ANA photojournalists bag awards


CAPE TOWN, October 16 (ANA) – Two African News Agency (ANA) photojournalists each bagged an award at the virtual Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards 2020.

The awards took place on Thursday evening and photojournalists Phandulwazi Jikelo and Brendan Magaar took the categories of sports photograph and news photograph, respectively.

Speaking to ANA, Jikelo, 36, whose series of photographs were of Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi, was overwhelmed after winning his third Sikuvile award. He had been a finalist six times before.

Originally from King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape, he grew up in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, and has been in the media industry for 10 years.

The winning picture was of Kolisi, who plays for the DHL Stormers, slicing through defenders from the Crusaders at Newlands, Cape Town, before scoring a great try.

“I feel very great about winning. I have been spending more time doing sport (photography) on weekends and it has paid off.

“Winning (an award) for doing something that you are passionate about brings a great feeling,” Jikelo said.

Magaar, 36, from Blue Downs, Cape Town, has been in the media industry for 10 years, and it was his first time winning an award, although it was the second time he had entered a competition.

The winning picture was of police ripping a refugee child from his mother’s arms.

“I feel strongly about this topic because I have been documenting them (refugees) for a year and they are still struggling to get what they want. I got to know the people, gained their trust and came to know many of the children,” Magaar said.

He was a finalist in two categories, news and feature, and ended up winning the news photograph category.

Magaar said he felt the need to enter this photograph to show the world what he had captured and what was happening.

“That was a first for me as a photojournalist in my career. I have never seen children being torn from their mother’s arms so violently,” he said.

Magaar didn’t think he would win. He said the Covid-19 lockdown period had made many despondent, especially those within the media industry, so winning the award meant just so much more.

ANA’s chief content officer, Lance Witten, could not be more proud of their achievements.

Witten said the awards were a testament to the consistent work these photojournalists do every day, often putting their lives on the line to tell visual stories that are arresting, engaging and evocative.

“Phandulwazi is one of our true standout performers, regularly raking in awards while quietly going about his business capturing the world around him.

“Not only does he put himself in the right place at the right time, but he also has the acute awareness to capture moments in a way that brings the still images to life,” Witten said.

He said Magaar’s series on the refugees in Cape Town told of a much larger story in which he spent time cultivating relationships and nurturing connections, which led to the group opening their hearts to him and allowing him to capture them in their most vulnerable moments.

“These two photographers are prime examples of well-rounded, complete photojournalists, true visual storytellers who can serve as inspiration to anyone looking to emulate their success.

“I am so, so very proud of the work they have done, and continue to do, and I am so very grateful to be able to experience their brilliance daily. You could not find more deserving winners,” Witten added.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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