlife expert Terry Nutkins passes away, Singer songwriter Joe South passes away, Funeral of motorcycle road racer takes place, Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passes away, Oscar nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan passes away, Comedian and entertainer Max Bygraves passes away, Former junior minister Sir Rhodes Boyson passes away, Former Royal Navy frogman Sydney Knowles passes away, First man on the moon Neil Armstrong passes away, Character actor william Windom passes away, Amy Winehouse Foundation supports hospice in Dublin, Author Nina Bawden passes away, Comedian Phyllis Diller passes away, Tributes are paid to singer songwriter Scott McKenzie, Tragic mother Winnie Johnson passes away, Science fiction writer Harry Harrison passes away or Disability rights pioneer Lord Morris passes away


If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.