An exceptional photojournalist is on a mission to educate the world about the socioeconomic issues endured by Africans through the incompetence of their leaders. Qiniso Mbili is a 25-year-old from Mgababa who left his hometown to reside in Durban for a better future, as he saw no way forward back home. Hence, he enjoys taking photographs that portray meaningful messages about the triple challenge Africans face.
In a space of three months, he has displayed his creativity in three different venues. The remarkable journalist hosted a photojournalism exhibition at The Bat Centre in Durban, on Friday 23rd of August. The title of his exhibition ‘Wena Wezulu’ illustrates unemployment, poverty and inequality that Africans experience in their everday lives.
His pieces include photographs that show how faulty the leadership in Africa is, whether traditional, religious or political. He also portrays the violence faced by foreigners in South Africa, the xenophobic attacks that he has witnessed and how shockingly vile people can be. The third challenge found in his images showes the level of poverty endured by the people of Africa, although the mother continent is rich with natural resources.
“I take pictures that encourage us as Africans to find a way to address the social challenges we face as a continent. Through this theme of images, I want to spark a conversation concerning leadership in African countries, in order for them to commit to their jobs of leading. I want to bring social change and awareness to the people so that when I die, I can be remembered for the difference I made while I was alive,” he explains.
The exhibition featured a theoretical performance by Akhona Ndlovu who studied Theatre at the Creative Arts College. The marvellous performer delivered Mbili’s message though acting, using all the themes represented by the photos in the gallery. The audience seemed to be enticed by the storyline as most had their eyes glued on the staggering deliverance.
As the co-founder of The Organised People Towards Development, Mbili wants to equip the youth through community development, particularly for them to gain the relevant skills are required to challenge the system. He wants people from all walks of life, across Africa, to unite and to refrain from using violence among each other.
“Every generation has a struggle to fight, our forefathers had to combat the discriminatory apartheid laws and colonial system. We as [so called] born-frees need to start our own mission that will lead us in securing ourselves a brighter future,” he adds.
The dynamic photographer calls on Africans to be pro-active and additionally cautious when choosing leaders. He also wants to see the African continent well improved and developed for the 4th Industrial revolution; he worries that by the time it reaches people, some will not have enough proficiency to benefit from it. He adds that if this time approaches, he foresees poor people remaining in extreme poverty and the rich gaining more riches when in fact, all parties should be benefiting.