Tributes pour for Sam Nzima
The South African photographer who took the iconic image of a black high school student carr ying a fatally wounded student away from the gunfire of apartheid police in 1976
Sam Nzima was one of a kind,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement. “His camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation’s psyche and history.”
Nzima’s photo of the dying Pieterson “caused the world to come to terms with the ... evil of the apartheid system,” said the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), in a statement.
“This came at a price to Nzima who was subjected to countless acts of intimidation.”
Harassed by the apartheid regime, Nzima resigned from The World newspaper and left Johannesburg for his hometown Lilydale, where he was placed under house arrest for 19 months.
Nzima said that for many years he regretted taking the
photo because it destroyed his career in journalism. But he became proud when he saw the lasting influence of his photo and its contribution to ending apartheid, he said.
In 1998 Nzima won the copyright for the much reproduced photo. In his later years he taught photography to young students in rural Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga Province.
Nzima’s photo is the centerpiece of the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum which shows history of the Soweto students’ uprising on June 16, 1976. The museum was opened in Soweto in 2002 and is one of South Africa’s most visited sites. Pieterson’s sister, Antoinette, whose grief is captured in the photo, has for many years been a guide at the museum.
Nzima’s photograph of the Soweto student uprising galvanized international public opinion against apartheid, South Africa’s system of racial discrimination that ended in 1994. The compelling photo shows 16-year-old Mbuyisa Makhubu carrying the crumpled...