Me­mo­rial for vet­eran pho­to­jour­nal­ist

Nz­ima was “hum­ble and kind-hearted”

Sowetan - - News - By Yoliswa Sobuwa

Sam Nz­ima was de­scribed as a man who took a great picture from his socks right to the world.

This af­ter Nz­ima had to hid films of the pictures he took on June 16 1976 in his socks.

Vet­eran jour­nal­ists and pho­tog­ra­phers filled the Tiso Black­star events hall in Park­town, Jo­han­nes­burg, for Nz­ima’s me­mo­rial ser­vice yes­ter­day. Also pay­ing trib­ute to Nz­ima was well-known artist Le­bani Sirenje, who drew a por­trait of Nz­ima mo­ments be­fore the me­mo­rial be­gan.

One of Nz­ima’s friends, Suzette Ma­funa, who is in Canada, wrote a let­ter say­ing the ed­i­tor of The World was ini­tially re­luc­tant to pub­lish Nz­ima’s picture as he feared it will spark a civil war. “Sam’s ex­cel­lence came at a huge cost dur­ing his time, he gam­bled with his life by hid­ing the film in his socks,” Ma­funa wrote.

Pro­fes­sor So­madoda Fikeni said Nz­ima hardly ever spoke about the iconic picture of Hec­tor Pi­eter­son that he took on June 1976. This is the picture that was first pub­lished in Sowe­tan’s pre­de­ces­sor The World.

“It was very rare for a per­son cel­e­brated by the world to be so hum­ble... he was a war jour­nal­ist who had the nerve of steel for the rest of the world to ben­e­fit,” Fikeni said.

Found­ing ed­i­tor of Sowe­tan Joe Latak­gomo de­scribed how kind-hearted Nz­ima was.

Nz­ima will be given a spe­cial pro­vin­cial of­fi­cial fu­neral at his home in Mpumalanga next week Satur­day.


Vet­eran pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Magubane with Mathatha Tsedu dur­ing the me­mo­rial ser­vice of Sam Nz­ima.

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