The Star Early Edition

SA photograph­er to tag-teach in LA


SOUTH African photograph­er Thapelo Motsumi is excited about extending his abilities to the global stage as he prepares to train photojourn­alists in Los Angeles, US, through the Wembley to Soweto Foundation.

Multi-award-winning actor and producer David Westhead, who is based in the UK, founded the organisati­on to provide training to underprivi­leged photojourn­alists in the lead-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Motsumi, from Soweto, was one of the first eight photograph­ers taught in 2010, together with a broad cohort of former programme participan­ts, and will be training four new students in the art of photojourn­alism in Los Angeles, as well as coaching two alumni to be trainers.

Speaking about the opportunit­y, he said he looked forward to helping others with their creative skills.

“I am looking forward to working with peers in the US and doing the documentar­y with the foundation,” enthused Motsumi.

“Being selected for the 2010 programme was life-changing and I am always so happy to help impart my skills, knowledge and experience to help other brothers and sisters move ahead with their creative skills.”

Some of the biggest names in film and television in the world, including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Idris Elba, Adjoa Andoh, Muthutuzeh­li Matshoba, Christoph Waltz and Emily Watson are listed as supporters of the foundation.

Originally, the foundation’s programme was set out as an in-situ training programme to help uplift, empower and enable young people, instil valuable life skills and help them progress positively and make meaningful contributi­ons to society.

Weasthead said their focus was that art could be accessible, and they aimed to inspire the creators of tomorrow. “Little did we think that the programme would grow exponentia­lly beyond our expectatio­ns,” he added.

“The training programme proved so successful, with many of the Sowetan photograph­ers being able to elevate themselves socially and economical­ly, that it evolved into a ‘tag-teaching’ model.

“This meant past trainees who share similar background­s and experience­s could easily connect with compatriot­s across the globe and impart their experience and knowledge of photograph­y with those entering the programme.”

 ?? | JOHN COLE ?? THAPELO Motsumi with Richard E Grant at Oxo Gallery, London, during a 2011 exhibition.
| JOHN COLE THAPELO Motsumi with Richard E Grant at Oxo Gallery, London, during a 2011 exhibition.

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